Spring is just around the corner, and you don’t want to spend the days of warmer weather sniffling and sick in bed. Flu season is at its peak between December and February, so it’s important to know the best practices to protect yourself from getting sick.
Of course, washing your hands often with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds is the best option, but it’s not always available. Stash a couple bottles of hand sanitizer in your backpack, car, or purse. Travel-sized bottles make it easy to keep disinfectant on hand (literally). Anytime you touch a door handle, shopping cart, elevator button, cash register keypad, etc., swipe on some disinfectant because public surfaces are bacteria petri dishes!
Limit Face-to-Face Contact with People
An introvert’s dream and an extrovert’s nightmare. Welcome or not, social distancing is a proven way to prevent spreading the flu throughout your friend group. It’s been difficult to do this throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but at this point, social distancing should be second nature. Miss your buddies? Schedule a Facetime date and catch up on all the exciting things going on at home (you know — crazy Zoom work meetings, new hobbies, and roommate drama).
Get Your Flu Shot
Each year, between 5% and 20% of the United States population contracts the flu. Receiving the flu shot every year is a good way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. However, this vaccine is not 100% effective, so it’s still important to practice other precautions as well.
Stay Physically Healthy
Now is the best time to stay on track with your New Year’s Resolutions to eat healthy and exercise. Filling your plate with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein will support your immune system and overall health. Of course, you can still order the occasional greasy takeout or treat yourself to an ice cream cone but eating out every day isn’t good for your body—and wallet. Try to cook more homemade meals, be mindful about the ingredients in your food, and move your body every day. Taking care of yourself will ensure that your immune system can stay strong throughout flu season.
Slow down on the soda and other sugary drinks, especially during this time of year. Staying hydrated will strengthen your immune system so your body will be able to fight sickness-causing germs and viruses. Always keep a reusable water bottle nearby so that you can quench your thirst whenever the urge strikes. Depending on your gender, age, and weight, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you drink between 11-15 cups of water per day.
How do you protect yourself from the flu? Tell us in the comments below!