Winter Solstice is just a few days away and the chill is in the air...along with the flu and cold that has been spreading around the beehive state.  

Unfortunately, the holidays bring cheer and sickness, and Utah has been feeling both in spades. It’s just that time of year and unless you work from home, the chances of you getting sick are pretty high. Some people just don’t know when to stay home, even after the pandemic.  

So, what can you do to protect yourself? 

Well, there are a few ways to protect yourself and your family from the dreaded flu and cold, though these are not full proof, it’s better than nothing.  

CUA Health has a few tips on how to avoid getting sick, especially right before Christmas.  

Hand Washing 

At this point, we should all be pretty versed on how to properly wash our hands and when we should be doing so. Since the germs from cold and flu can linger on commonly used surfaces like appliances, doors, and handrails, you’ll want to increase your hand washing. Spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands with lots of soap and warm water for the most effective result.  

Do it as often as you can, especially when out and about and touching things many others may have come in contact with.  

Be Stingy 

Don’t share food or drinks with people during this time of year. Now, cuffing season is well underway, and sharing a hot chocolate with your crush may seem romantic but getting each other sick is anything but.  

Besides food, make sure not to share bedding, clothing or towels, especially when you have relatives staying over.  

Boost Your Immune System 

Take this time to take a look at your diet and add foods that are known to boost your immunity. This means adding more fruits and veggies and foods with healthy fats versus junk food. Some foods you could consider adding to your diet are citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, Greek yogurt, salmon, red meat, and whole grains.  

Drinks 

With how cold it is, it's normal to want something like coffee or hot chocolate, however, caffeine and sugary drinks will make you dehydrated. So, it's better to switch out those drinks with something like tea or water to keep your hydration levels up. Chamomile tea, ginseng, and ginger all have immunity benefits so it may be good to consider adding those to your daily drink lineup.  

Stress 

Being stressed out doesn't cause someone to get sick (usually) but it can increase your chances of getting the flu or cold. One way to help reduce stress is to work out or at least maintain some form of physical activity. Being well-rested is also a way to avoid some stress and to keep your immune system up.  

Stay safe and healthy this holiday season and have a very merry Christmas!  

 

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Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren

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