It’s that time of year again when EVERYONE seems to be getting sick. Every day you find another social media post from a friend who has succumbed to another cold, flu, sinus infection, or some other disgusting germ you don’t want. While no one can keep from getting sick EVER, the good news is there are steps you can take so you’re not the next sniffling victim.
Wash your hands.
We’ve all heard the mantra: wash your hands with warm water and soap. When it comes to everyday life, apply that mantra to almost everything you do—and to your family members as well. Make sure your kids wash their hands (sing the ABC’s to make sure they wash them long enough). No matter what you’re doing, take a few minutes often to duck into a bathroom to wash with soap and water.
Get your shots.
Vaccinations can be one of the most effective ways to ward off common illnesses (like the flu, yuck). No matter how busy you are, schedule a doctor’s appointment to make sure your shots are up to date or head to a flu shot clinic for a convenient way to keep those germs away.
Use hand sanitizers.
Realistically, you’re not always going to be able to duck into a bathroom. Keep hand sanitizers on hand for when you’re on the go and use it as often as needed. Just like hand washing, involve your kids in this simple step so you can all stay healthy.
A healthy body is less prone to sickness. This winter, take care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Eat healthy foods. Schedule a dentist appointment (here’s how a healthy mouth impacts your overall health). Head to the gym. Do everything you can to make sure your body is healthy so you’re less likely to get sick.
Keep your hands to yourself.
We’ve all heard this from our teachers before, and for very good reason. Humans are very social, and sometimes this can backfire when we share our germs through hand contact. In the same way, be careful about touching common surfaces such as water bubblers (and water coolers), door handles, grocery carts, and hand rails. If you do, use hand sanitizer or take a few minutes to wash your hands. Believe us, you’d be surprised how many germs are spread through contact.
Try to avoid the “sickies.”
If you can, stay home when you’re sick—or when you’re invited over to a friend who you know is sick. As much as you want to comfort a sick friend or keep them company, opt instead to call them or delay your visit until they’re feeling better. You’ll both be healthier if you do.
Try not to touch your face.
It’s amazing how much we touch our face and don’t realize it. It’s gross how often we touch our face and send germs into our body. If you’re enjoying some tasty treats from the company candy jar, at a party, or in a million other social situations, avoid touching your face as much as possible.
We know what your preschool and kindergarten teacher told you. When it’s cold and flu season, ignore their advice and keep your food and drinks to yourself. Don’t share drinks, and resist the urge to pass around anything that everyone can bite off of.
Teach your kids.
The family that gets sick together, stays together. After all, no one else wants to get sick. As much as you enjoy your family’s company, no one wants to be home with a sick kid. Teach your kids healthy habits. Make sure they wash their hands, don’t share food and drinks with their friends, and use hand sanitizer regularly.
Don’t bite your nails.
Biting your nails may help you when you’re nervous, but they are a key way to get all the germs that are on your hands and under your nails. If biting your nails is a nervous habit, find another stress reliever that’ll keep your nails looking beautiful and you from getting sick.