You’re not imagining things when you suspect that the holiday season makes you sick. The change in weather can affect us all, making us more susceptible to catching a particularly nasty cold. This time of year is filled with a lot of emotions, festivities, and traveling, all of which don’t exactly encourage self-care. Exposing yourself to airports and large amounts of family members makes you prone to diseases, so being extra careful is important.
Check out these tips that’ll help you stay healthy and make the most out of the holiday season.
Get a flu shot
A flu shot is the easiest and most direct way of preventing a cold, especially if you get one ahead of time during the early fall. It takes two weeks for your body to build up immunity against the bacteria in the flu shot, so getting a shot as soon as possible is the most effective way of preventing colds.
Wash your hands
Washing your hands may sound like a dumb suggestion but it really works, especially if you’re traveling and spending a lot of time outside your house. LiveScience recommends washing your hands for over 20 seconds, or singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice, scrubbing soap thoroughly through your fingers and palms.
Rest and stay active
I know, confusing, but it’s important to work out and to get enough sleep time in order for your body to have a strong immune system. According to Popular Science, your immune system does the majority of its work while you sleep, so prioritize that above all else if you start to feel under the weather. If after a good nap you still feel crappy, try to stay at home and eat soup and healthy veggies.
Drink alcohol carefully
This is the worst recommendation ever, especially during the holidays, but alcohol seriously increases the odds of getting sick. Alcohol dehydrates you, making your fever and cold symptoms even worse. Drinking a hot drink is best if you’re feeling a little down, making you feel comforted even if you’re not really helping our your body by consuming alcohol.
The best thing you can do is plan ahead. If you know you’re gonna be partying, start preparing a few weeks ahead of time and treat your body right.
Soups and warm foods won’t heal you instantly but they’ll make you feel better and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Hot drinks and soup can help loosen up the mucus and can also provide a nutritious meal. Veggies, fruits, and other healthy foods can also help boost your immune system.
Use antibiotics as a last resource
Sadly, colds and flus can’t be treated with antibiotics – these kill bacteria and what you need is something that treats a virus. You should take antibiotics when you have a sinus infection or a steep throat, and you should check with your doctor in any case. In order to cure a common cold give your body a few days to fight it off or take cold medicine that can at least make you feel better.