How To Keep Sickness At Bay This Winter

Catching cold doesn’t have to be inevitable
How To Keep Sickness At Bay This Winter

Getting through a Canadian winter without catching at least one bug along the way probably seems like a pipe dream. Bitterly cold winds, wet boots, and public transit and offices full of other people’s germs are all against you—but that just means you have to do a little extra to take care of yourself. A little diligence can actually go a long way towards making sure you stay healthy during the coldest months of the year. Here’s a few things you can do to ensure you’re saving those valuable sick days for warmer weather when you can use them for a much-needed mental health day instead.

Quality zzz’s
One of the good things about sub-zero temperatures and lack of sunlight hours in the winter is you just don’t want to go out as much. That means more time at home watching Netflix and going to bed at a decent hour. Regularly not getting enough sleep can take a toll on your immune system so when you are inevitably exposed to germs, it’s a lot more likely one of them will take hold and leave you incapacitated for days on end. To make sure you’re getting at least seven hours a night, try spending an hour before bed away from all screens, using a diffuser with lavender essential oil and preparing for the next morning before you hit to sack so you don’t have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning any earlier than necessary.

Eat right and keep moving
When it’s cold out, it can be tempting to skip your workouts and eat nothing but hot comfort food in your sweatpants. Unfortunately, letting your healthy habits go too much will negatively impact your immune system, not to mention none of your clothes will fit come spring time. It’s understandable if you aren’t as active in the winter (let’s face it, running on the treadmill just isn’t the same as running outside), but you should still make it a point to get moving on a regular basis and of course, eat your fill of nutritious foods. Soups and stews can be both comforting and healthy, so if you’re going to be home a lot more, why not try out some new recipes?

Stay one step ahead of germs
Getting the flu shot is a no-brainer, but seeing as it can’t possibly cover every germ out there, you don’t exactly have nothing to worry about after you’ve been vaccinated. A cold bug might not be as debilitating as the flu, but it’s still unpleasant. There are a lot of people out there still going to the gym, taking public transit and going into work when they have a minor cold—but if you catch that cold, it might not be as minor for you. To protect yourself, wash your hands often and carry around hand sanitizer. That’s right—be one of those people that pulls out the mini Purell bottle in public. Anyone who judges you can enjoy their sore throat and clogged sinuses while you continue to live your life—germ-free.

Stay away from sick people
Obviously, right? Yeah, easier said than done when your significant other, favourite barista and supervisor at work all seem to have the sniffles. In addition to constant sanitizing, sleep on the couch when your significant other is sick. It might not be as comfortable, but you’ll be doing both them and yourself a favour by giving them some space to blow their nose and cough up all that phlegm without worrying about waking you up. They’ll get more rest and recover faster, and you’ll be less likely to spend the following week fighting the same illness.

Give your mind a break too
Stress has a way of affecting you in physical ways after awhile. If you don’t let go of negativity and tension and just let yourself relax sometimes, your body will get worn down and you’ll be a lot more susceptible to bugs. To wind down, do whatever it is that helps you unplug from work and all your responsibilities. Read a good book, go for a hike, meditate—anything to shut your mind off for a bit. Spend some time recharging so when it’s time to work hard, you have all the energy and focus you need to get the job done.

Tags: catching a cold, illness, winter cold

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