You can try to hibernate in your house all winter, but unless you never come in contact with other people, you will be exposed to a slew of germs and viruses in these coming months.
The good news is, your body generally has everything it needs to fight off whatever you come across, so most of the time you won’t even know that you were exposed to those pesky microbes.
Still, it’s best to take precautions and make sure you have an ultimate defense system in place when colds and the flu are successfully taking down friends and family around you.
Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to easily enhance your body’s fighting power, both before and after you feel symptoms.
Here are the best ways to prepare for flu season:
Wash your hands regularly
At this point, most people know the importance of washing hands to prevent the spread of germs. The problem is, most people don’t wash their hands for long enough to make any real impact on surface cleanliness.
To wash your hands properly, scrub each finger, the spaces between your fingers, the surface of your palms, and your wrists with soap for 20 seconds before you rinse. And it doesn’t have to be antibacterial soap – the friction you create when you’re rubbing your hands together is generally sufficient to scrub away germs and viruses, just make sure you do it long enough.
20 seconds is about the length of the “happy birthday” song, so you’ll hear me humming it at the sink after I use the bathroom, when I come home from adventures outside, or feel that I came in contact with a potentially unsanitary surface.
Wear a scarf
According to Chinese medicine, wind and cold come in through the back of your neck and at the top of your back.
To make sure the elements don’t affect your health, cover your neck thoroughly and avoid drafty places.
Eat Your Vegetables
When the internal landscape of your body and immune system is strong and healthy, external invasions by germs and viruses don’t stand a chance.
If you want to ward off the cold and flu this season, it’s essential that you give your body the proper nutrients so your immune system has all the tools it needs.
Eat a variety of warm, cooked vegetables with every meal if you want to stay healthy this winter.
But don’t just eat a salad, which is too cold and will make your body colder when you want it to be warmer. Instead, roasted root veggies and sauteed leafy greens are especially effective at providing needed nutrients this time of year.
Prepare to do the Wet Sock Treatment
Despite our best efforts, there are those occasions when the microbes get the best of us.
In case you do feel yourself coming down with a sore throat or sniffles, you want to nip that illness at the bud.
The best way to do that is with the Wet Sock Treatment (also called the “Warming Sock Method”).
Don’t worry, it’s not as uncomfortable as it sounds.
And if you’re hesitant, think about this: aren’t 2 seconds of potential discomfort well worth avoiding a miserable week or two in bed because you didn’t take appropriate action when symptoms first appeared? The answer should be obvious.
Take elderberry syrup
Elderberries are well known amongst herbalists as an effective boost for the immune system.
Take a spoonful every day preventatively, and a couple spoonfulls every hour when symptoms appear.
What do you do to protect yourself during flu season? Leave a comment below so other people can learn from your positive experiences!