We all hope it won’t happen to us, but somehow as late winter and early spring roll around, the bad germs and blooming plants abound and, before you know it, it seems like everyone around you has the flu or a cold or that mysterious thing that hangs on forever, lovingly called “The Crud”. Especially prevalent where people gather in larger numbers, office workers and school attendees are especially susceptible. If you have been fortunate to avoid it so far this year, or you want to make sure you don’t get hit again, there are many things you can do wherever you are to minimize your risk of getting sick this time of year. Here is a list of proactive things you can do to protect yourself:
Vitamin Vigilance – Now is an especially important time to be diligent about taking your vitamins. We know that a multi-vitamin, probiotics, vitamin D, vitamin C, and Zinc are effective in supporting healthy living and boosting the immune system.
Allergy Awareness – If you know you struggle with environmental or food allergies, do your best to minimize exposure where possible and seek quality treatment for your allergies. Left to fester, the relentless attack on the immune system and the resulting inflammation often leads to infection and illness. Today, there are numerous effective treatments to minimize the effects of seasonal allergies and promote healthy living and immune function. Call our office to speak to a wellness consultant about sublingual allergy drops!
Hand Hygiene – Our hands are useful and relentlessly busy, and this means they touch many surfaces and people throughout the day. Unfortunately, we also eat with them, touch our noses and lips, and cough into them. As a result, they are a major carrier of germs to and from other people and high-traffic surfaces. Here are some easy health tips: Keep hands clean using soap and warm water or citric acid/essential oil-based anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. Keep your hands away from your nose and mouth and never eat food with your bare hands without washing them well first.
Germ Gatherings – So where do these pesky little microbes tend to hang out together? Most of us fear public toilet seats, but you may be surprised to know that studies have shown they are one of the cleaner surfaces found in public areas because restrooms are generally cleaned on a daily basis. Do you work in a healthy workplace? The greatest populations of viruses and bacteria are found on surfaces that are used often, but not cleaned regularly. The germiest include desktops, office break room tables, restaurant tables (the rags to wipe them are usually not sanitized after each wipe), phones, computer mice and keyboards, grocery cart handles, and escalator rails. Cleaning your personal workspace daily, washing your hands after using others’ workspaces and encouraging others to do the same, are ways to minimize your exposure. It is a good idea to carry an antibacterial hand sanitizer to use after coming in contact with grocery carts, escalator rails, and other heavily handled surfaces.
Sugar, Stress, and Sleep Shortages – These little devils seem to hang out together when life gets busy and deadlines are looming. We become overly stressed, we have less time for a good night’s sleep or some exercise to relax us so we reach for a sugary treat to comfort our frustration. Unfortunately, we have created the perfect storm for a bacteria or virus to jump on board and do a happy dance on us. During this germy season, it is the very best time and reason to make wise snack choices, get a quick walk in during the lunch hour and get to bed on time. Avoid reaching for the bowl of candy at the office or resorting to the donut in the break room. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease. Instead, keep pre-packaged single serving nuts, small mandarin oranges, low sugar KIND bars, and herbal teas at your desk (or in the office bowl of treats) to provide good nutrition and comfort. Take a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, stand up, and take a deep breath to reduce stress and move the body. Use 15 minutes of your lunch break to walk up a couple flights of stairs and back or around the building outside. Then when you get home, be sure to get a good night’s sleep.
Sit and Stay! –If you are sick, stay home. If you are a manager, encourage your team members to do the same thing. If you are a parent, keep your sick children home. There are no heroics in bringing germs to the office or schoolroom to share with everyone else. Rest will also allow the body to heal more rapidly.