As a cancer survivor and mom, it is imperative that I stay as healthy as possible during flu season.
Getting sick is just a really bad (and potentially dangerous) thing for me.
But cancer or not, few moms have the luxury of staying in bed when we are sick and allowing our bodies to recover.
Instead, most of us must drag our sick butts out of bed and carry on. It’s just a better idea not to get sick at all, if we can help it. Here are tips I got from speaking with my medical team.
I think they’re pretty dang good. Let’s cross fingers that this year’s flu season is nothing. Here’s to health!
1. Wash your hands: Take your time scrubbing your hands with soap. Try reciting the alphabet as you scrub, as it will give you a good gauge on if it has been long enough. Run your hands under warm water and don’t forget to dry them with a clean towel when you are done.
2. Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it often: Germs lurk everywhere. Think about it– you are out and about, pushing grocery carts, touching money and door handles, or shaking hands with others who may be sick. Those germs are now on your hands just waiting for a nice warm environment to multiply. Gross. Even movie theater seat handles, your cell phone, or computer keyboard can be germ magnets. Washing your hands throughout the day is generally not enough so consider using a good hand sanitizer throughout the day. There are great options, too, that don’t have as many harsh chemicals in them. I find them at my local health store and at Whole Foods. Some smell delicious.
3. Get a flu shot: Speak with your doctor prior to make sure that the flu shot is right for you. If it is, consider getting yours right away. Also, consider taking your children because they’ll bring home every virus out there.
4. Keep your hands out of your face, mouth, eyes and nose. Don’t touch your lips either. (I’m not very good at this one.)
5. Avoid sick people: This is a really tough one because we all have responsibilities that put us around all kinds of people, like co-workers, teachers, children, people in stores… But we can avoid small confined spaces (like elevators). If someone looks sick, do not shake hands and generally avoid them.
6. Do not share drinks, food or eating utensils with anyone, ever.
7. Stay away from buffets and store samples: Costco samples may look really tempting and (some) buffets are fabulous, but avoid these at all cost. You have no idea who has coughed or breathed on the food you are about to put in your mouth. (I seriously get grossed out watching children grab and touch all those samples that are sitting out. Pet peeve of mine.)
8. Practice social distancing: Do not shake hands with anyone if you can avoid it. If someone appears sick, stay several feet away.
9. Eat healthy: Some of the most powerful immune-boosting foods to indulge in during flu season include brown rice, Brazil nuts, oysters, salmon, garlic, chicken noodle soup, sweet potatoes, and fresh fruits and veggies. Sugar stresses your immune system (dangit).
10. Get lots of sleep
11. Stay properly hydrated: Water and herbal teas are fantastic options during cooler temps. Drink them often.
12. Get exercise: If it is cold outside, consider indoor activities, which can include cleaning your house, hitting up yoga, or going to a rec center. When the weather permits, fresh air and Vitamin D are priceless so get out when you can.
13. Keep your house clean: Wash surfaces, door handles, remote controls, and even your computer keyboard. Clean homes not only help keep germs at bay but also calm your soul.
More from Lizzy