We are right smack in the middle of cold and flu season. You can’t go out in public without hearing people sneezing and coughing. As soon as flu season starts, many people get a flu vaccination. However, don’t fret if you are someone who cannot or chooses not to get a flu shot. I do not get vaccinated and I rarely get the flu. If you follow these four simple rules of thumb, you can survive the cold and flu season too.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Your number one defense against flu is to stop germs in their tracks. This is easy enough to take care of in today’s world since hand sanitizer is available in many sizes. Kids carry it in their backpacks, moms carry it in their purses, and even dads stash some in their desk. Make sure the sanitizer you use is alcohol-based though or it won’t fight germs. Whether you use water and soap or hand sanitizer, remember to wash your hands!
Don’t touch your eyes and nose with your hands. The mouth, eyes, and nose are gateways for germs to get into our body. How many times a day do you rub your eyes without even thinking about it? If you are the one doing the sneezing and coughing, use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow instead of your hands. Do yourself a favor by not spreading your own germs around.
The most obvious strategy for escaping the flu is to avoid contact with people who are coughing and sneezing. This rule applies not only to strangers, but to friends and family. If your long lost friend appears in front of you sneezing uncontrollably, feel free to say “bless you,” but resist the urge to give him/her a big hug. Likewise, if you are the one who is under the weather, do your friends and coworkers a favor by staying home.
Be meticulous about practicing healthy habits. Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and exercise. Getting enough sleep helps prevent your body from getting run down. Drinking plenty of fluids will decrease your chance of dehydration. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly will help you maintain a good immune system.
Nobody wants to get the flu. Whether you choose to get vaccinated or not, you can limit your exposure to flu germs. Remember, your number one defense is to wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer faithfully. Follow these four simple rules and you, too, can avoid the flu.