I’m NOT sick!

You wake up one morning with a little tickle in your throat. By mid-day the tickle is officially a sore throat. “I’m not sick” you tell yourself. You get through the work day, workout, pick the kids up, make dinner, clean up, finally sit down again and now there is now a cough with your sore throat. “I’m NOT sick! I don’t have time to be sick!”. Go to sleep, wake up the next morning, and now your eyes are swollen shut and you can’t swallow. “Shoot – I’m SICK!”

We never want to get sick, but this time of year seems especially hard to be down for the count.  There is too much to do and the world won’t stop for us.  This is also the time when we are most vulnerable!  Stress and travel can wipe us out.  Use a little common sense and some easy tricks to keep germs at bay:

1) Wash your hands!

This is the #1 way to prevent getting sick and spreading germs!  I can’t emphasize it enough.  Wash every time you use the bathroom, as soon as you get home from errands, and after you’ve visited your kids’ school or the gym.  My daughter and I wash our hands the moment we come in the door from any errand, so we stay clean and she starts learning the habit at a young age.  You have to use soap and water and scrub around your rings and under your nails (just using water doesn’t count!).  You should wash as long as it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” as a general rule.  Keep other surfaces clean as well.  Wipe down your phone, computer and steering wheel with sanitary wipes.  Keep hand sanitizer in your car, stroller and your office.  Use a towel on the equipment at the gym or wipe it down before you use it.  And if you have to cough or sneeze and cover your mouth, try using your arm and not the hand you are about to touch the door knob with!

2) Wash sheets, clothes and toys regularly

I don’t need to tell you how dirty kids can get.  When they drag their favorite toy or stuffed animal around with them, that lovie picks up all the germs from floors, surfaces and cars.  Do a load of laundry once a week reserved for the special items that touch the ground and then your child’s face/mouth.  Wipe down plastic and wood toys with warm soapy water regularly.  (Poor Teddy went for a little swim here…)

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2) Keep stress levels down.

There are certain things you have to get done this time of year, and schedules will inevitably fill up.  Keep yourself extra organized so that you aren’t running yourself ragged.  If you have to bake cookies for an event, bake three dozen and freeze two knowing you’ll need them later in the month.  Do your shopping at night or during the day – it might be inconvenient but it’s much less busy and less stressful (and fewer people to share germs!)  Learn to say no – you don’t have to attend every event you are invited to!  Chose the ones you know are important, and let a few go.  Your true friends will understand.

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3) Get your sleep.

Your sleep time is your body’s time to heal.  You need this time to “recharge”.  You lose 30 minutes one night, 30 minutes the next, and this continues until the end of the week when you’ve lost over 3 hours of your total sleep!  If you have a late night, try to make up a little the next night.  Don’t try to get everything done before going to sleep – it won’t happen!  There will always be more to do – prioritize and then turn your brain off until the next morning.

4) Stay in your healthy routine as much as possible.

Your body can bounce back from a few sporadic days of lost exercise and cocktails. This isn’t so easy if you do it all month!  The biggest mistake people make is letting all healthy habits go until the New Year, thinking they will just “start over” in January. Your body needs a healthy diet, regular exercise and your supplements (Proflavanol 90 is a great natural germ fighter) to keep up it’s defenses.

This is a season to enjoy, and that’s hard to do when coughing, sneezing and being miserable!  Take small precautions and make some easy changes to keep you and your family healthy and happy!

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