Lesson:So it’s that time of year again! Although I love the fall and winter seasons, I am not a fan of the flu season that accompanies them! Recently our youngest son came down with a virus and unlike my normal tendencies, I was totally not on top of things to make sure the rest of us stayed healthy. As I was cuddling him at 3 a.m. one morning while letting him cough and sneeze right in my face, it reminded me to kick start some of the basic things I try to do for myself and my family during this time of year to keep us all healthy.
Here is a list of the things I try to do to keep my family healthy and protect us during flu season:
- Make sure everyone has their flu shot: I know that some people are reluctant to get the flu shot for many reasons but it is a must for our family right now. My husband and I were not getting a flu shot until we started having our youngest children. Once we learned about how severe the flu can be for babies, the elderly or someone with a compromised immune system, it was hard to ignore the protective benefits that come with getting it.
- Take off outside clothes & wash hands when we come home: Some of my friends tease me about being a “germaphobe” with this one but I believe it makes a difference. When we come home from being out and about, we all take off our outside clothes and wash our hands. I know first hand from being in school that germs are everywhere! When we hug people or shake hands, when we sit down in public places and touch doors and shopping cart handles, we are coming in contact with germs. So to prevent those germs from coming into our house we just take off the layer that could have come in contact with germs and wash our hands. And no, we don’t make our guest change clothes when they come in our house. 🙂 I’m not that bad!
- Vitamins: I try to make sure that we all take a multivitamin every day for an added layer of protection. I also take vitamin D! Last year a good friend of mine shared some of the benefits that vitamin D has on our immune system. I believe it that had something to do with me being able to get through the entire flu season last year without even getting a cold.
- Teaspoon of Manuka Honey Daily: During the winter months, I try to add a teaspoon of Manuka honey to a glass of green tea or a green smoothie periodically. If not, I just swallow a teaspoon of it at least once a week. I also add it to my children’s apple juice periodically for an added immune boost.
- Adequate sleep: I haven’t done a lot of research about the science behind sleep and health but I know that when I don’t get enough rest, I am prone to get sick. So particularly during the winter months, I try to make sure that my family is getting a good amount of sleep/rest each night: 10-12 hours each evening for our younger children and 6-8 hours for my husband & I.
- Disinfect and Isolate: If someone does get sick in our family, the best precaution to keep everyone else healthy is to isolate the sick person to one room or area of the house. This is harder with the baby, as I recently experienced but we still try. I also try to disinfect as much as I can without going overboard. 🙂 Although I forgot this step recently, I try to wear a surgical mask to protect myself when my husband or one of my children gets sick. I’d also wear it if I was sick and I wanted to protect them from getting what I had (my mom taught me that one).
Application: Be proactive with keeping your family healthy during flu season by applying the above steps that will benefit you most.