Stomach bugs. Bad colds. That nasty flu you hear about on the news. It’s hard to not feel surrounded by sickness—and that you and your family are going to be next ones collapsed on the couch or in bed for the duration. Don’t worry. There is hope in the battle to keep all those nasty illnesses out of your home (and your body!).
Don’t rush through hand washing.
No matter how busy you are, take the time to wash your hands properly every time you touch a door, shake hands, or before you eat. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds each time. Teach your kids to do the same, and use fun timers and songs (i.e. ABC’s or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) to make it fun. Take your kids to the bathroom before they eat and supervise the hand washing as closely as possible to make sure everyone washes the germs away.
Keep hand sanitizer with you.
When you can’t wash your hands, hand sanitizer is the next best thing. Carry hand sanitizer in your jacket or purse at all times, and use it after you blow your nose, before you eat, and when you touch any common surfaces. Have your kids use the sanitizer as well, and try to keep their hands out of their mouth after using it.
Keep your doctor and dentist appointments.
Preventative care can be one of the most effective ways to ward off illness. Schedule an annual exam with your dentist and doctor to keep your body healthy and catch any issues that might arise in the future.
Working out is a great way to keep your body in top shape, but really challenging to do when Wisconsin temperatures hit sub zero. When you can’t get outside, find other ways to get your body moving. Ask friends and family to take on the challenge with you; it’s a lot easier to keep to a routine when you have a partner to exercise with.
Keep the germs to yourself.
If you do get sick, try to keep your illness to yourself by avoiding dinners, business meetings, and the workplace. Do the same for friends and families; as much as you want to bring them chicken soup, do both yourselves a favor and leave it outside their door (and wash your hands after!). Don’t share drinks, even when you’re healthy.
Keep your hands to yourself (but don’t bite them!)
Hands are a wonderful part of your body, but they are also a key transmitter of germs. Even when you wash your hands, avoid touching your face with your hands. Don’t bite your nails, which can also pass germs into your body. Find other ways to relieve your stress so you don’t end up with one of those nasty bugs that everyone is passing around.