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7 Tips to Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season: it’s not the most wonderful time of the year (sorry, Andy Williams, your season is coming!). But it is possible to stay healthy during this season of sickness, even if you’re working in a busy office building or your kids are surrounded by congested classmates. Check out our basic health and hygiene tips for staying healthy – and reducing the spread of illness – during cold and flu season. 

Stay Home When You’re Sick

First and foremost, stay home when you’re sick! Lots of us get this wrong and try to power through the workday when we’re not feeling well. However, preventing the spread of illness starts by keeping the illness away from others. Whether it’s work, school or leisure, just stay home.

Avoid Close Contact

When you’re healthy, you can avoid getting sick by keeping some distance between yourself and others (even if they appear healthy). If you do get sick, there will be times when you have to leave home – perhaps to run to the store to grab cough medicine or some chicken soup, or to visit the doctor. While you can’t quite avoid other people completely in those cases, you can avoid close interaction by standing 6 feet apart. If you must go to work, stay in a confined office or other private space.

Cover Your Mouth and Nose

Viruses spread when an infected person sneezes, coughs or even talks. That’s why it’s critical to cover your mouth when you’re sick and prevent those droplets from reaching – and infecting – others around you. Always use a tissue or your elbow to cover your mouth and nose. Even if you don’t feel ill, you could be carrying a virus, so this tip is more of a general health habit and common courtesy everyone should adopt. Wearing a face covering will also help prevent the spread of germs. 

Wash Your Hands

If we learned one thing from public restroom mirror signage during the Covid pandemic, it was this: wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Work the soap into a good lather to scrub every area of the hand and even under fingernails. When there’s no sink in sight, look for alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). 

Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth

When you touch your eyes, nose, and/or mouth after touching something contaminated, you’re giving germs a free invitation to test your immune system. Even if you are able to keep your distance from others (and avoid receiving their germs through droplets in a sneeze or cough), touching these areas of your face after grasping a door handle, break room coffee pot, or other germy surface increases the likelihood for illness. Always wash your hands after touching these surfaces to remove those germs. 

Clean Frequently Touched Surfaces Often

To help combat germs from congregating on these frequently touched surfaces, keep them clean and disinfect regularly. As hard as we might try to avoid touching our faces, we often do it without realizing it – even hundreds of times a day! A clean surface will help reduce the chance of spreading germs, especially on high-touch items like faucets, elevator buttons, doors, etc. 

Get Some Rest

Give your immune system a boost during cold and flu season by getting lots of good sleep. Catching extra Zs does help fight and recover from illness. But sleep is also how our bodies make proteins (cytokines) that fight infection and inflammation. So a full night’s sleep will help fight off any unwanted germs when they do arrive.

Fight Cold & Flu Season with DHS

Turn to DHS for corporate wellness solutions to protect your workforce during cold and flu season – and beyond. Our tailored wellness programs not only help employees build healthy habits, they improve productivity and increase profitability for your organization. Call us today at 858-459-0785 to learn more about how our programs can positively impact your team and your bottom line.