Flu season is upon us, which might leave some feeling incredibly uncomfortable about the future of your health. The flu doesn’t have to be a constant source of anxiety for you though, so don’t stress about it just yet. There are actually many precautionary measures you can take to help reduce your chances of getting the flu. There are also many things you can do to help your body heal if you do come down with the flu. These ten tips will help make your life a little easier when it comes to this flu season, so you can cut down on anxiety and enjoy the last months of the year and early months of next year.
1. Flu Shot
There’s no doubt about it, a flu shot can help protect you from the flu. So, if you can get the shot you absolutely should. The shot is generally free if you have insurance and isn’t unaffordable if you don’t have it. The shot is also approved for everyone from six months of age and up. The vaccine isn’t just important when it comes to protecting you from the flu. In fact, by getting the shot you can help protect those that can’t receive it. This includes young babies, the elderly and people who might be ill with a disease that weakens the immune system. These people rely on others to get the shot to help keep the illness away from them. Many doctors will insist that you get the shot too, especially if you’re a child or you are pregnant. So, if you have concerns, you might bring it up with your physician. If shots terrify you, there are other options, so make sure to ask about these too.
2. Stay Home When Sick
Another important thing is to stay up when you’re sick. As soon as you notice symptoms developing, you should stay at home whenever you can. Not only will this allow you the time to rest up so you can fight the disease, but it will keep you home during the contagious period of the illness. Staying home will also give you the chance to see a doctor so you can find out if you have the flu right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the faster you should be able to recover from the illness. Of course, staying home will also allow you to relax and unwind, which will reduce the stress that can weaken your immune system.
When it comes to keeping yourself away from germs, one of your best options is to simply sanitize when and where you can. One of the most important things is to sanitize your hands. Your hands touch a lot of things that other people also touch, so it is important to kill the germs, especially before you eat or touch your face. Of course, you have to do more than sanitize your hands. You also have to keep your work area and home sanitized. This means spraying disinfectant, cleaning more than you normally might and ensuring surfaces are germ-free when cooking. Another important thing to sanitize is your phone. Your phone is a constant source of germs. There are special sprays that can help with this, but you can also use a special UV light that will also help with the problem.
4. Distance Yourself
It isn’t always possible to steer clear of areas where sick people are, but one of the best things you can do is keep your distance when someone around you is sick. If you’re near someone that is coughing or sneezing, you will be better off if you can keep at least three feet away from them. This will help keep the germs at bay, without inhibiting your work. The same rule can be kept at home when a family member is sick. Generally, if you can keep the sickness confined to one room, the whole household will be better off.
5. Stay Hydrated
You’ve probably been told time and again to drink fluids when you’re sick. This is definitely a must when you’re dealing with the flu, even if it feels like a chore to do so. Keeping hydrated can be exceptionally hard, but one of your best bets is to push water whenever you can. If you’re having trouble keeping things down, then you might also consider the water that has electrolytes. Of course, juice and drinks like vitamin water or Gatorade are also good for you, but you should largely be concentrating on drinking water as much as possible. This will help keep your body hydrated so your body can fight harder while helping to flush away the toxins.
6. Take Vitamins
One way to help give your immune system the boost it needs to fight off the potential of catching the flu, or the illness itself, is to keep up with your vitamins. One multivitamin should give your body what it needs to function well. Having everything your body needs to function well will allow your immune system to have a fighting chance against the flu. If you do catch the flu you can add vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and Zinc to your diet to help you fight back harder. This will definitely make you feel more confident about fighting the flu if you absolutely have to.
7. Ditch Bad Habits
Although you might not like the sound of it, ditching some of your bad habits might help prevent you from getting the flu or help you get over it faster. One of the first things you should consider doing is to quit smoking or vaping. This bad habit can cause breathing problems to begin with, so it can make matters worse which could land you in the hospital. Drinking alcohol can also weaken your immune system and make it harder to recover from the flu. Even a lack of exercise can cause more problems. So, make sure you come up with some sort of cardio routine to help get your blood pumping and lungs working during flu season.
8. Wear a Mask
If you do have to put yourself in situations where you’re in a crowded place, then you might consider using a facial mask. These are perfect for city dwellers that often find themselves on packed busses, in a subway or even walking through a crowded street. Of course, you can’t wear any mask to help protect you from germs, as most aren’t allowed in public places. Rather, you will need a medical mask for this. These masks can be purchased in bulk from a wide selection of stores, so you can stock up for the season if you feel it is necessary. The masks are good to have on hand too, especially if you’re worried you might have a weak immune system, or you don’t want to catch bugs that other people in the household or office might have.
9. Know When to Seek a Medical Attention
One of the most important things you can do is know the signs of danger when you’re dealing with the flu. You might start by learning the symptoms of the flu, so you can see a doctor to receive care as soon as possible. Normally, you won’t be hospitalized over the flu, but there are some dangerous aspects of the illness that can land you in the emergency room. For starters, if you aren’t able to keep anything down, including water, for a certain period of time, then you need to see a doctor. If you have a fever that spikes to an unhealthy number, then you should go in right away. Any problems with breathing also warrant a trip to the emergency room, especially if it is a child or elderly person experiencing this problem. There are many other signs you should be aware of, so play it safe when you have the flu and if you’re not sure if you need to be seen then go ahead and go just in case.
10. Take All of Your Medication
If you do find yourself dealing with the flu, then it is important to see a doctor to help you manage symptoms and get over the illness faster. One of the most important things you should do after your doctor’s visit is to pay attention to the medications you were prescribed. When it comes to medication, you need to make sure you take the full prescription. You might think you are feeling better and don’t need it anymore, but doctors usually prescribe a certain amount for a reason. So, make sure you, and you alone, finish off the prescription to ensure the illness won’t return stronger than ever.
These days, the flu is no joke. It claims many lives a year, including the lives of people that are young and healthy. So, it is important to take precautions when dealing with such an illness. These ten ideas should help you prevent catching the flu while also allowing you to fight it faster if you do catch it. With any luck, this year will be flu-free for you and your loved ones.