Cold And Flu Prevention Mistakes
I can’t get sick I can’t get sick I can’t get sick. This might be the little chant you’ve been thinking or even saying out loud ever since cold and flu season begun. Nobody can afford to get sick. Everybody has something they’d rather be doing—or need to be doing—than being stuck in bed for days. And you know you’d much rather burn one of your “sick days” on a vacation than on actually being sick and doing nothing. As we start to hear our friends sniffling, sneezing, and coughing, we’re all scrambling to fortify ourselves against germs and viruses. Anyone could be a threat. Your neighbor coughs once and now you take the long way around the building to get to your front door, just to avoid her. It’s good that you’re taking precautions, so long as you’re taking the right ones. Here are cold and flu prevention mistakes we all make.
Eating an orange and calling it a day
You eat an orange every day in order to get your vitamin C needs and boost your immunity. But an orange only contains about half your daily vitamin c needs—or less if it’s a small one. Just take a supplement so you can be sure to blast your body with this important vitamin.
When your friend says she’s not contagious
Your friend has been sick for a week, but you had plans to hang out today. She insists she isn’t contagious. But…is she a doctor? Even if she is, she really can’t say for certain if she’s no longer contagious. Don’t take her word for it. Reschedule for next week.
Stressing about it
Try, if you can, to relax. Have an at-home spa night. Don’t stress out, constantly, about the possibility of becoming sick. That stress alone can lower your immune system.
Overworking in prep for sick days
So you’ve just accepted the fact that you will get sick eventually, and are working yourself to the bone now so when that day comes, you’re ahead on your tasks. But overworking yourself now, and not sleeping enough, could be the exact thing that makes you sick. Just go on about your tasks as normal.
Getting a massage
You go to release toxins from your body, but massage parlors and spas can be hotbeds for germs—especially this time of year. If you really want a massage, hire someone to your home.
Washing your hands incorrectly
You’re washing your hands a lot but are you washing them correctly? Make sure to suds up properly and rinse for a long time. The whole process should take at least 20 seconds.
Only washing your hands
If you’re the only one washing your hands and sanitizing surfaces in your home, then that won’t do you much good. Put up signs reminding everyone in your household to wash their hands often and properly, and wipe down surfaces like kitchen tables and refrigerator doors.
Getting the shot too late
Flu season begins around the beginning of November. Ideally, you should have already received your flu shot by now. But if you haven’t and you’re still healthy, go get it ASAP.
Relying on your immune system
Don’t believe that just because you rarely get sick that you won’t get sick. Don’t tell yourself that you just have some super human immune system that’s always done you well and will continue to do so. Maybe your immune system isn’t incredible—maybe you’ve taken good care of it without realizing it. So consciously continue to do so.
Hitting the gym to stay healthy
You want to work out more to keep your body feeling strong and boost your immunity. Perhaps don’t do so at the gym—at least not during this time of year. Community workout equipment plus sweat equals lots of germs. Run the track, go for a hike, or do the stairs. Or, just stay home and do a workout video.
Hiding from the world
You think you can just hide from the world, stay in your apartment, and you won’t get sick. But then you’ll miss out on your Vitamin D, which you get from the sun, and need for a healthy immune system.
Never touching anyone
You won’t hug a friend or snuggle your partner because you refuse to swap germs. But physical touch is actually important for our immune systems. So continue to be affectionate—just make sure the person is healthy, and that everyone has washed their hands.
Getting one, and thinking you’re done
So you already got sick, and have recovered. Now you think you’re free to take risks. You believe you’re in the clear. But there are tons of different strains of the cold and flu viruses, and you could catch a different one.
Stocking up at the pharmacy
You go to the pharmacy to stock up on preventative items. But you know who else is at the pharmacy? Sick people. And they’re touching all the same items you’re touching. Buy your preventative items from the comfort of your laptop, at home.
Maybe you decide to overturn your entire diet in an attempt to fortify your body. So you go vegan. Unfortunately, a vegan diet tends to lack zinc, which you also need to fight off viruses. If you are vegan, make sure to take a zinc supplement.