Flu and cold season is upon us, but don’t fear. All the hype surrounding this time of year is enough to make you sick, and it truly makes me want to hide in the house all day. But that doesn’t really work. the kids still have school, I still have work to do, and the world keeps spinning no matter how yucky you feel.
Missing out on days of work, or having to miss work because your kids are home sick can be devastating to the family finances. Especially if you’re an hourly wage employee or self-employed like me. After all, there’s no one to pick up the slack when I get sick!
Learn more: 7 Ways To Entertain Your Kids When You’re Sick
There are ways to be prepared for the colds that seem unavoidable. With a little prevention, you might even avoid getting the flu. We put together 15 ways you can be prepared for cold & flu season.
Don’t be scared, be prepared.
15 Ways To Prevent and Fight Flu & Colds
- Wash your hands: It may seem obvious, but many people don’t do it. Wash your hands with soap, water, and sing the tune of Happy Birthday twice, or the ABC song once to make sure you do it for longer than 20 seconds. Singing out loud is optional.
- Get plenty of rest. Yes, I sound like your mom, I am one! Get plenty of sleep, since it is the most effective way to make sure your body is happy.
- Eat healthy foods. Eat superfoods, and foods high in vitamin C.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is always a good idea.
- Exercise regularly. The healthier you are the easier it will be to get over colds and flu.
- Find out if the flu shot is right for you. We don’t get flu shots, but you should carefully consider it. For more info: check out Flu.gov. Due to high demand it may be difficult for children under 10, who are supposed to get 2 doses for it to be effective, to be fully vaccinated.
- Stock your medicine cabinet. Stock your cabinet with Vitamin C tablets, Ibuprofen for adults (and kids if you have them), a Neti Pot (if you’re inclined), a homeopathic remedy kit, and DayQuil and/or NyQuil.
- Make a big batch of stock or soup and freeze it. Pull it out when you need it. Chicken broth is the best for a cold, particularly homemade. Vegans and vegetarians should stock up on Miso.
- Prepare a sick box. For adults, a breezy read (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon or maybe The Associate by John Grisham), crossword puzzles and a pencil, tissues, and a few comedies (laughing is good for you). For kids, DVDs like Little Bear , crayons and a pad of paper, tissues, paper dolls, a new dollar store toy, and a favorite blankie or stuffed animal.
- Stock up on tea. Tea is high in antioxidants, and perfect for chills. For kids we like Traditional Medicinals Just for Kids Organic Cold Care Herbal Tea (make sure you chose a decaffeinated tea), for adults try Teavana, they have an amazing variety.
- Make a plan. If you work and/or have children, make sure you save your sick days, and plan to send your child to school or daycare if you are sick and they aren’t. If you are a stay at home parent, do as little as possible, and let the kids know mom isn’t well.
- Do NOT push through and go to work, or send a child to school. This will only lengthen the illness (because of lack of rest), and expose your co-workers to the same illness.
- Avoid going to the doctor. It may seem counter intuitive, but if you have a flu or common cold there is little the doctor can do for you. If you have a symptom you are concerned about, or can’t seem to kick your cold or flu, see if you can talk to the doctor or a nurse on the phone.
- Slow down. The temptation with a busy life is to push through, but don’t. Slowing down at the first sign of being sick will help you get better faster.
- Wash your hands. Yes, this gets a 2nd mention. It’s the best way to keep yourself from getting sick, and passing on your germs.
Learn more: How To Occupy A Sick Child
*Homeopathy is extremely safe, and effective. Some would argue that it is akin to taking a placebo, to which I say awesome! I’d rather give my kids a placebo than drugs anyway. I have been using homeopathy for 15 years and found that it is extremely effective for us. We are fortunate to have a local MD who often prescribes homeopathic medicine first. Finding a natropath or MD who uses homepathics is worth it, since you can get custom remedies, and remedies you wouldn’t find at your local natural foods store.