It shouldn’t come as any surprise that more colds and sicknesses are spread during the holiday season. People travel to various holiday events, and are exposed to massive crowds – and you can’t always get Aunt Linda to stay home after she’s been sick for the past week when it is time for your annual family holiday gathering.
It isn’t just Christmas gifts that get passed around!
Here are the cold, hard facts – according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, there were 80,000 deaths last year during the 2017-2018 flu season. It was especially devastating since the flu vaccine was only 40% effective.
That said, you should still get your flu shot this year – without that 40% effectiveness last year, the number could have easily soared well above 80,000.
If you’d like to try putting up your best defenses against the flu this year, here are the steps you should take in preparation for the flu season:
Stay Strong, Keep Healthy and Get Enough Sleep
One of the best ways to boost your immunity is to simply try your best to be healthy during the cold and flu season. Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables that are heavily laden with the vitamins your body needs, such as vitamin D, C and zinc.
Stay active so that your body has good circulation – in fact, if you work out soon after getting your flu shot this year, it can actually help your body produce twice as many flu antibodies than if you hadn’t worked out.
Avoid Obviously Sick People
This one is kind of a no-brainer, but it is surprisingly hard to do at times. If you see someone coughing, sniffling or sneezing, try your best to keep a distance from them. Wash your hands often and try to avoid touching your face when you’re out in public.
If you have children, teach them the importance of doing the same at school, as they are literally germ breeding grounds for various sicknesses.
Get the Flu Shot, Seriously
This is worth repeating. Most of the advice you hear around the internet about the flu shot, and why you shouldn’t get it are simply false. Some protection is better than no protection, and even if you still get the flu, the vaccine will help it be far less severe than it could have been. It also helps to prevent you from passing the flu on to others who are more vulnerable, such as newborns, toddlers and the elderly.
If you do get the flu, try your best to get the rest your body needs, and to limit your exposure to others. You should have a doctor confirm if you do actually have the flu, or you can pick up a flu swab test from your local drugstore. If you do have the flu, your doctor can write a prescription to help you feel better faster, and make sure you stock up on fluids and immune enhancers, such as echinacea and zinc.
There is no cure for the flu, but getting much-needed rest can work wonders towards helping you feel better as quickly as possible.