As we swing from summer to fall, it always seems like a lot of people start to get sick. I’m not sure if it’s the temperature swings, or just because we’re all starting to be inside more so the germs spread easier…but either way, I think all of us would like to avoid getting sick altogether. So today I wanted to share some tips for keeping you and your loved ones healthier through this flu season.
How to Stay Healthy in Flu Season:
- Get a flu shot. I know that a lot of people don’t believe in getting a flu shot or are afraid because, lets be honest, it hurts! I also hear this excuse a lot, “I got the flu shot last year, and I still got the flu.” Yes, that definitely can happen. But I truly believe that getting a flu shot is an important annual routine. And yes, it may not always be effective against every strain of flu, but it’s one more way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Why wouldn’t you take every weapon you can? Plus, you’re not only protecting your family. By getting a flu shot, you’re helping to protect the individuals at risk who aren’t able to get one themselves (people who are allergic, elderly individuals, etc.).
- Wash your hands. You’re probably saying, “duh.” But honestly, this is a big problem! And it isn’t something you should just do after using the bathroom. Wash your hands after the gym (like, before you get into your car and touch the steering wheel!), after the supermarket (you touched a gross cart, not to mention all of the products other people touched and then put back), after you go shopping, etc. I like to keep a little pack of baby wipes in my car, too, so that when I don’t have access to soap and water, I can still clean my hands before touching everything in my car.
- Pump up the Vitamin C. And no, I’m not talking EmergenC or Airborne, even though I have used those products before. I truly believe the BEST way to prevent illness is to eat healthy (and exercise). A healthy immune system will be able to fight off most bugs. So get eating those fruits and veggies, especially the green leafy ones. If you feel a little under the weather, start munching on salad or whip up a green smoothie.
And if you DO get sick (because, lets be honest, it happens to everyone):
- Use a sinus rinse/neti pot. A lot of people are grossed out by this, but honestly since I started using a sinus rinse, I’ve been able to fend off most colds and even sinus infections in a quicker time! Plus, it helps clear you out so you can actually breathe. Just trust me on this one, give it a try. I actually use mine when I have really bad allergies, too.
- Don’t drink alcohol. This was something that really irked me in college. Someone would get sick, and then they would go out to the bars and stay up all night and complain when their cold suddenly got worse. Um, hello. Alcohol weakens your immune system. Take a weekend off, and kick back on the couch. You can catch up on Netflix, and watch Zootopia (I just watched it this week, and it is SO GOOD)
- Get enough sleep/rest. Getting sick is a sign for your body to take a break. I know we aren’t always able to escape all of our responsibilities to let ourselves heal for a few days, but try to lay down as much as possible and sleep as much as possible.
When I get sick, I usually go see my acupuncturist, because I’ve found that acupuncture is something that works for me. But that’s a personal preference, and I know not everybody is open to alternative medicine. It should always be something you discuss with your doctor first, and do your research on where you go!
Good luck staying healthy this season! Fingers crossed for all of you lovely readers out there.