Disclosure: This is a paid, sponsored post brought to you by Vicks. All opinions are my own.
Winter is in full force in the Northeast and with it freezing temperatures, ice, snow, and of course lots of colds and flus being passed around. According to the CDC, cold and flu incidence is spiking right now in Pennsylvania. We’ve already had a cold this January and I’m crossing my fingers we can get through the rest of the winter unscathed.
Fortunately, I’ve partnered with Vicks to share tips to help you and your whole family stay healthy this winter.
15 Tips to Avoid and Fight the Cold and Flu
My Tips for Avoiding & Fighting the Cold & Flu
1. Wash your hands.
I’m always washing my hands and having the kids wash up. It’s key to staying well during winter. I have even gone so far as to inspect their hands after they’re done!
2. Wipe down surfaces.
Surfaces are totally gross. We may think that the bathroom surfaces are the worst but doorknobs, cell phones, and remotes are far germier. (don’t google it, just trust me). Wiping them down regularly is important.
3. Eat healthy foods.
Eat superfoods and foods that are high in vitamin C. We eat a ton of oranges and citrus fruits all winter long.
Exercise is good for you in so many ways, but can also help you fight off the cold and flu by improving your immune system.
5. Keep soup on hand in the freezer or pantry.
It’s helpful to have on hand and you can prepare your own chicken broth really simply. Store it in the freezer and defrost it when someone gets ill. Vegans and vegetarians can stock up on miso.
6. Prepare a sick box for when you’re under the weather.
Having creature comforts at hand for when you get sick will make getting better easier. In your box or basket you can include a fun novel, crossword puzzles, tissues, and a few comedy DVDs. Laughter is great medicine.
7. Prepare a sick box for the kids, too.
Kids can benefit from a sick box or basket as well. not only will it keep them occupied when they need to rest, but it will make getting well more fun. For younger kids include a new DVD, crayons and a pad of paper, tissues, and a cuddly stuffed animal. For older kids you can include an app store gift card to keep them busy with a new game or movie rental, a fun chapter book or YA novel, tissues, cough drops, and warm socks.
8. Use over the counter products when you need to.
Vicks DayQuil Severe and NyQuil Severe provide relief for your worst cold symptoms helping you power through your days and get the rest you need at night. They are helpful to power through your day when you can’t take off your mom or dad cap or you need to wrap up your work. No other nighttime or non-drowsy medicine relieves more cold/flu symptoms than NyQuil Severe among OTC cold & flu medicines.
Vicks is also working with Nurse Barb Dehn, Registered Nurse Practitioner, who shares her tips on how to spot and treat symptoms of the flu and tips on how to stay healthy throughout flu season.
Nurse Barb’s Tips
9. Avoid germs at work (or school).
Watch out for these germ-ridden places at the office:
- the sink in the break room
- the office microwave
10. Say ‘no’ to stress.
Stress can influence the symptoms of cold, cough and flu by interfering with how the immune system functions. To keep your immune system strong, make sure to get plenty of rest and sleep all the time, not just when you’re sick.
11. Sleep on a schedule.
Go to bed and wake up on a regular schedule. Plus, avoid stimulating beverages like caffeinated coffee or alcohol before going to sleep, as well as bright light from the screens on your phone, TV or other electronic devices.
12. Know the signs.
You are most contagious in the first 24 hours when your symptoms are at their worst. If you have two or more of these symptoms, stay home to rest:
- fever over 101º F
- sore throat
- running nose
- body aches
13. Try tea.
Drinking an herbal tea such as chamomile, passionflower or other soothing teas before bed can help you relax while also getting helpful fluids into your system.
14. Elevate the head of the bed.
Place a pillow under your mattress to raise the upper body from the waist up. This allows blood to flow away from the head and reduce inflammation of the air passages. Using extra pillows can also ease body aches by taking the pressure off hips, knees and back.
15. Take a hot shower before bed.
Steam and humidity can cause sinuses to drain and relieve stuffiness from a cold. It can also help you to relax, and ease chills, aches and fatigue. Put your towel and/or bathrobe in the dryer so that you don’t feel chilled when you get out, and make sure the room is nice and warm.
What advice do you have for avoiding colds and the flu?