December 1st, 2011

6 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu During the Holidays

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Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu Groovy Green Livin

During the holidays we spend a lot of time in close contact with others-there’s lots of kissing, hugging and shaking hands. All of this intimate contact means one thing-I am destined to catch a cold or the flu. Year after year this has been the case. As the holiday season ramps up I’m typically caught off guard by a bad case of the flu or a debilitating cold.  We can all agree that there never is a good time for a cold or the flu, but illness seems to knock at the most inopportune moments.

This year I’m determined to give it my best shot to stay healthy throughout the holidays-and I need your help.

Here are 5 suggestions to significantly reduce your chances of getting sick this holiday season (no promises!):

  1. Get enough sleep. Easier said than done-I know.  It turns out that lack of sleep really may make us more prone to catching colds and the flu. Our bodies are pretty complex, but there is a clear link between adequate sleep and a strong immune system.
  2. Wash your hands frequently. Using old fashioned soap and water kills bacteria and removes dirt from our hands. Soap and water reduces the possibility that the germs will travel into our bodies and cause an infection.  As a last resort use a hand sanitizer without alcohol.
  3. Don’t kiss anyone with the sniffles. If Aunt Petunia is headed your way with a big wad of tissues in one hand and something that looks like Rudolph’s nose adorning her face, try to avoid a smooch. If she’ll let you, a fist bump is the way to go.
  4. Reduce stress. Find what works for you to reduce the amount of stress in your life. This will vary from person to person. I have found that a consistent yoga practice works (not happening at the moment!). I try to set realistic goals and prioritize things on my ‘to do’ list. When you become overwhelmed and stressed out, your immune system suffers and makes you more susceptible to colds and flu
  5. Get moving. Don’t abandon healthy habits because you can’t find the time. Go to the gym, walk or run outside, swim, practice yoga. Find time to take care of yourself.
  6. Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water. You are what you eat and healthy eating is the key to well-being. Make a food plan before you head out for the day so you don’t fall victim to eating unhealthy foods on the run. Try to eat a healthy snack before heading out. I bring fruit with me in the car if I know I’m going to be out for a while.  Carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go-it’s the green and healthy choice.


What other tips to you have for keeping healthy this holiday season?

This post is part of the Green Holiday Guide Blog Carnival hosted by Lisa over at Retro Housewives Goes Green. Hop over to her site for recipes, gift ideas, homemade gift ideas, decorating ideas, and many more ways to make your holiday season as green as can be.

18 Responses to “6 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu During the Holidays”

  1. Aunt Petunia…..LOL! Thanks for sharing Lori! We sometimes forget our healthy eating habit when we see the chocolate fudge or pecan pie!

  2. Omg! I am never going to get better! I have the sniffles now and i never get enoug sleep nor reduce stress. Yikes! I better get ready for a long winter!

  3. These are such great tips! I always get such a great education reading your posts. I always look so forward to coming to your blog!!

  4. Great tips! I need to work on some of those things. I always make sleep a priority, though nothing else gets done around the house because of it.

    My mom always tells me to gargle warm salt water when I feel a sore throat coming on which seems to help me feel better. Yesterday I read something about hot beverages being a good thing as well. I usually have tea with honey if I am not feeling well.

    Also, the fist bump part made me laugh.

  5. Fist bump! Love it, Lori. Thank you for not telling people to get the flu shot. For #4, reduce stress, I’d add that since we’re talking about the holiday season, it’s important to set boundaries and take me-time away from the in-laws. I don’t know anyone who isn’t eventually stressed out by big family get-togethers!

  6. I couldn’t think of a typical Aunt name Stephanie-so Petunia stuck! I agree-it’s hard to eat healthy with so many sweets around! Pecan pie is one of my favs.

  7. Yes you will Tiffany. You know how to take care of yourself. Your prescription for the weekend is to take a long nap (ha!).

  8. Thanks Alicia – you made my day. I so appreciate that you come to my blog and I love visiting yours.

  9. Hi Marsha-All that other stuff doesn’t really matter! Sleep rules. Tea is a great suggestion and honey has all of those soothing properties for a sore throat. Thanks for sharing. Let me know if you use the fist bump this holiday season 🙂

  10. Thanks Andrea for adding such an important suggestion. Finding time for yourself is key. Setting boundaries can be challenging, but once they’re in place it feels so much better. Nothing like a good fist bump with a relative!

  11. Great advice as usual, though good luck with fist bumping Aunt Petunia! 🙂

  12. Thanks so much Delphine! Thankfully there are no Aunt Petunias in my life. Do you have any? I might try the fist bump out on a few others…..I promise not to use it on you 🙂

  13. […] Groovy Green Livin is helping us stay well naturally for the holidays. […]

  14. […] Green Holiday Blog Carnival, sharing many great ideas for having a greener holiday season (my post, 6 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu During the Holidays, is […]

  15. […] Green Livin has some great info on non-toxic Hanukkah candles. She also has some info on staying well for the holidays, this is something that is very important to me as I have asthma. I spent last Christmas VERY sick […]

  16. Washing your hands frequently is the best way for reducing the chance for the flu. But it’s almost impossible to not catch the flu during the winter 🙁
    Anne recently posted..De beste afvallen apps in een overzichtMy Profile

  17. I love how old-fashioned your tips are — probably something our grandmothers would have said too!
    Anne recently posted..Greener Holiday Packaging CleanupMy Profile

  18. […] It’s September and I already have my first cold of the season. We all know that there’s never a good time for a cold, but the coughing sneezing and other symptoms always seem to appear at the most inopportune times. I guess there’s only so much we can do to prevent the inevitable! […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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