There’s common cold season. And then there’s COVID-19 + common cold season. COVID-19 is in the news every day. But the regular cold hasn’t gone away. When it comes to any illness, we believe in the motto ‘prepare, don’t panic’. Often, preparations involve rethinking your hygiene habits and doing things you should have been doing all along. In the spirit of preparation, here are ten tips to prevent the common cold – many will reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 as well.
That’s right, you can’t just pump soap into your hands and rub them quickly under running water. You should actually wash your hands for at least twenty seconds. While washing your hands, hum happy birthday twice as a way to count those seconds, or choose the chorus of your favourite song.
You won’t always be able to wash your hands when you want to. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket but beware – all hand sanitizers aren’t created equal. Use a brand with at least 60% alcohol for maximum protection against germs. 3. Don’t touch your face. The average person touches their face 23 times an hour – yikes! Viruses can enter our body through our eyes, nose and mouth so if you catch yourself touching your face, remind yourself to cut it out!
A person may not display symptoms of illness but they may still be infected and able to spread the common cold through close contact with others. If you’re usually a hugger, or if you greet friends with a kiss on each cheek, consider an alternate greeting.
OK. You’re washing your hands every hour on the hour. But then you use a door handle that hasn’t been cleaned in a week. You use your cell phone, which hasn’t been cleaned in a month. You’re exposing yourself to surfaces that are possibly – no, probably – contaminated. Remember to disinfect any surfaces or items that are used frequently.
Obviously, coughing and sneezing into your hands is a big no-no. If you do that, you could be spreading germs to everything and every person you touch. But if you use a tissue, don’t drop it on your desk – that could contaminate the surface too. Throw it in the bin immediately after use!
Don’t just drop a Vitamin C tablet into your water on a morning. Eat foods that will support your immune system to help you fight off a cold. You already know the good stuff, like brightly coloured fruits; green, leafy vegetables; garlic; onions; and yogurt.
There are a million benefits to regular exercise, including this one: exercise helps boost your immune system.
You’re supposed to get at least seven hours’ sleep a night, but far too many of us sacrifice sleep to check one more thing off our to-do list. However, studies show that catching those ZZZs makes you less susceptible to the common cold.
Preventing the common cold isn’t just about keeping yourself healthy. If you do get sick, the best thing that you can do is stay home to rest and recover. It’s also best for your colleagues or classmates. Don’t be that person who infects your whole office or class!
These steps aren’t just about preventing the common cold; they’re also about taking the best possible care of you. The more love you show yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to prevent illness.