It is that time of the year again and we are entering the dreaded cold and flu season. Nothing is worse than coming down with the flu. For that reason, I want to give you some tips on how to stay healthy and prevent illness during this year’s cold and flu season.
Wash Your Hands
The number one way to prevent illness and the spread of disease, whether it is flu season or not, is by washing your hands. This is so simple, but I cannot stress this enough. When you are out in public or even in your own home, you come in contact with so many different germs when you touch different things. When those germs are on your hands and you do things like touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, it allows those germs and illnesses to enter your body.
Just think, washing your hands more regularly could be the small difference between having to lay in bed sick for a couple days and feeling healthy and perfectly well. It is important to remind the people around us to practice good hand hygiene as well, as this is a great way to prevent the spread of illnesses.
Get The Flu Shot
As a nurse, I take care of many patients during this time of the year who have to be hospitalized due to the Flu. These patients are miserable and sometimes too weak and dehydrated to even stand. Try and save yourself from this by getting yourself the flu shot. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is by getting the annual flu vaccine.
It is recommended that you get this vaccine starting in October but can continue all throughout the flu season, which can extend into January and sometimes even later. It is better to get it later, than never. For more information related to the flu vaccine, you can check out the CDC website.
Get Enough Rest
Sleep and adequate amounts of rests are so important, especially during the cold and flu season. When your body is sleep deprived, it weakens your immune system. This will make you even more vulnerable to getting sick. Try to make sleep a priority and aim to get around 7 or 8 hours of good sleep each night.
Enjoy a Daily Cup of Tea
Many teas are powerful immune boosters. One of my absolute favorite types of tea, that works wonders for recharging your immune system is Matcha Green Tea. There are many other teas out there that work well also. If you are a fan of Teavana, they make a Defense Wellness Tea. It is a delicious white tea that is full of vitamin C. If you are not a fan of tea, try a simple cup of hot lemon water in the morning. Lemon water has many benefits as well, with immunity support being one of them.
A daily probiotic can do wonders for your body. If you are not familiar with all of the benefits of probiotics, you can check them out here. The lining of your intestines actually plays a major role in helping your immune system to fight off viruses and other illnesses. Probiotics help to keep your digestive system healthy. As a result, this strengthens your immune system. Since taking probiotics, I have noticed a huge difference in my body’s ability to stay healthy and fight off colds.
Supplements: Emergen-C & Airborne
When it comes to preventing common colds and the flu, I have two favorite supplements. Whenever I know that I am going somewhere where I am most likely going to come in contact with many germs, I like to be proactive and take these supplements.
The first one is the Emergen-C packets. You can find these supplements at your local drug or grocery store. These packets come in a powder form and dissolve into water. They are filled with vitamins and electrolytes that give your body’s immune system a major boost, while also providing a natural source of energy.
The second supplement is Airbone. Airborne comes in the form of gummies, chewable tablets, or effervescent tablets that dissolve into water. These supplements are packed with vitamins, minerals, and herbs that all support a healthy immune system.
I am a nurse, so coming in contact with people who are sick is inevitable. I like to take of these supplements prior to going into work. Also, these supplements are great when traveling on an airplane. I used to get sick almost every time I would travel somewhere on a plane. Now that I take these prior to each flight, I very rarely get sick. These supplements really are a game changer during the cold and flu season.
Wheatgrass is full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that help to detox your body and support healthy immune functions. Believe it or not, wheat grass actually contains more vitamin C than oranges! The best way to consume wheatgrass is by consuming fresh squeezed wheatgrass, within fifteen minutes of being juiced, and on an empty stomach. This allows your body to better absorb all of the nutrients that wheatgrass has to offer. Many smoothie and juice bar locations are now selling fresh shots of wheat grass. However, if you are not able to obtain fresh squeezed wheatgrass, it is also sold in the form of powders and tablets.
Not only does exercise help maintain a healthy body in the long run, but research has shown that it also helps to fight off colds and the flu as well. This goes back to the basic principle that the better you take care of your body, the better your body will function. Just simply getting up and moving around throughout the day helps to keep you healthy. This helps to get your blood circulating, allowing antibodies to move throughout your body faster and detect illnesses sooner.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is something that has been used for thousands of years due to its known antimicrobial properties. I like to put a few drops of tea tree oil right below my nasal passages. This helps not only to prevent bacteria from entering my nose but it also works wonders for nasal congestion as well. The best way to do this is by diluting the tea tree oil with another carrier oil in a 1:1 ratio. A great carrier oil that I like to use is coconut oil. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties as well, along with many other benefits. You can check out more about coconut oil here.
Clean Your Phone
Have you every noticed how often you touch your phone throughout the day? Just think of all of the things that you touch as you go about your day, with your phone being the middle man for many of those interactions. For example, imagine that you touch an elevator button full of germs right after someone with a cold has touched it. Then while you are in the elevator you are likely to pull out and touch your phone. All of those germs are then transferred to your phone. When your phone rings, then you bring it up to your face. This is the perfect set up for the spread of the cold and flu.
One way to prevent this is by regularly cleaning off your phone. Pre-moistened antibacterial wipes work perfectly for this job. This not only prevents the cold and flu, but for a lot of people it helps prevent breakouts on the cheeks as well.
I hope that these tips help you to stay healthy this cold and flu season. What are some tips or tricks that you use to stay healthy?