Fight back in cold and flu season!

Winter is here, and you know what that means… colds, flu, and infections galore! What can you do to avoid these dreaded illnesses this year? Here are some tips on staying healthy and happy — even when everyone else is sick.

1. Wash your hands! Wash your hands with warm water and soap for about thirty seconds — especially after using the bathroom, before eating or preparing food, touching someone or their belongings (such as using someone else’s phone), and after being outside or out running errands, etc.

2. While you keep your hands clean, do the same with your belongings. Regularly wipe down your phone, computer and mouse, purse, and other things you touch on a regular basis with anti-bacterial wipes.

3. Stay hydrated! Drinking lots of water is one of the best health decisions you can make. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day keeps your immune system working properly, gives your skin a glow, and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

4. Get plenty of sleep. We all have busy schedules, but making time for sleep is very important. Schedule your sleep like you schedule your appointments. Make sure you get at least seven hours a night and be honest if you need more! If you feel yourself getting sick, make sure to get more sleep.

5. Take your vitamins. Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E are great for your immune system. Take a multivitamin every day and add other vitamins based on your needs. You Are What You Eat, by Gillian McKeith is a great resource that  tells you which vitamins you are lacking with certain health woes. Take a supplement with tons of good stuff such as Emergen-C weekly or when you are feeling under the weather.

6. Exercise! Every day I learn about more and more reasons to exercise. It boosts your immune system, keeps your weight in check, gives you happiness inducing endorphins, and much more. Even a quick walk can make you feel better.

7. Keep your choppers sparkly clean! Lots of germs and other yucky stuff comes in to infect us through your mouth. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly can fight off germs.

8. Be social! I don’t know why, but I keep reading on how having good social ties and hanging with friends boosts your immune system and keeps you healthy. Don’t make excuses to miss out on fun — it is good for you!

9. If you are feeling sick, treat yourself with great care. Make extra time for sleep, take time off work to rest, drink tea and something like Emergen-C, eat healthy food, take a gentle walk if you’re up for it, and don’t stress out! I’ve read that stress is related to about 99% of illness! Keep yourself calm by making to-do lists, meditating, doing yoga, or whatever else keeps you stress-free.

10. Lastly, try to keep away from people who are sick! In your home, change towels and clean regularly. Encourage people at work to stay home if they are ill and offer to help with their work in exchange for keeping their germs away. Be conscious about coughing and sneezing… you don’t want someone hacking on you, so don’t do it to them!

Share your tips on staying healthy in cold weather months!

♥AUTHOR: LAUREN STEWART of Lauren’s Thoughts