Every morning at work I get to visit classrooms full of bright shining eyes and runny, crusty noses. You know what that means? Cold and flu season is officially here. Of course if that sight wasn’t enough to let me in on the secret, the flu shot clinics at every corner and the pressure in my own sinuses sure would!
After um…let’s just say a lot…of years working with very young children I have the immune system of a champ. It certainly hasn’t always been the case. I have had bouts of flu that would make a grown man cry. (However, as a grown woman I merely sucked it up, took some medicine and wished I had my mommy with me.)
So what do I do to prevent getting a cold or flu? Well, first of all, I can’t prevent them. This is all about risk reduction. Those nasty bugs are out there looking for any chance to invade. I start each year by getting a flu shot. I know flu shots aren’t for everyone and I have certainly argued with my fair share of friends who are convinced the shot gave them the flu. Hey, it’s your body-your call. I, however, cannot imagine a year without a flu shot. That sounds almost as bad as a year without a Santa Claus! Have I gotten the flu in years that I’ve gotten a shot? Sure. Has it been as often or as bad as it was before I started getting the shots? No. That’s good enough for me.
I am also a handwashing freak. I’m sure at least part of that can be credited (blamed?) on my job. I actually spend at least part of every day talking about handwashing and training on it at work. It’s that important. We get a cold or flu by touching the virus and then touching our face. We touch our face a gazillion times a day. As a matter of fact you just touched your face. Really, you did…it’s the power of suggestion. Do you know what you were touching between the last time you touched your face and the last time you washed your hands? Exactly-when it doubt, wash up!
Stay on top of your health by adding in needed supplements and following a healthy and balanced diet. The healthier you are when you start the better able your body will be to fight any nasty viruses that try to invade. I swear by taking daily probiotics now, in addition to a fruit and veggie supplement and daily vitamins. Yes, this means I’m taking five pills a night. But I’ve never felt healthier. Vitamin C and Zinc are my go to helpers in cold and flu season.
My final piece of advice has no basis in science. It’s just an observation. Be prepared! The worst feeling in the world is being sick and then having to go to the store to buy medicine. For some reason when I have a fully stocked shelf of cold and flu supplies I don’t need them. When I’m out, I get sick. Mind over matter? Murphy’s law? Who knows? I just know that now I make sure I have everything I might need before I need it.
So what are you tricks and tips for staying healthy this cold and flu season? I’d love to hear. (I’d also love any great chicken soup recipes…you never know when you might need them!)
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.