COVID 19 has taken over the world.
Life has changed for many of us these days as we practice social distancing. It is our civic duty to stay home in these tough times. We must make sure we stay healthy and also don’t make others sick if we are infected. Let’s not forget about our vulnerable population here.
RELATED: Life in the Time of COVID 19
Coincidentally, this is also our regular flu season where sniffles, fever and even allergies are rampant. But our outlook on these things has changed drastically over the last few weeks. It is not surprising we have begun to regard flu with suspicion and ready to bolt to assessment centers if necessary.
As the Public Officials advise us, if you are sick, stay home. Because, believe it or not even if it is COVID 19, they can’t do much other than advising you to self isolate and rest at home. You will NEED medical care if you have underlying health conditions already, weak immune system or other respiratory issues. In such extreme situations, yes you need to be admitted to the hospital and be on a ventilator or requiring medical assistance deemed fit by the doctors.
Flu 101 and Preventive Measures for Family
On the other hand, if it is just flu (which is good news!) I hope my today’s post serves as a refresher on FLU 101. By practicing healthy habits, getting the flu shot and stopping the spread of germs, you can slay the flu and stay in shape!
The following are some ideas and tips to keep your family healthy in the flu season.
1. Go into the season with a healthy immune system.
Don’t slack on taking care of your health. This means practicing good nutrition and healthy habits all year long. Even if you haven’t always had the best health habits, you can battle the cold and flu season like a pro by adopting healthy habits now. Prepare for cold and flu season with nutrient-rich foods and recipes that help support good overall and immune health.
- Eat nutrient-dense meals and avoid high fat or high sugar foods.
- Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated. Avoid sugary drinks like sodas.
- Get regular exercise to help keep your body in good shape and able to fight against germs.
- Get enough sleep every night. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. The average child needs 8-11 hours of sleep each night. Stop scrimping and get the sleep you need.
- Limit stress in your daily life. Avoid confrontation, stressful situations, and plan accordingly so your family can be in a low-stress environment as much as possible.
2. Stay on top of keeping things clean.
Illness primarily comes from the spread of germs. During the cold and flu season, germs are stronger and more prominent since more and more people fall victim to the Fall Spike in illness. Not only can you prevent illness by keeping things clean, but you can help keep others healthy in the process.
- Teach children to wash their hands properly. Scrubbing hands, between fingers, and under fingernails with hot soapy water and rinsing well will rid your hands of germs.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with your hands. This is especially important if you have been touching public surfaces.
- Properly sanitize your home. Kitchens and bathrooms get the most attention, but don’t forget to sanitize other commonly handled items: light switches, doorknobs, cabinet handles, drawer handles, laptops, smartphones, tablets, keyboards, computer mouse, remote controls, and gaming system controllers.
3. Get your annual flu shot.
A flu shot is a must for helping prevent many strains of the flu during this Fall Spike of cold and flu season. With the availability and ease of getting one at your local pharmacy, there really is no reason not to protect your family this year. A flu shot is the best way to prevent flu, and is available through in-store pharmacists at Loblaws stores across the country! Make sure to make use of what is accessible to you to stay healthy.
The flu shot is a simple vaccination that fights against the most common strain of flu for that season. It can help prevent many instances of influenza and is especially important for those who are immune-compromised. Individuals with autoimmune disorders, children, and the elderly who all may have a more difficult time fighting off the flu should always get their flu shot. While it is recommended for everyone, these categories are most important as they are the most likely to fall ill and suffer complications from the flu.
4. Avoid the doctor unless necessary.
Yes, you should see a doctor if needed, but during the busy cold and flu season avoid visits if at all possible. Schedule routine checkups and annual visits for other times of the year so you and your family aren’t exposed to so many germs. Don’t visit the doctor for minor issues that can be handled with rest and care at home. Call the nurse hotline to discuss symptoms prior to making an appointment to make sure there isn’t something they can recommend that would keep you and your family safe at home away from the flu season germs.
A little preventative care and some simple reminders can make it much easier to keep your family healthy during this year’s cold and flu season.
On that note, if you had a flu fighter pack, what things should go on it? Glad you asked! 😉
What’s included in a family flu fighter pack?
While you can include anything that you want, some items to consider could be:
- Nose Spray
- Cough Drops
- Vitamin C Drops
- Hot Tea
- Vitamin-rich foods
As with any type of medicine, make certain that you keep items out of reach of your children so that they don’t ingest anything that they aren’t supposed to!
Now, let’s say the worse case, in spite of following all these measures, you still came down with flu. Well then, Its time to talk about 5 Tips to get you through Flu.
1. Sleep! And get enough of it!
There is nothing a good sleep can’t fix. As I have written in this space before, relaxation techniques before bedtime go a long way in getting a good night of uninterrupted sleep. Think meditation, reading a good book and turning off all your devices at least 30 minutes before bed. But things change if you are sick or down with flu. It can be hard to lapse into sleep.
Following are some ideas to help you rest comfortably when you are down with flu:
a. Prop yourself up. This helps you breathe better and sleep a bit easier.
b. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to moisturize the air, as the airways tend to be dry and raw with cold and flu.
c. Drink or eat something hot. Breathing the steam from a hot soup can help with dried out nasal pathways and loosen the mucus helping you breathe better.
d. Taking a warm or hot shower before bed can help soothe your tired muscles and take away the tenderness of the body that you are experiencing during the day.
RELATED: 5 Foods to Help you Fight the Flu
e. Sleeping alone is always a good idea as you will prevent the germs from spreading to your partner and also avoid waking them up with each cough or sneeze.
2. Get active
Physical activities such as a brisk walk or playing sports can help keep your immune system going strong to fight off any viruses you may come in contact with.
3. Try to be stress-free (I know, it’s a tough one!)
A lot of stress wreaks havoc in your body by weakening your immune system. Try to reduce your workload or incorporate activities that help to reduce stress such as yoga or breathing exercises.
Always wash your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds to help avoid spreading and picking up germs.
5. Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
Best way to avoid flu is to keep your distance from people who are affected. But this gets harder to follow if your own kids or partner are at the other end. In times like this, the best course of prevention is sticking to your healthy diet, taking multivitamins every day and washing your hands every so often.
Stay safe everyone. We will get through this together.
With love, Vinma