You are likely familiar with the first signs of a cold, from a runny nose to a scratchy throat. The winter season increases the frequency of colds, with surveys showing that Americans suffer one billion colds each year, not counting the flu. Colds can be miserable, but there are things you can do to avoid getting sick.
Doherty Staffing Solutions prioritizes the well-being of our workforce, employees, and business partners. In this article, we will cover helpful health habits that can help you to be at your healthiest this winter, as well as tips for recovering faster when illness strikes.
Tips for Preventing Cold & Flu
When it comes to cold and flu, prevention is ideal. Below are a few tips to prevent you from catching a cold.
Avoid close contact. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Germs that cause colds and flu can be easily passed to others, especially in the wintertime with a colder environment allowing cold-causing viruses to thrive.
Clean your hands. Washing your hands thoroughly and often will help protect you from germs. The CDC recommends following these five steps every time you wash your hands:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
You may also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs. The hand sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol in order to be effective. It is important to note that hand sanitizers do not kill all types of germs, so washing your hands is the best option.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when someone touches something contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. This is another reason it is important to wash your hands, as oftentimes touching your face is a subconscious action.
Support your immune system with healthy habits. Your general well-being is tied to maintaining healthy habits. Below are a few things to prioritize when taking care of yourself this winter.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Be physically active.
- Manage your stress level.
- Stay hydrated and eat nutritious food.
Even when following all of these tips, it is still possible to catch a cold during peak cold and flu season. Next, we will cover some of the best things to do when faced with an illness.
What To Do When You Catch a Cold
When you are sick, it can be tempting to “power through” as normal. However, doing so can cause germs to spread to others and can make your cold last longer from lack of rest. Below are some things to keep in mind when you are feeling under the weather.
Stay home. If possible, stay home from work/school and avoid running errands when sick. This will help prevent the spread of your illness to others.
Cover your mouth and nose. If you cannot avoid others when sick, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing can help prevent the spread of germs. If a tissue is not available, turn away from others and use the crook of your elbow to minimize the spread of germs.
Add moisture to the air. Using a humidifier can help with colds by adding moisture to the air. This can help to keep nasal passages from drying out, thin mucus, and prevent bloody noses, cracked lips, and sore throat.
Soothe your sore throat. If you have a sore throat, using lozenges and cough drops can help. Additionally, warm liquids such as tea and soup broth can provide some relief to get you feeling better faster.
Get plenty of rest. Resting when you have a cold, flu, or fever can help your body build up your immune system to effectively fight off the illness. It is normal to need to rest more when you are sick, and aiming for 8-10 hours of sleep each night can help you recover faster. It is also a good idea to refrain from strenuous exercise for two to three days.
We hope that this article has been informative and will help to prevent you and your loved ones from getting sick this season. In addition to providing health and safety tips, Doherty Staffing Solutions provides workforce solutions, industry insights, and more. Check out our blog for more engaging content, or get in touch with one of our employment experts today!