According to the FDA, the cold and flu season can begin as early as October and last through the month of May. Unfortunately, this year our world has encountered some pretty aggressive strains. Our team believes it’s important to take care of your health and well being any time of year, but even more so now. Here are some prevention, precaution and safety tips to help get you through the cold and flu season.
*It is important to note these tips are not guaranteed to prevent illness, but they are ways to support your wellbeing.
#1 Avoid Close Contact
When it comes to avoiding strains of the cold and flu, it’s best to avoid close contact with other people. Try and keep 3-6 feet of distance between you and others, especially those that appear to be feeling under the weather. If you aren’t feeling well, please protect those around you and stay home until you are feeling well again. In order to avoid close contact with others, limit your social interactions and stay away from larger group settings. You may even consider swapping your weekly grocery store trips to online ordering so you can avoid coming in close contact with others.
Tip: It’s still important to maintain your connections even during a time of social distancing. Here are some ideas on how you can remain connected with your community.
#2 Clean, Disinfect and Sanitize
During the cold and flu season, it’s important to keep your hands clean, but besides keeping yourself clean, clean all of your devices including cell phones, computers and keyboards. You may even consider keeping your home extra clean by wiping down all door knobs, high traffic areas and surfaces like kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. If you can’t find any cleaning supplies in your community, get creative and make your own organic cleaners at home. Here are three ways to make organic cleaning sprays.
Tip: Some particular virus strains from this year’s cold and flu season can live on surfaces, including metal, for at least 12 hours, so if you come into contact with any surface you think may be dirty, wash your hands immediately. These same virus strains can survive on fabric for 6-12 hours, so be sure to wash your bedding, clothing, pillowcases and towels frequently with hot to warm water and your normal laundry detergent.
#3 Clock Quality Sleep
There aren’t many things in life better than a good night’s sleep. Sleep is important no matter what the season, but it is paramount during cold and flu season, so make sure you are clocking quality sleep every night. That means sleeping at least 6-9 hours a night. Adopt a nighttime routine to help you relax before bed to ensure a restful night of deep sleep. Some great go-to options include:
- Apply essential oils like lavender to help you relax
- Curl up with a good book
- Do some light stretching or a gentle yoga flow
- Light some candles and take a bubble bath
- Turn off all electronic devices including cell phones, computers and televisions
Anything you find relaxing that will help you unwind can be incorporated into your nighttime routine.
#4 Drink Water
Hydration is always important, but even more so during this current cold and flu season. When interviewing a physician, it was recommended to drink water throughout the course of the day, specifically every 15 minutes. If you do have any bug or virus, drinking water will help get the germs down into your stomach where stomach acid can then attack and kill the virus. Also, by frequently drinking water, we are keeping our mouths and throats moist and thereby pushing any bacteria down into the stomach, where, again, stomach acid can get to work in fighting off any unwanted germs.
Tip: Once or twice a day, gargle with mouthwash or a solution of warm water mixed with salt to keep your mouth and throat clean and clear.
#5 Eat Mindfully
Eating mindfully is always important to optimal health, especially during the cold and flu season. Fill your grocery cart with nutrient-dense foods like eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and high quality meats. Give yourself an extra boost of vitamins with foods that are naturally high in Vitamin C like:
- Bell peppers
- Citrus fruits like grapefruits, kiwis, lemons and oranges
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower
- White potatoes
Need some recipe inspiration? Check out our arsenal of recipes.
#6 Reduce Stress
Reducing stress is important to your health and wellbeing, but especially during extra stressful times. When it comes to reducing stress, carve out some time every day to turn off all notifications from news reports and focus on calming tasks like mindful meditation, quiet time and walks in nature. Call or FaceTime with a family member or good friend and have a virtual tea time or coffee catch up.You may even consider creating an at-home spa experience as you enjoy a cozy night in.
#7 Wash Your Hands Often
It sounds simple, but hand washing is one of the best defenses against unwanted germs. It’s best to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing and when you have returned home from a public place. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, nose and basically your entire face until you have thoroughly washed your hands. When washing your hands, use hot to warm water and scrub with soap for 30-40 seconds. If washing your hands with soap and water isn’t available to you, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub vigorously until they feel dry.
Tip: Wash your hands frequently as certain strains of this year’s cold and flu virus strains can live on your hands for 5-10 minutes.
These tips are not guaranteed to completely prevent certain strains of the cold and flu, but they can help you protect yourself from unwanted germs, so begin incorporating these tips into your daily routine so you can feel your best all year long.