With cold and flu season around the corner, many of you are going to be feeling a little bit anxious, and most will be especially concerned for young children or the elderly. As such you’ll want to plan and do everything you can to ensure that your family is struck those nasty winter bugs. While you can’t avoid these treacherous bugs entirely, you can plan how to cope with illness and consider what you can do to lower the chances of falling victim and becoming sick.
Let’s walk through a few of these measures so that you and your family stand the best chance of staying healthy this winter.
How to stop your family getting ill this winter
Get Serious About Sleep
One of the most important things you need to do is get a good night’s sleep. A big part of protecting yourself and your family from the common cold and flu is keeping your immune system as strong as possible.
Sleep is the prime-time when the immune system ‘recharges itself’, so if you aren’t getting enough, you can be sure that it is going to have a major impact on your body’s ability to resist illness. You’ll eventually start to feel run down and tired and your body will be more likely to suffer from invading bacteria and viruses.
Kids especially need more sleep than adults so make sure they’re getting it. Most will benefit from 11-12 hours nightly.
Load Up On Immunity Boosting Foods
Adding some delicious immunity boosting foods to your diet is also important if you hope to keep your immune system strong and the cold and flu away. Always look to eating vitamin C loaded options such as oranges, grapefruit, berries, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get kids to eat enough, or even we adults often don’t find the time to get in enough vitamin-rich foods. In such cases, opting for a natural organic vitamin C supplement is the perfect choice. These supplements are potent sources of immune building vitamins and guarantee that your body gets what it needs for optimum defense. Take for e.g Natural Camu Camu Powder, just one teaspoon provides you with a whopping 1180% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C! To put that into perspective, that’s 46 times more than that of oranges.
If you’re looking to really boost you immune system there are some incredible, yet sadly relatively unknown foods that can really supercharge you immune system. One such source is natural olive leaf extract, which has been used for centuries to help support the immune system fight off the cold and flu.
On top of that, make sure that you are getting plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in as well. Salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds are amazing sources these important fats. Your body can’t actually produce these fats on its own, so it’s critical to get it from a dietary source. Again, if you’re looking for convenient options, there are quite a few natural supplements you can opt for, such as the ever popular Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blends.
Get Control Over Stress
Managing stress is another critical thing you need to be doing. While younger children aren’t likely to have that much stress in their life, older kids who are facing school exams or deadlines may start to show signs. As an adult however you’ll without a doubt experience stress on a regular basis.
Learning good stress management techniques – journaling, exercising, talking to others, or doing something that relaxes you every day such as taking a bath or reading a good book are important.
Older kids don’t often comprehend stress and aren’t equipped with the knowledge on how to cope with it. So if you do have kids in high school it’s a great idea to take the time to try to teach them how to handle and work through stress, because if their stress persists, the chances of a cold or flu setting in will be that much more likely. It’s a very common trend to see many students falling ill immediately following exams and this is due, in part to all the stress they experience leading up to exams.
The good news is that through proper techniques and just choosing your decisions in life wisely, you can get a much better hold over stress.
Wash, Wash, Wash… Your Hands That Is
One of the main things that you’ll want to be doing on a regular basis is washing your hands. Hand transfer is one of the easiest and most common ways that germs are spread so if you aren’t careful, you could fall prey.
It isn’t just you spreading germs though. Remember that you should also be concerned about germs that land on your hands, which you can then easily transfer to your body should you rub your eyes, or put your fingers in your mouth. Kids again are especially prone to this as they are always touching their face.
If you really want to protect yourself, get into the habit of washing your hands once every few hours, regardless of whether you use the bathroom. You’ll also want to wash your hands after you’ve been in public places and may have touched things that other people have touched.
Scrub, scrub, and SCRUB those hands clean! Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to wash their hands properly or thoroughly enough to really remove all germs and bacteria.
If you really want to go an extra step, there are some really good natural hand wash products out there that not only kill germs, but also feed your skin with nutrients to keep your hands soft and healthy.
Limit Your Exposure to colds and flu
Finally, be choosy where you spend your time. If there is a bad bug going around, consider refraining from taking your family out to crowded public places altogether. Remember that sometimes germs are airborne – if someone coughs that’s standing around you, there is a chance that you will catch their cold – sneezing is even worse. If it’s a crowded area, you may not realise that someone has sneezed and you could easily walk into a mist of nasty bugs. If those germs enter through your noise, there’s a very good chance you will fall sick.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sit at home for fear of getting sick, but do avoid very crowded public places whenever possible.
So keep these tips in mind and with any luck, you will have a cold and flu-free season this year. Remember, a little bit of prevention goes a long way and it’s a whole lot easier (and bearable) than treatment.