I am 100% not a doctor. I am the opposite of Doctor. But, I’ve been pretty good about avoiding the common cold and flu for the past few years. I’m by no means superhuman, but here are a few Tips & Tricks to Not Get Sick.
- Learn how to wash your hands. Yes, there is a science to it. Watch doctors: you must use lukewarm water and soap, but it doesn’t have to be anti-bacterial. Wet your hands, lather really well, scrub those nails, and then rinse so the water goes down your hands from wrist to fingertips. Basically, wash those germs away, away, away from your body.
- Moisturize your skin. It’s not good enough to wash your hands a billion times a day if they’re dry, cracked, and bleeding. One of the best ways for germs to enter your body is through open cuts on your hands. Every time you wash, you have to moisturize your skin so it stays uncracked. Skin is meant to be your body’s barrier to the outside world. You have to keep your barrier intact!
- Cut your nails. Nail art trends say longer is better, but that’s not true when it comes to health. Germs party like it’s 1999 under long fingernails. Instagram #nailart posts be damned, trim your nails during cold and flu season.
- Don’t spit. Listen. I know phlegm is gross. But for the love of all that is good and healthy, do not hock that loogie out into public. Not only is it really unattractive, but it’s bad for public health. That mucus is filled with germs, and what happens if someone steps in it? They track all that’s gross in your body to other locations. It’s the same reason why we stopped pouring chamber pots into public gutters: contain your germs, folks.
- Open your windows. This isn’t the middle ages and “spirits” aren’t going to fly out of open windows– germs are. This is especially applicable if you live in an apartment building where air can be circulated through vents or walls to and from other apartments. Fresh air is less-germy air. Stale air is gross air. Brave the cold and open the windows for a little bit of time every day.
- Cover your nose when you sneeze, please. It’s good enough for Sesame Street, it’s good enough for you.
- Know the difference between a cold and the flu. The basics: you’ve got a cold if you’re stuffy, cough-y and scratchy-throated. You’ve got a flu (or something else entirely) if you’ve got a fever or are vomiting. Got a cold? Go to work and try not to sneeze on anyone and warn everyone to stay away. Got the flu? Stay home and steer clear of people as much as you can. The flu is already at epidemic proportions this season, and it can be deadly to children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems. Don’t be the reason why an old lady dies.
What are your healthy living tips?