Achoo! Season… Catch that sneeze, bin it and don’t spread it!

Have you already started listening to Christmas songs? Really? Ok, well I guess that common sense dictates that as soon as Halloween has been celebrated, it is acceptable to start thinking about the festive season. Decorations, presents, food, parties, and how to face that family member that you somehow manage to avoid for the remainder of the year.

I have to admit that my first concern, following the influx of Christmas feeds on TikTok and Instagram, is more along the theme of concern for flu; initially whether the population will be taking care of themselves, but also their family members too. I take a prevention is better than cure type of approach and am happy to share that my kind of pre-Christmas activity is more about cleaning and compiling my personal flu dispensary. Therefore, this month’s blog concerns steps that you can take to minimise your chances of catching a nasty bout of flu and how to keep your personal workspaces as clean as possible in the event of plan A failing.

Please don’t see me completely paranoid regarding illness, but the absolute truth is that I have not suffered a cold since 2019, and fingers crossed, I also belong to the group of people that have not contracted Covid. I do, however, have a vivid recollection of my last experience of flu and it was awful! Just to provide you with some of the worst symptoms….

  • My head aching, like the worst headache ever.
  • My muscles and my whole body full of pain, making each journey from bed to the bathroom the hardest task of the day.
  • A dreadfully sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose…gross!
  • I specifically remember breathing through one of my nostrils as a complete victory!

To try and swerve, or at least mitigate against some of the worst symptoms, I would like to share my infallible plan, well let’s call it a plan:

  • Be strict about washing hands because unclean hands spread colds and flu.
  • Sanitise carefully some key touchpoints each day, whether you are at home, in the office, or at school. Don’t forget, an Anti-bac+ a day keeps the flu away.
  • Don’t miss these germ hotspots; mobile phones, tablets, desks, tabletops, doorknobs, cabinet handles, washroom taps, keyboards, light switches, remotes, and controllers. This is not an exhaustive list, just my top tips!
  • If someone is ill at home, use paper towels instead of hand towels in the bathroom. You will be far less to swap germs via this method.
  • Sleep well to improve your overall health and well-being. Your body requires proper rest to be prepared to fight off unexpected illnesses.
  • Eat well and stay hydrated. Have your vitamins and nutrients; regular drinks of water and green tea are excellent forms of hydration.
  • Work out. Exercise is fundamental for improving bodily functionality. You don’t need to undertake a marathon in order to exercise. Playing outside with pets and your children, or just going for a walk all count as exercise. Choose to move, and avoid that sofa!
  • Masks; now here is a divisive subject! Don’t forget that they can be a great ally at this time of year. Why not pop a stylish mask on when going out into crowded spaces, for example? After all, we can learn something from Covid hard times, right?

In a perfect world, my plan outlined above would be infallible; the truth is that just about everything and everyone is fallible. Time to swing into plan B!

  • Stock up on supplies. Be ready! Load up on tissues, a bug busting soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels. Have extra masks on hand, as they’re proven to protect against the spread of viruses. Stock up on some easy-to-make foods, including healthy comfort foods like chicken soup. Keep an emergency supply at work too!
  • Check your medicine cabinet. Ensure that it contains your go-to medicines for family or personal relief of colds and the flu. Test your thermometer to make sure the batteries still work.
  • Line up support as you may need help. See if any family members can take care of your children if they are at home from school due to illness. Perhaps you could ask a neighbour to take your children to their activities if you are ill in bed.

The fact that I haven’t suffered from as much as a cold, during the past three years wasn’t as a result of luck, it was prevention. I decided to share my top tips with you in the hope that more of you than ever can become ‘cold and flu free zones’ this year.

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