Everyone I know is looking for ways to avoid getting sick. Cold and flu season is almost upon us, and even if you get the flu shot, there’s no guarantee you’ll avoid getting sick. But there are some tried-and-true alternatives that are incredibly effective at warding off infection. What are they, and how do they work, keeping you healthy while everyone else is at home, going through box after box of Kleenex? Here are 8 ways to avoid getting ill.
1. Wash Your Hands
This may sound like a basic, but researchers have shown over and over again that the best way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands, often and thoroughly. You don’t need special antibacterial soap, just warm water and about 1 minute of lather time. Wash every time you handle food, touch your hair, or use the restroom, and also after you come into contact with someone who’s sick and came to work anyway.
2. Eat Well
You are what you eat! So if you eat junk food, you’re going to be a lot more susceptible to illness. Make sure you’re eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies each day, along with lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.
3. Clean These Things
Nasty cold and flu germs reside on things we all touch every day. It’s important to wash your hands after you touch them, and to add a little more sickness prevention, wipe them down every day. What needs a thorough cleaning? Your office phone, restroom door handles, computer keyboards, and the like. Gas pumps are also germ-infested icky-things, but you probably don’t want to go around washing those. Just wash well after you pump gas.
4. Don’t Share
You may be tempted to make poor sick Mary in Accounting a hot cup of tea in your favorite big mug, but don’t. Sharing your cups and spoons and such will only help spread germs, making you as sick as poor Mary. By all means, make her the tea, but use a disposable cup instead.
5. Cover Properly
When you sneeze or cough, rather than using your hand to cover your mouth and nose, use the inside of your elbow, or a tissue if you’re fast enough. Encouraging others to do so is also a way to avoid getting sick… you don’t want to shake hands with the client who just sneezed into his palm, do you?
6. Get Plenty of Rest
It’s always important to get plenty of rest, but especially when you’re trying to avoid getting sick. Most of us need between 7 and 10 hours each night, but few of us get that much. Don’t get run down and tired! That just makes you ripe for the flu.
7. Glower and Glare
What to do when sick co-workers come into work when they ought to be home in bed, away from other humans they could infect? Of course, suggest that they go home! Offer to cover their shift or workload, and if they insist on staying, don’t be above a little glaring. Unless they have a very good reason for staying at work, they ought to be home recovering, rather than infecting the whole office.
Along with lack of proper food and sleep, not coping well with stress can also make you sick. One of the vest ways to avoid getting sick therefore involves relaxing. Mediate. Take a yoga class. Go for a daily run. Take up needlepoint. Find something that helps you unwind, and do it, often. It’s good for your physical and mental health.
All of these ways to avoid getting sick, especially when combined, are marvelous for warding off the cold and flu, but if you should get sick anyway, through no fault of your own, stay home. Misery loves company, but don’t infect your co-workers and fellow students. And get well soon! Unless… you never get sick… How do you stay healthy and avoid getting sick? Which of these tips is your secret, or do you have another idea to share?
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