Staying Healthy During the Holidays
During this year’s holidays, many families are looking forward to
celebrating a closer-to-normal season. However, that means staying healthy and
keeping all kinds of germs at bay, including seasonal cold and flu bugs.
“With life getting back to normal, we are expecting a more severe cold and flu season than we encountered last year,” said Dr. Jennifer Caudle, family physician. “It’s important to both take preventative measures and stay prepared for keeping symptoms at bay. I recommend looking for over-the-counter medicines that help relieve both cough and chest congestion.”
Practice good hygiene. Washing your hands has become a common refrain throughout the pandemic because it’s a simple and effective way to keep germs away, whether they’re of the global pandemic variety or a common cold. As you’re out shopping and mingling this holiday season, you’re likely to come into contact with more germ-laden surfaces than usual. Shopping carts, doors and public restrooms are major culprits, so carry sanitizer and be sure to give your hands a thorough wash when you get home.
Protect your immune system. A healthy immune system helps your body fight off germs so you don’t get sick, or if you do come down with a cold or the flu, you may have a milder, shorter illness. Getting plenty of rest, staying well hydrated, eating well-balanced and nutrient-rich meals and getting plenty of regular physical activity can all help keep your body in good condition to fight off seasonal germs.
Keep your medicine cabinet stocked. There’s hardly anything worse than waking in the middle of the night with a cough or sinus trouble and discovering your medicine cabinet is empty. Be proactive by restocking on over-the-counter basics to help keep your symptoms in check. It’s also a good idea to check the expiration dates of any medications you do have on hand and replace anything that is out of date.
Be mindful of spreading germs. If you do get sick, you can take steps to protect your loved ones. If possible, stay home until your symptoms have passed and you’re less likely to be contagious. Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or sneezing into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue, can be effective in preventing the spread of germs.
Know when to consult a doctor. In most cases, minor cold symptoms don’t require a visit to the doctor (unless you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to arrange for testing). However, if symptoms don’t resolve within a week, grow worse in a short period of time or aren’t responding to over-the-counter medicines to ease your symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor or at least speak with a triage nurse for advice.
Find more resources to help you prepare stay healthy for the holidays at Mucinex.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images