Most of us can attest that February has been just plain cold. And while spring may be around the corner, the lingering cold and changing seasons can lower immunity and increase susceptibility to catching a cold or worse, the flu. That, among other reasons, makes December through February the peak season for catching the flu, though flu activity could last all the way to May.
But just because germs are flying all around doesn’t mean you have to succumb to them. It turns out there are some practical steps you can take to help your body fight off what others may be carrying and “sharing”.
Implement these 8 hacks to give your body every opportunity to stay healthy and strong.
Wash your hands--a lot.
Keeping hands clean goes far in preventing the spread of germs during this season. Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to ensure germ removal. If you wear gloves at work, wash your hands when you take the gloves off. If soap isn’t handy, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby and use it frequently.
Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth
These facial areas provide quick access for germs to your mucous membranes where they can start to wreak their havoc. Even if you’re washing your hands frequently, you may forget on occasion--and wiping your nose or rubbing your eye could be all it takes to get you sick.
During the open season for flu and colds, try to avoid sharing office equipment, tools, food, computers or other items with your coworkers. Germs love to congregate, so, where many hands have been, you can bet they (germs) will be there too.
Get a flu shot
A flu shot introduces a low dose of the flu virus into your body. This engages your body’s immune responses to body fight it off so, helping it become stronger and more ready to prevent and fight off future germs that may try to drag you down.
Wipe down your workspace
Your workspace may look clean, but it could be festering with germs. Use an alcohol-based cleaner (or sanitizing wipes) to wipe down your desk, door handles, machines, or any public-shared equipment.
Did you know that the food you eat plays a major role in staying healthy? It can give you more energy--and your body the nutrition it needs to fight back against germs. While healthy food is always important, eating foods rich in Vitamin C and Zinc can strengthen your immunity and give your body fighting power when you need it most--right now.
Stay home if you’re not feeling well
If you’ve already caught something, taking the time to rest up could do wonders for helping you kick it fast--and prevent your passing it along to unsuspecting coworkers. Operating heavy machinery can also be dangerous if you’re not feeling well--particularly if you’re on medications that could leave you feeling drowsy. If you don’t feel like taking a sick day, see if you can work from home. Your boss will likely be okay with it, glad that you are thinking about the health of everyone else.
Keep your distance
Whether you’ve been feeling a bit under the weather or there’s been a cold or flu bug going around, keeping some distance between you and your coworkers is a good idea for you and for them. Try to maintain 6 feet between yourself and others. And if you must attend meetings, or shake hands, be sure to wash your hands.
If you’re already sick, we hope you’re reading this from home. Get plenty of rest. Drink fluids. Check with your doctor to see what medicine you can take to help relieve unwelcome symptoms like stuffy nose, runny nose, fever, body aches, headaches, cough and more.
Follow these hacks and you'll be able to keep working hard so you can actually enjoy your time off instead of lying in bed waiting to feel better.