You can do quite a few things to avoid coming down with the flu or catching one of those nasty colds this year. Yes, you can and probably should get a flu shot. Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. The healthier your body, the stronger your immune system. Another important preventative measure is washing your hands. But don’t stop there.
As much as you can, keep your distance from people who are coughing and sneezing. The average cold or flu virus only travels about six feet through the air. That means if you can keep a little distance between yourself and anyone who looks sick, you improve your chances of staying healthy.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Sometimes we get stuck in meetings with sick coworkers who didn’t stay home. Or we must brave public transportation. Or, worst of all, we have to wait in a doctor’s waiting room or hospital. Wearing a mask and washing your hands will help. You should also do your best to keep that six feet distance mentioned earlier. Move a few seats if you can. Take a different route when you see someone with glassy eyes or showing symptoms that indicate they may have a cold or the flu.
Teach your loved ones to do the same. If they get sick, you will be surrounded by people who spend most of their day within proximity of you and need your help and physical attention. Eat a healthy diet and go out and exercise as a family. Boost your vitamin C intake during the winter when colds and flu are rampant. When others do get sick – it happens – do your best to protect yourself. Wash your hands and try to avoid getting coughed or sneezed on. It’s easier said than done, but do what you can.
Finally, use your influence to encourage others to stay home when they are sick. Lead by example. Stay home from the office and avoid heading out to the store when you’re sick. If you must venture out, keep your distance and wear a mask. Don’t sneeze or cough into your hands. Use hand sanitizer before touching common-use items like the keypad at the grocery store or similar things. Keep your kids home from school. Spread the message of the importance of staying home when sick to get others to do the same.