Happy New Year! It is 2018, and we are well into cold and flu season. As a matter of fact, I’ve been sick on and off since right after Thanksgiving. So, who better to give advice about staying healthy during this particularly horrific flu season than me?!
First off, just because you get the flu shot DOES NOT mean you will not get the flu.
We all had our flu shot this year, and we all caught the flu. For whatever reason, this year the effectiveness of the shot was 39% or lower, according to CDC, due to the different viruses circulating. So, if you need the updated info on that head over to their website.
Generally, we do get vaccinated every year, or at least the kids do. I am not the person that is going to stir up that debate. Educate yourself and do what works for your family. The only vaccine that we have purposely opted out of was the Gardisil vaccine for my teen daughters. We researched for quite some time before coming to that decision, and I still think it was the right decision to make for our daughters.
The week of Christmas I was so sick. My two younger children had caught the flu first, and we had fevers, vomiting, the whole nine. I knew for sure it was going to spread through the house like wildfire. Surprisingly, it moved rather slow. It hit the two little guys for two days, and then miraculously they bounced back. For one day. Then, at the same time both were vomiting all over again. And then I caught it.
As soon as I had my energy back, I went on a mission to disinfect the entire house. Anything to avoid my husband getting sick. Because we all know, the man flu is so much worse. (I just rolled my eyes so hard I almost fell out of my chair)
But seriously, I took extreme precautions to avoid getting him sick. And for the most part, he stayed fairly healthy!
So here are the Do’s and Don’ts for flu season!
Do….Take care of yourself. Or practice “self-care”. (I prefer not to use the latter because it makes me cringe.)
All of the habits that you should be doing to maintain your health fit into this category. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, naturally your immune system will be performing at it’s best, right?
- Remember to take your vitamins! In the winter, it is easy to become deficient in Vitamin D, which lowers your immunity. I take a Vitamin D3 2000 supplement daily. There are also multi-vitamins that have immunity support in them, or add some extra Vitamin C or Zinc.
- Eat healthy! Try to eat the recommended fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, incorporating fish into your diet is a good idea because the Omega-3’s are not only good for your heart and brain, they also support immunity. Adding a serving of greek yogurt to your daily diet will also boost your immunity because they contain live cultures, which are good at keeping the bad bacteria from growing.
- Work out daily. If you don’t have a lot of time to incorporate a trip to the gym, try walking for 30 minutes. Or if you are a mom, running up and down the stairs with your laundry basket five times should suffice.
- Sleep! You should be sleeping between 7 to 8 hours every night. Getting enough rest is a crucial part of being healthy. I cannot function if I do not sleep.
- Wash your hands. Especially before you eat or touch your face. Do it often and for at least 20 seconds with warm water. And you’ll probably want to invest in a good moisturizer.
- Avoid all of the obviously infected people. This is so much easier said than done. The elementary school alone is full of boogery, sneezing, coughing children. From November to March is constant sickness. But, if you are able to avoid it, run for your life and take some Zicam.
Don’t…live haphazardly and eat from a shared chip bowl.
- Seriously. How do people do that? Especially at a bar, sharing nuts from a bowl that someone probably dipped into after using the restroom and failing to wash their hands. Blegh!
- On that note, don’t binge drink. As in, five or more drinks in an hour. This is unhealthy for many reasons, and causes you to be more vulnerable to germs.
- Also, no smoking. I know, I’m such a buzz kill. But smoking is obviously bad for you. It messes with your sinuses, damages your cilia. Mucus starts to back up and bacteria begins to grow. Not to mention, it affects those around you, too. Second hand smoke can increase your risk of getting a respiratory infection.
- Avoid touching your face. If you bite your nails or rub your eyes excessively, you are transferring the germs from your hands to your face.
- Stress! If you feel overly stressed, try to give yourself a little break. It is important for your physical and mental health to take time to regroup and be calm. Having an overload of stress hormones for an extended time is very unhealthy and takes a toll on your immune system.
Alright, so there we have it. Eleven tips for staying healthy this flu season. There are a million other ways to keep your body healthy and fight off all of those germs, but these are the ones that I am implementing. I know I am trying my best to do these things because I hate being sick, and it really is a pain in the butt when you have things to do and children to take care of. Who has time to be sick?! I am just thankful my husband didn’t have it as bad as everyone else.
Let me know what methods you use to keep yourself and your family healthy! So many people use essential oils for health benefits, like Thieves oil. How do you ward off the sickness?