The change of seasons is upon us, bringing with it cool, refreshing air, falling leaves, and seasonal viruses that can ruin someone’s day in a hurry. Yes, while the leaves are changing colors, making the world beautiful, the cold and flu are making it so that infected parties can’t enjoy the coming fall.
Fortunately, there are steps to take to reduce your chances of being infected by these viruses, so that you can spend your days enjoying what the season has to offer. Here are some steps you can take to start preparations for the cold and flu season.
Stock Up on Natural Immunity Boosters and Treatments
Prevention is always preferable to treatment when it comes to illnesses. There are various sources of natural supplements and dietary habits you can use to boost your immunity to fight colds and the flu.
During this time of year, it’s wise to ensure you’re reaching your Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) of vitamins and minerals, with a particular focus on vitamin C. Rather than just popping vitamin C supplements and drinking more orange juice, look at trying to increase your micronutrients across the board. Eating a diverse diet of minimally-processed foods will help prevent micronutrient deficiencies, keeping your immune system strong.
It’s also wise to have natural treatments on hand, so you don’t have to run to the store when the germs take hold. Honey is more than a sweetener– it’s a must-have treatment for a sore throat. Additionally, having essential oils, particularly eucalyptus oil (which is reminiscent of Vicks VapoRub) can be helpful when placed in a diffuser or humidifier.
Remind Your Family of Hygienic Practices
Now is a good time to remind your family members, particularly children, of the importance of proper hygiene and cold prevention practices. One of the easiest ways to stop the transmission of germs is to ensure that everyone is taking the time to wash their hands with warm, soapy water. Additionally, getting used to coughing or sneezing in the crease of one’s elbow rather than into their hands is a smart cold-prevention habit to get into.
Keeping surfaces throughout the home clean, such as taps and doorknobs, will also help prevent the spread of the cold and flu viruses. Consider using a mix of vinegar and hot water to keep surfaces clean and germ-free without harmful chemicals.
Consider Getting the Flu Shot
There is lots of controversy about getting the annual flu shot, and it’s ultimately a personal choice. That being said, it’s an option worth considering if you or someone in your family has reduced immunity related to age (both infants and the elderly are more susceptible to illness) or health issues (cancer patients, for example). It’s these reasons that most health care providers get the flu shot every year.
The controversy surrounding the flu shot mainly surrounds the efficacy. The flu shot is usually based on the previous year, and an estimation of what strains of the influenza virus will be most prevalent during this flu season. Despite having the best minds on the task, sometimes the scientists are wrong, due to unforeseen circumstances like extended periods of unseasonal temperatures. Some individuals feel that the flu shot makes them sick or avoid excess shots for personal reasons, such as fear of needles.
Start a Sleep Routine
Your body needs sleep to function at an optimal level. Sleep deprivation can not only have an impact on your immunity, but it can also disrupt your hormones. You may be all too aware of the impacts sleep– or a lack thereof– can have on your body, if you’re someone who rarely gets sick until you spend a night tossing and turning.
Starting a sleep routine now will help you get adequate rest as the days get shorter and the germs start coming home. Stay away from screens up to an hour before bedtime, as blue light can disrupt your natural circadian rhythm. Start to cut back on your caffeine intake or alter your consumption to stop ingesting caffeine after lunchtime. Create an environment that promotes sleep, creating a dark, cool room with optional sound blockers.
A significant percentage of our bodies are made of water. As such, it makes sense that drinking water has a positive impact on our bodies overall. Drinking water helps flush toxins from your body, improves your blood flow, and can help you feel better in general.
When you have a cold, it often feels like your entire face is leaking. Your nose is runny non-stop, you’re sneezing, and your eyes are watering. With the flu, the effects are exacerbated with vomiting and diarrhea.
Start prepping for cold and flu season by getting used to an increased water intake. Not only will you be continuously flushing your system, you’ll be ready if a virus takes hold.
It’s never too early to be prepared for cold and flu season. Take these steps to get ready for the colder months, and experience the beauty of fall in good health.
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