Flu season is here, and it’s knocking people down left and right. Still haven’t been infected? Lucky you! Staying healthy and germ-free when everyone around you is sniffling, sneezing and coughing is a feat.
Continue your flu-free streak by boosting your immune system and disinfecting your environment so you can continue to ward off this wintertime illness. In the unfortunate event that you or someone else in your care does contract the bug, there are ways to cope and kick those flu symptoms to the curb.
How to avoid the flu
Get a flu shot
The flu vaccine won’t eliminate the flu once you’ve contracted it, but it will improve your immunity and let you hang around infected friends and family with a little more ease. It’s a must for anyone working in the health care field (doctors, nurses, other hospital and clinic staff) and for those who frequently interact with kids.
Boost your immune system
Bolster your immunity with the help of supplements and whole foods. Proper nutrition is vital if you want to avoid catching what’s going around. Consider including Now Vegan Supplements Echinacea Capsules in your regular supplementation routine. Echinacea has been shown to increase immunity, and folks rarely experience side effects when taking it.
Don’t forget to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, too. If you struggle to add whole foods to your plate, try juicing. The Breville Juicer Fountain can give you the benefits of consuming nutrient-dense foods in an easy-to-digest format.
Purify your surroundings
The air in your home is stale, especially during the winter. Think about all those infectious particles floating around your indoor environment. You can do something to improve the air you breathe by outfitting your most-used spaces with an air purifier. The Guardian Technologies Air Purifier can zap intrusive germs from the air along with potentially harmful dust particles and mold spores, which aren’t good for your immunity.
Clean your hands
Aside from making a flu shot appointment, the easiest way to avoid infection (and the spread of germs) is to wash your hands. Touch a germy surface, and you’re instantly at risk of infection. It only takes a moment to transfer the virus from your dirty hands to the inside of your body. You can avoid this with Softsoap Antibacterial Hand Soap, which cleanses and conditions the skin.
When you’re away from home, sanitize your hands while running errands, taking public transit, or while at the gym. EO Hand Sanitizer Spray comes in a pack of six, so there’s enough for everyone in the family to have their own; you can send some with your kids to school, and bring one whenever you travel.
Germs are likely hiding out on surfaces around your home, even if they appear relatively clean. Use sanitizing wipes daily to clean frequently touched surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Green Works Cleaning Wipes are compostable and made from naturally derived ingredients, so you can feel good about using them liberally.
Hydrate with filtered water
Regular hydration is an essential component of a healthy body, and you should quench your thirst throughout the day. An insulated Brita Filtering Water Bottle has a built-in filter to make sure the water you’re drinking is clean and pure, plus it keeps the filtered water cold for up to 24 hours and has a handy built-in straw.
Humidify your surroundings
Dry air is the flu virus’ best friend. Keeping your environment at a healthy humidity level not only keeps it at bay, but helps should you become infected, since dry air hampers the body’s ability to expel the virus. A humidifier creates inhospitable conditions for the flu but a cozy environment for us, and the Levoit Smart Classic 300S is small and quiet enough to go anywhere, whether on a desk or your bedside table.
Stock your home well
Keep easily accessible tissue packs around the house to help stifle sneezes and sniffles when kids or loved ones are under the weather — they can catch their own germs before they get into the air you’re breathing. Puffs Plus Lotion Facial Tissues are ultra soft and contain a lotion additive that moisturizes irritated skin.
Get a good night’s sleep
A tired, stressed body is a vulnerable one. When we shut our eyes for the night, we enter a period of rest that lets our body repair itself. Skimping on sleep decreases your immunity and increases your chances of contracting the flu. Invite quality sleep and reduce stress with the help of a good sleep mask. The DreamTime Spa Comforts Eye Pillow offers the soothing scent of lavender, blocks out light and is filled with a stress-busting herb blend.
If you’re determined to avoid the flu, wearing gloves when interacting with others is a reliable way to prevent infection. A pack of MedPride Nitrile Gloves works not just for flu season but for cleaning chores, outdoor tasks and more. Regardless of whether you choose to don gloves, keep close contact with flu-saddled loved ones to a minimum.
What to do if you get the flu
So you’ve been infected. No need to panic. Here’s how to deal with the flu effectively so you can get back on your feet in no time.
Let yourself rest and relax
Snuggle up in a cozy blanket while you marathon the latest streaming TV series. The Ugg Bliss Plush Sherpa Fleece is warm and comes in over a dozen soothing earth tones. Keep the rest of your flu-battle supplies nearby, but don’t pass up any opportunity to doze off and let your body recuperate.
Call in sick. We know: you’ve got so much to do, you have deadlines, you have a crazy workload, you only have a few sick days (or maybe none). But asking your body to work hard when it’s fighting off sickness is asking for trouble, and physical stress will only serve to extend the length of your illness. Your co-workers will thank you.
Avoid lingering congestion and coughing post-flu by doing your best to loosen up mucus and expel all the gunk your system is producing while in distress. Mentholatum’s Vaporizing Roll On is a mess-free ointment with all-natural ingredients that helps relieve cough. In the shower, there’s Vicks VapoShower, a tablet that produces a powerful vapor to ease congestion.
Relieve aches and pains
Soothe troublesome flu-related muscle aches with the help of pain medication to make sure you’re able to get the sleep and respite you need. It can lower any flu-associated fever, too. Tylenol Extra Strength is a longtime pain-relief bestseller.
Clear your sinuses
Avoid sinus pain and discomfort by taking a nasal decongestant (after you talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you). Sudafed PE Maximum Strength is non-drowsy and helps relieve sinus pressure resulting from the flu. It also helps reduce headache pain associated with congestion.
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Steph Coelho writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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