Happy Monday, y’all! In an effort to add more healthcare/PA-related posts to the blog, I’ll be doing one post each month on this type of content. Like it or not, we’re right in the middle of flu season so today I’m sharing a few steps you can take to stay healthier this winter. If you have any other ideas for PA or medical posts, please leave a comment below OR shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY DURING FLU SEASON
Get a flu shot
Flu shots start rolling out in October and of course the earlier you get it the better, but it only takes about 2 weeks to build immunity so I’d say there is still plenty of time left to get one if you already haven’t. The peak of flu season is from January to March so protect yourself! I know a lot of people are weary about the flu shot so let’s chat about that for a minute.
Can you still get the flu after getting the flu shot? Yes! It will most likely be a less common strain of the flu OR it will be less severe/not last as long. You can still get colds and other viruses. I see a lot of patients who think they have the flu when it’s really a cold. If you’re on board with other vaccines (Tetanus, Hepatitis, etc.) then you should definitely consider the flu shot. I mean, when is the last time you’ve heard of someone dying from Tetanus? On the other hand, there are many flu-related deaths every year which often affect those who are very young, old or have a weakened immune system. In my opinion, you have to look at the risk vs. benefit and I think the benefits totally win!
Take your vitamins
I just think this is a good general health practice. I didn’t really start taking vitamins regularly until a few years ago but now it’s part of my daily routine and I won’t even travel without them. I love the Olly Women’s Daily Multivitamin– they’re gummies and I honestly look forward to taking them every morning because they’re so tasty!
Wash your hands
I know this is a no-brainer, but I can’t NOT mention it. This time of year, there are just more illnesses going around so be extra careful. This is especially true if you’re around babies or immunocompromised people. Throwing some hand sanitizer in your bag is also a great idea.
Tackle the illness early
The minute I start to feel sick, I always take a little something to help boost my immune system. My personal go-to is Emergen-C (the raspberry flavor is my fave). It contains Vitamin C, Vitamin D & Zinc which can definitely help fight a cold in the early stages if you take it daily. Other options are Airborne and Zicam and I know lots of people who swear by elderberry. Basically when you feel that initial “coming down with something” feeling, take extra care of yourself! Take the vitamins, get rest when you can, try over the counter medications for your symptoms, don’t overdo it and give it a few days. If things get worse or nothing is working, then us healthcare providers are here to help!
Did you know your body is actually stronger and better able to fight off viruses when it’s better hydrated? I’m sure we could all be drinking more water so try to avoid all the extra soft drinks and juices and up your water intake, especially during the winter. I didn’t start liking water until college (drank so much Mountain Dew in high school) but I knew it was the healthiest option so I kind of eased into it by using those little Crystal Light packets. Now it’s pretty much all I drink and I truly think it plays a big part in my health.
Avoid touching your face
Many of us have bad habits (I still bite my nails sometimes) but germs spread so much more easily by contact. During flu season, try to think twice before you touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Try to make sure you wash your hands before or carry some hand sanitizer in your bag.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and thank you for reading! If there are any other healthcare posts you’d like to see in the future, let me know in the comments below!