This time of year, viruses are everywhere you turn. They’re all over the surfaces on the planes you fly to visit family, the gifts you’re picking up at the mall, and the ladle that pours the eggnog. Oh, and if you have young grandchildren…
It’s no surprise that the flu season coincides with the holidays. With the added running around and the increased demands on your body, you need your immune system at its strongest over the coming weeks. And unless you avoid any socialization or do all your shopping online, you’re at big risk for picking up something you quite simply don’t want.
Here is a quick list of things you can do to protect yourself to reduce the chances of seasonal illness:
- Prioritize sleep: People who sleep less than six hours per night have an elevated risk for colds. Adequate rest every night lets your body and immune system recover so it’s ready to fight another day.
- Have a daily cup of tea: Flavonoid antioxidant compounds in tea, called catechins, may inhibit the spread of flu virus in the body.
- Pack healthy snacks: If you’ve got a long day of travel or shopping, prepare snacks in advance to give your body the nutrients it needs. Antioxidant- and nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and nuts can offer immune protection and prevent you from reaching for empty calories that promote inflammation. Remember to keep hydrated with water, as well!
- Wipe down surfaces: Take a disinfectant wipe to your tablet and smartphone daily, especially if you’ve been out and about touching other public surfaces. Double your efforts if the grandkids are fumbling around with your smartphone or tablet!
Staying healthy over the holidays is a challenge, but these tips can increase the chances you make it through!