As soon as the scarfs and mittens become a part of your daily wardrobe the common cold starts to run rampant.
I recently have fallen victim to the winter cold that I swear is never ending. The works: bring on the soup sore throat, head going to explode, tissue box on empty…you get the picture. I joked to a co-worker that I wanted a day off work just not a SICK day. I want to blame the subway, but I think the winter chill always does me in! Needless to say, I need to step up my cold prevention skills when the first sniffle appears so that I am not spending time in bed having a cold-ridden pity party for myself.
When you feel that cold coming on, here are tips to steering clear of the medicine aisle:
Savor Rest and Relaxation: My first mistake. The day I felt a little “blah” I proceeded to stay out for hours. A little rest can put your immune system to work. If you have been ignoring that book or if your DVR is piling up with your favorite shows now is the time to kick your feet up for the sake of your sniffles.
Sing the Hand Washing Song: We all wash our hands after we touch raw meat or use the restroom, but your hand washing skills need to go into overdrive during sick season. The CDC says that a thorough and proper hand wash lasts 20 seconds with warm, soapy water. That is the classic birthday song TWICE. Most colds are spread by direct contact so get suds-ing!
Don’t Cover your Mouth…well, sort of: Unless you want to be washing your hands even more grab a tissue when you feel that tickle in your nose. Germs can easily be passed from your hands to the things you touch most and live there for hours so when you touch your face, your phone, a doorknob, you are letting that cold bug hang around longer than it should. Keep Kleenex on your desk and cough into your elbow if you must.
Liquids are Not for Losers: Drinking plenty of fluids helps flush your system which keeps you hydrated and helps prevent infection. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day per the Mayo Clinic. This is also a great time to get creative with your hydrating habits. My Spa Water has great recipes that include fruits and herbs that can supercharge your immune system like this all natural headache tamer made with water and apples. The classic tea with honey and chicken noodle soup are also great pre-cold hydrators.
Make a Sauna out of your Bathroom: A steam shower is as close to a spa as I get to these days, but I have to say it is one of my favorite ways for at-home winter pampering. Get that water to a bearable, hot temperature and close the bathroom door for a DIY sauna. The steam helps open up your airways to sooth your breathing and relaxes your body from head-to-toe. This is part 2 in the R & R phase while also relieving your body of any cold symptoms that are popping up.
Disinfect and Go Disposable: Stock up on your paper products and Clorox disinfecting wipes. Colds can spread through cups, towels and silverware so consider switching to paper products to keep the germs in the trash and out of the house. Wipe down all of the highly used surfaces often. Don’t forget everything on your work desk (keyboard, mouse, phone, favorite coffee mug) and your at-home favorites like your cell phone, remote control and light switches. Keep the germ-spreading to a minimum!
With these prevention tips you can say good riddance to your almost-sickness!
Have you had a cold this winter? What are your cold-fighter tactics?
Photo 3 courtesy of MySpaWater