Flu season typically lasts from fall to winter, although it could last until May. Buckle up because we’re going to dive into healthy habits to prevent catching the flu so that we can all live our best lives worry-free.
A new flu vaccine comes out every year because flu viruses evolve quickly. So the vaccine you received last year may not be adequate to fight against the latest virus. Therefore, you must get vaccinated every year to protect yourself from the flu.
Wash Your Hands Often
I think we’ve all heard this one before, but I can’t stress this enough: your most effective defense against viruses and bacteria is to wash your hands with warm water and soap every time you use the bathroom or touch a dirty surface. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend scrubbing your hands and nails for at least 20 seconds, or the length of time it takes to hum the happy birthday song to yourself.
Clean High-Traffic Areas
Whether at home or at work, doorknobs and handles get flooded with bacteria—gross! Keep some Lysol or disinfectant wipes in the house, and make it a habit to clean off these surfaces to prevent catching the flu.
Avoid Sick People
If any of your coworkers are sick and still at work, don’t be afraid to keep your distance. If someone in your household is sick, this will be harder. I find that washing your hands and disinfecting more often when someone in your house has the flu are helpful.
Stay Home if You’re Sick
I don’t think I need to say this, but stay home if you’re sick. No one wants to be around someone who’s constantly coughing or sniffling. Your body needs the rest; if it can’t give you 100 percent, how can you expect to provide that at work, too?
Avoid Touching Your Face
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth during peak flu season. This is a hard tip to remember, because you instinctively do these things without knowing. Just remain conscious of what you’re touching, and you should be fine.
In the end, if you or someone in your household comes down with the flu, don’t hesitate to go to urgent care. Be prepared with questions for your health-care professional along with a list of symptoms. In the meantime, keep your body hydrated, rest, don’t do any extraneous activity, and monitor your temperature. Have a quality thermometer on hand to monitor your temperature or that of your children (or whoever in your home came down sick).
I hate getting sick, and I’m sure most of you do, too. Creating healthy habits can prevent you from getting not only the flu but also other viral infections.