The 7 keys to prevent colds and flu
- Suitable diet
- Natural defenses
- Stress Management
- The social side
- Secondary benefit
- Prevention of others
- + Baby bonus
Viral infections like colds or flu particularly occur when you are nervously exhausted or when you need to boost your natural defenses.
So if you see around you people starting to be infected and you feel a bit tired, it is time to take precautions to prevent infection (unless it suits you well to get sick, we will come back to that).
Choose a healthy diet
For a more effective prevention of common cold and flu, nothing beats a diet that gives your body more weapons to defend itselves than obstacles to get rid of.
Prefer fresh salads and vegetables, foods rich in vitamin C.
For fat, opt for quality vegetable oils, seeds and raw nuts.
For protein, go for easy-to-digest products: plant-based proteins are the top-best, white fishes and soft-boiled eggs are among the most easily digestible animal protein.
Prefer herbal teas or plain water to alcohol or sugary drinks.
Move your natural defenses
Walk, practice regular sport, go out for some fresh air… just as you activate your body, you activate your bloodstream and thus your immune system.
Although the season is chill: get dressed warmly and take the time for an outdoor stroll. Twenty minutes of daily active walking – without crashing on a bench to watch who’s passing by right around the first corner – will be a benefit for you.
If you move around all day in your car, take every opportunity during the day to walk a bit, climbing a few floors by using the stairs, and make some breaks at the office for a little walk.
Manage your level of stress
Although the simple act of eating light gives you a lot of energy, it is not a reason for stressing more and spend this energy unnecessarily. Avoid anxiety, take some distance on situations that drive you to stress.
That does not mean you have to run away from each little nervous guy who caught a cold… wait, actually, sometimes, it does! Say no to the umpteenth one-too-many request, express the fact that you already have enough to do and/or that you also need to take care of yourself and your own business/projects.
In any case I consider that the periods of epidemics are a good opportunity to take a moment to consider what we need to stay calm and relaxed, even though we are indeed very focused on our current projects.
Wash your hands regularly.
Take care not to rub your eyes or nose, and do not touch your mouth as long as you have not washed your hands. Indeed the virus has a long enough life to go from your hands to your mucous membranes once you have touched a contaminated object.
If you do not have the opportunity to wash your hands, bring along some disinfectant wipes (and not those for baby’s skin).
The get-my-cold season
In winter, and those periods of time when everyone decides to catch a cold at the same time, avoid places filled with people, overheated, where the air is very dry and dries out the mucous membranes. And I am not only mentioning those parties where smokers have the opportunity to share their polluted fumes, but also conference rooms and over-crowded movie theaters with heavy air conditioning.
Indeed this is the best way to catch the virus from others, right there where they feel free to sneeze and cough around and share the virus load.
Even during those cold seasons, regularly open the windows to renew the air of the rooms where you live and work – especially when there is no automatic system taking care of it.
The secondary benefit
Have you ever wondered how getting sick would benefit you?
A little break at the office, a pause in household or parenting, a little more attention from the others, these are just as many possible benefits you could receive if you become ill, right here, right now.
I’m not telling you this to push you to be sick. But then if you say, “Of course not, I don’t want to get sick”, then I’ll ask “Are you sure that, somewhere, it wouldn’t help you?”.
If you succeed in a few seconds to find a valid reason, you have a choice:
- (optional) get sick and live this experience as comfortable as possible with 5 steps to cure your cold naturally,
- find a way to live better this valid reason, in order to avoid putting your life down with yet another contagious infection.
In both cases, once you’ve put your finger on it, you have no more reason to complain.
Oh look! Precisely if there is one thing you are regularly complaining about, most likely getting sick is a way for you to express your displeasure.
Just for fun, ask your spouse, friends or colleagues if you often complain about a subject or another. You will have a great opportunity to learn more about yourself! 🙂
Prevention for others
If you are the one with the cold, or you feel the first symptoms* coming, you can prevent spreading it to others by a few simple gestures.
(*: I speak about the first symptoms because they correspond to the period during which the virus is the most contagious)
Do not cough or sneeze in the face of people. Instead, use a tissue that you throw in the trash as soon as possible. Otherwise you can use a mask, that you will easily find in pharmacies/drugstores, to place in front of your nose and mouth in order to avoid polluting the air of others.
It may seem a little odd at first, but if you explain that this is to avoid sharing your cold with the whole world, you’ll get some esteem!
Prevention for babies
While each human being, one day, goes through the “I encounter a new virus, it’s time for my body to learn to make its anti-bodies,” it’s always more comfortable to delay this sensitive moment in the case of young babies.
The tips in this article are also valid for babies:
- avoid touching a baby without washing your hands,
- also wash your baby’s hands, since he tends to put them often to his mouth,
- regularly clean his toys, his stuffed animals, etc.
- When the air is too dry: humidify baby’s room.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing around a baby,
- If you cough, sneeze, drool or splutter near a baby, use a mask to reduce the chances of infection,
- if you want to smoke, do it outside, or even better: stop it now!
On the other hand, babies who are still breastfed receive the antibodies from the mother. This is generally a good protection but still, it is not a reason for coughing, sneezing, drooling or spitting on baby!
And finally, if you observe that baby’s nose is stuffed, or starts to run, you can get a small tool called “nasal aspirator”, very convenient to empty his nostrils. Avoid those with small soft-rubber pear, it doesn’t work so well: pick one with a small pipe. (Once I tried it on myself … well, it’s fun!)