“Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, move harmoniously.”
― Jean-Pierre Barral
Everyone is getting sick. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration-if everyone were getting sick then we would have a pandemic; which thankfully we do not! Nonetheless (yep, I used that word), many people are coming down with colds and flues and all that nasty business. Especially in universities/offices. I was forced to get a flu shot (by my father who claimed I must) and yet I still came down with some sort of something for a couple days. Sure, sometimes we pull stupid stunts that land us in the position of getting sick, but that doesn’t change the fact of it feeling like you were run over by a truck and then dragged through some mud. This poses the a question: how does one prevent catching a cold/flu? We all hear about washing your hands. Yes, you’re nodding. Wonderful. We even have mini antibacterial hand sanitizers that most ladies and some gents carry around with them. However, there are preventative measures we take that are to do with outside of the body, like hand washing, not touching your face when out in public, keeping yourself away from sick people…etc. Although sometimes all that is done and still BAM! You wake up with a nose full of shit. Don’t you love that? When you’re lying in bed in the morning and you’ve got all these plans to do great things and then you get up, have your coffee and realize…my throat is scratchy, my head kind of hurts, my nose is full of crap. We all tend to wave it off like “nah..” we tell ourselves “it’s just because I didn’t get enough sleep” So we go out to work, to school, to wherever, or stay home…doesn’t matter…but at one point in the day, we come to terms with it after using up a full tissue box and chewing up all the throat lozenges. “Yep, fuck it, I’m sick”. And so it begins.
No one wants that. It is of no use! Feeling like a train wreck has no place in my life and I am sure in anyone’s life. Now let us move on to the wonderful world of prevention!
1. Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT at any time talk to a person who is sick without some form of protective barrier (phone receiver is the best) between the two of you. Also, avoid being in the same area as someone who is sick for longer than absolutely necessary. If you live with someone, quarantine them in a room and only go in there if you really, really must. Make sure that room gets aired out though! Unless they are really good at keeping their sickness to themselves with proper sneezing/coughing techniques and don’t hang around you for too long, then they can enjoy the rest of the house…otherwise, to the quarantine!
2. An orange a day keeps the doctor away. Forget apples! It’s the oranges you want during flu/cold season. If you don’t enjoy oranges (you are no longer my friend) then take some vitamin C in pill form, eat lemons, grapefruits…whatever! Yes, I am aware there has been controversy on the subject of vitamin C being helpful in prevention of getting sick. Some doctors wave it off others insist on it. Just try it, it won’t hurt you. It works for me. The best it will do is boost your immune system and the worst is it will do nothing.
3. Drink FRESH lemon-ginger-honey tea. Simple: grate some ginger into a cup, slice up some lemon, pour hot water over that mix and let it stand for 3-5 min. Then stir in some honey and drink! Do this a few times a day, at least 3. Works wonders!
4. Sleep! Yes, sleep. If you get enough rest (at least 7.5 hours a night) your body is happy. Sleep is a fantastic way to get better or prevent getting ill in the first place. When you sleep, all sorts of healing processes take place at an increased rate and your body naturally cleans up all junk it finds. Voila! Healthy!
5. Keep active. I know many people were hoping this wouldn’t come up but it did! And for good reason. Keeping yourself active is a good way to support your immune function. Exercise also releases your body’s “feel-good” chemicals (didn’t want to get all science-y on you so we’ll leave it at that) which helps you sleep better! And what did we just learn about sleep? Right, very good!
6. Eat right! Your body needs what it needs and yes, even fats! In fact…fats are great for you. In moderation. Eat fruits and veggies…loads of those! Go for a variety of fruits and veggies, and berries. Don’t forget protein and iron-rich foods as well. Also garlic. This is an old-fashioned recipe for health: chicken soup with fresh garlic minced into it. I’m telling you, don’t knock it ’till you try it!
7. Avoid getting a chill. By that I mean dress warm and keep yourself at a comfortable body temperature. Your immune system functions at an optimal temp, which is what you are normally at. Lowering that temp will actually hinder your immune system’s function. Don’t go out with wet hair when its cold! Don’t leave the gym sweaty in a shirt and shorts just because you are currently hot from your work out. Yeah, I sound like your mother, but guess what…mothers are always right when it comes to these things. Even if we don’t like to admit it.
8. Avoid cramped public areas. This is almost as obvious as washing your hands and not touching your face. If you need to get some groceries, go at a later time or earlier time when there are fewer people. Avoid movie theaters, the air circulates within the building and is just a wonderful carrier for all those coughs/sneezes. Bleh! Same goes for offices, unfortunately work is work; and lectures must be attended as well, even if someone is hacking up a lung 3 seats away from you.
9. Find time to relax. Stress really bogs your immune system! I think this little tidbit is often overlooked. Stress plays a huuuuuge role in your body’s ability (or rather inability) to fight all sorts of nasty business off. So keep your cool and try to find a way to calm your stress levels when things in life are on the fritz. Goosfraba (if you have no idea what goosfraba is, your homework is to watch Anger Management, ASAP).
10. Take care of yourself! If you feel under-slept, overworked, have been coughed on…what have you, then take the right precautions. Take that vitamin C, eat a good healthy meal, avoid going out on public transit — better yet, avoid going out that day at all, if possible. Get some sleep and drink plenty of fluids (warm and not loaded with sugar, preferably).
If YOU are the person carrying some form of a bug then please be considerate. Cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze (with your arm, not your hands!), wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, use tissues and dispose of them immediately (leaving those out can also spread the bug), avoid being in close proximity of the ones you care about, and please for the love of Moses, DON’T SHAKE HANDS WITH PEOPLE, unless it is directly after hand-sanitizing or washing of your hands, even then. It is much more polite to say “I’d love to shake your hand but I am sick and don’t want to pass on whatever this is” than to just grab that person’s hand and rub your infection all over them. Just be an adult about it, that’s all I’m getting at. You’re all big boys and girls and know what to do.
Good health to you all, have a wonderful week!