Being sick is far from fun.
Sure, you get to take a few days off from work and school to catch up on the TV episodes that you’ve PVR-ed while wrapped up in your Snuggie, but let’s not forget the excruciating feeling of being constantly cold, having the annoying drippy nose, and living with the painful dry cough that makes people riding in the same elevator as you take two steps back.
When you’re constantly on the go and you’re busy knocking off items on your work, school and your personal to-do lists, it’s easy to lose control of your physical health and become an easy target for the latest illness.
Although it’s hard to avoid being sick when you’re surrounded by people who have who-knows-what germs at work, at school, or on public transit, it’s easy to prevent your chances of getting sick this year by being armed with the following accoutrements: packets of tissues and hand sanitizer, as well as these simple tips:
1. Wash your hands often.
Have you seen those posters in the public restrooms that give you step-by-step instructions on how to wash your hands properly? Don’t laugh them off; heed those steps. Washing your hands with warm water and soap is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent infections and illnesses from spreading. Don’t just think that you should be washing your hands only before and after eating because washing your hands should be done at all times of the day, especially when you come in close contact with people who are sick.
2. Stay home when you feel like you’re getting sick or if you are actually sick.
We’re all guilty of still heading to work or school when we’re run down, but even though we think we’re being productive, we’re not; actually, we’re passing on our illnesses to everyone around us. When you’re sick you’re not only having a hard time functioning and focusing at the same level as you normally do, but you’re also going to be pushing yourself beyond your limits, which can lead to worsening your symptoms and stretching your recovery period. The best thing to do when you’re feeling under the weather is to stay home, rest, and recuperate, even if that means having to use up a few sick days at work, or rescheduling a test.
3. Avoid coming in close contact with those around you.
When you’re sick or when someone around you is sick, the last thing you want to do is give a person a big hug, let alone breathe in the same air space as them. It’s important to keep in mind that illnesses (no matter the severity) have the potential to be passed on, so it’s best to keep your distance. The best practices to keep in mind when around sick people or if you’re sick, is to cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm to prevent the spread of germs from your hands to the next thing you touch (think about all the things you touch in a day), and to keep your hands away from your face until you have a chance to wash them (did you know that the most common way to contract an illness is by touching your face with your germ-contaminated hands?).
4. Practice healthy living.
Whether you’re sick or not, you should always practice living a healthy lifestyle because by doing so, you can improve and strengthen your immune system. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet, getting at least 7 hours of sleep, exercising regularly, and taking care of your personal health needs are only some essential ways to help your body defend itself against any illness. And if you’re not already leading a healthy lifestyle, it’s never too late to start. Yes, the transition and results won’t be easy or immediate, but by working on your health goals, over time you will achieve the perfect balance. Getting your daily supplement of vitamin C, doing some yoga, eating lots of leafy greens and going to bed early: that’s how to keep your immune system in fighting form!
For more articles about how you can stay healthy and fit this year, check out the Health & Fitness section.
Written by Kels Tham