It’s that time of year again. It seems there are a lot of sick people around, coughing and sneezing.
If there’s one thing that’s a real drag, it’s getting sick. It feels like such a waste of time lying around waiting to feel better.
Here are some strategies that have worked for me for not getting sick in the first place. I rarely get sick so I think I can safely say it works. I know you probably already know all these strategies but it's always a good reminder.
Wash your hands often.
I know we hear this all the time, but ask yourself if you're actually doing it.
This is the most basic and most important, don’t let the germs get into your body in the first place.
Wash your hands as soon as you get home. I’ve gotten my whole family into this habit and it makes a big difference. I recommend using moisturizer often so your hands don’t get too dried out.
If you’re going to be eating food and touching it with your hands, make sure you wash your hands first! Popcorn, chips, hot dog, hamburger, fries, apple, muffin, etc. It astounds me how often I see this not happening!
If you can, carry wet wipes with you (like in your purse) so you don’t always have to go off to the washroom to wash your hands. When my son was a baby I got into the habit of carrying wet wipes with me and they were so handy it stuck. Now whenever we’re eating out at a restaurant I hand out wet wipes to “wash” our hands before eating and at movies before we have popcorn, etc. I also have a pack of wet wipes in the glove compartment of the car and in my gym bag.
Don’t touch stuff:
Don’t touch your face unless your hands are clean. Don’t rub your eyes, scratch your ear, put your fingers on your mouth unless you’ve washed you hands. If you can’t wash your hands use a tissue (carry those mini tissue packs with you) or a shirt sleeve to wipe your eye. You'll also be preventing eye infections.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand, not only are you taking in germs by putting your hand on your mouth, you're also putting germs on your hand that you will be spreading around when you touch things.
Press the elevator button with your elbow or key.
Cover your hand with your sleeve to open a door or when available use the wheelchair accessible automatic door (press the door opener with your elbow or your hip).
Steer clear of sniffly, coughly and sneezly people!
Take Vitamin C daily.
Boost your immunity so if your body takes in germs it can fight it off. Double up if you’re feeling run down or you’ve been in contact with a sick person.
Drink lots of water.
I aim for 8 glasses a day. It flushes toxins and germs out of your system plus so much more.
Don’t let yourself get run down:
Monitor your sleep. Aim for at least 8 hours a night. Make up for lost sleep with a nap if you can. Before you go to bed, make note of what time you have to get up and turn out the light at least 8 hours before.
Don’t skip meals and get really hungry, you’re immunity goes down and you’re more susceptible to catching germs.
Eat nutrient rich food to boost your immunity: vegetables, fruits and low fat proteins (meat, fish, chicken, beans, eggs).
Be in touch with how you feel. I can always tell when I may be getting sick; I feel tired and run down and I usually have a headache. This is my body sending me a signal, if I hear it I can prevent myself from getting sick. I listen to what my body is telling me and take these steps to thwart the virus from taking hold:
I try and take a nap. If I don’t have time, I have a short rest; 10 minutes on the couch or just sitting still and focusing on relaxing.
I boost my water intake to 2 litres a day.
I double my Vitamin C.
I eat extra healthy.
At time like this, strangely my body craves a “Power Muffin” from Whole Foods, this seems to be the tell tale sign for me. This is a super rich muffin packed with lots of nutrients. It’s practically a meal in itself, I would say it’s 400 – 500 calories. Not something to eat often.
Don’t let yourself get cold for too long. The bodies energy goes into trying to warm you up and your immunity goes down.
For me, feeling chilly when I’m not in a chilly place is a sign that I’m coming down with something. I make sure to make an effort to warm up; I bundle up more, go to the sauna or have a hot bath until I no longer feel cold.
I would say 99% of the time I’m able to prevent myself from getting sick, usually within a day I feel back to normal.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!