Preventative Versus Symptom Care
If you want to give yourself the best opportunity to avoid the common cold, you must think about preventative care, not symptom care. This idea is rooted in the belief that your healthy activities and choices affect your immune system.
If your body has the strength to keep you going through the day, then your body has the best chance at fighting off a virus this cold and flu season. So, take these five best practice tips for preventing the common cold.
1. Be Conscious of Your Hands
The common cold is caused by a virus that spreads via air, surface, and personal contact. Transmission usually occurs quickly and closely from person to person. Your hands are your most significant threat to your health. They are the superhighways of germs and viruses. So, you need to use common sense and these three basic rules.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Always use soap with water. If you can’t use soap and water, ensure that you wipe your hands thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, lips, or face with your hands without washing them. If you encounter a potentially contaminated surface, wait to touch your face until you have cleaned it off.
Don’t touch surfaces and then handle food. This is similar to the rule above but remember that any food you touch could transmit the virus straight into your mouth.
2. Be Cautious of Others
Be considerate of the health of others. If you know that someone else has symptoms or is sick, don’t hang around with them closely and for long periods of time if you don’t have to. You shouldn’t be harmful or hurtful, but you can be tactful and courteous while still protecting yourself. Openly allowing sick people into your inner personal circle is a risk factor that should not be taken if you are purposefully trying to prevent getting the common cold.
3. Be Mindful of Your Sleep
Everyone should understand the terrible next-day feeling of a bad night’s rest. It isn’t just your muscles that are aching. It is your whole body, mind, and spirit. Your body’s ability to fight off infection isn’t just chemical; it is mental too. So, if you really are looking to boost your immune system and fight off the common cold, you need to ensure that your sleep is top-notch during cold and flu season. Let’s put it this way. Individuals who sleep less than 7 hours per night are 200% more likely to get the flu than people who sleep at least 8 hours per night.
4. Be Healthy with Your Diet
Don’t over or under-eat. A healthy body has the mental fortitude to fight off issues during the day, but it needs the proper nutrition to act as fuel to keep it going. In addition, your whole-body health keeps you active and virus-free. This means making the right choices at home and staying active throughout the week.
Hydration is naturally part of a whole-body nutritional plan. Proper hydration helps fuel your systems. Remember that your diet and your sleep are all part of the physical side of a healthy body. The purpose is to complement your improved sleep and mood to fight off the common cold when you need to.
5. Be Diligent with Any Symptoms
Regardless of how hard we protect ourselves, we can still come down with symptoms of the common cold. So if you think that you might have caught something, be extra diligent in preventing a cold that causes you to miss work or your family.
Don’t take antibiotics as they won’t work on a virus. There is no cure for the common cold, so symptom management is the focus. Your job will appear similar to prevention in general. Fight symptoms with extra sleep, extra hydration, pain management, nasal congestion relief, and lots of warmth.
Protecting Yourself Protects Others
Stopping the spread of the virus is critical in keeping all of us safe from the virus especially in a cold flu season. This means avoiding others if you have symptoms and taking sick leave when you can. Stay sharp and always have situational awareness to keep your body in top shape for the season to come.