Gone are the lazy, carefree, and sick-free days of summer. If you’re anything like me, you are dreading the coming of the winter months. Not only do the days seem to drag on forever and you begin feeling as if you are being held prisoner inside, you are also way more susceptible to catching illnesses. I don’t know about you, but I know that I don’t have any time for being sick. There are way too many things that I need to accomplish on a regular basis and being sick just isn’t an option.
With that said, I try my best to avoid, and ward off, illnesses; however, if an illness does strike, I am do know when to throw in the towel and take care myself. After all, being passive and continuing to take on the world when I am sick only ends up prolonging the illness and leads to tasks that aren’t completed to the best of my ability – which means more work at the end of the sickness.
How do I keep myself in optimal health when cold and flu season strike? And how do I take care of myself if I do fall ill? Here’s a look at some of my proven methods.
The best defense is a good offense, or so that’s what they say in football. Well, I think that this saying is quite applicable to keeping yourself fit and healthy during the winter months. You have to attack germs before they can attack you, and there are several ways that you can do that.
- Dress Appropriately: Make sure you dress appropriately. While cold weather doesn’t create germs, it can suppress the immune system. If the weather forecast calls for cold temperatures, don’t leave the house in flip flops and a T-shirt. Wear long sleeves and pants, layer on lightweight materials, put on a hat, wrap yourself up in a scarf, and don a pair of gloves and boots. When it comes to getting dressed in the winter, use your common sense.
- Take Vitamins: You should really take a multivitamin every day of the year, but it’s really important during the winter months. A multivitamin can help to ensure that you are getting the nutrients that you need so that you can stay healthy and fight off germs.
- Eat Well: Eating well is also an important tactic of mine for staying healthy during cold and flu season. Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals to keep yourself in good health.
- Wash Thoroughly: This is also important all year long, but perhaps even more so during the winter. I always make sure to wash my hands, my clothing, and the surfaces in my home regularly and thoroughly. Doing so will help to ensure that you are killing those germs that linger on surfaces, waiting to attack you.
On the Mend
Of course, even putting all of the above-mentioned tactics into place doesn’t ensure that I’ll stay well the entire winter season. I’m not Superman, and unfortunately, neither are you. If you do become ill, it is important to take proper care of yourself so you can regain your health as quickly as possible. What do I do when I catch a bug? The following:
- Take Time: You simply must take time for yourself. Take a day or two off of work or ask someone to help you out with the kids. If you continue to run around as you normally do, you’ll only beat down your immune system even more, which will make the sickness worse and make it last longer.
- Go to the Doctor: If you’re not starting to feel better in about three days time, go to the doctor. You may be sicker than you realize and you may even require a prescription in order to battle the illness. While I often drag my feet about heading in to the doctor, sometimes it’s necessary! I constantly have to listen to my body.
Nobody likes being sick, and if you do get sick, finding the time to get yourself better seems almost impossible – it feels like as soon as I get sick, a million things get added to my to-do list. However, taking proper care of yourself helps ward off any potential illnesses, and can help you recoup quicker if you do catch something. Trust me, I always find it’s better to just take the time to rest in the beginning, rather than suffering the ill-effects for weeks.