It’s that time of year again. Everyone you know is sniffling and coughing, prompting you to smother yourself in hand sanitiser in the hopes you’ll come out the season sickness-free. During flu season, offices are unfortunately breeding grounds for germs. While we can’t avoid going to work altogether, there are ways to protect yourself and minimise the likelihood of catching a bug. Keep reading below!
Spray it, don’t say it
Research has found that shared items are the main carriers of germs in an office, so you can cut your colleague some slack for sneezing freely into the air without a tissue (although that’s not ideal either). Buy an empty spray bottle, fill it with rubbing alcohol, and regularly spray it on the main culprits of contamination, such as your desktop, keyboard and mouse, shared hardware (e.g. printers, coffee machines, etc.), and door handles, just to name few.
Don’t be touchy
It goes without saying that you should wash your hands frequently (be sure to wash between the fingers and around the nails). Going one step further, make sure to keep your hands away from your face, namely your nose, eyes and mouth You’ll be surprised by how frequently you do so, so make sure to keep a pack of tissues handy to use if you absolutely must make contact. Similarly, try to avoid hand shaking if possible. If it feels awkward, then either make a joke of it or sanitise your hands right after. If you have to sit near someone who’s sick, then the best you can do is to bring in a scarf or face mask to cover your face.
A shot a season keeps the doctor away
A seasonal fly shot is a good way to stay healthy in germ infested times, so it’s something to really consider. They usually last around 6 months, so time it so you’re covered throughout the entire season. *Disclaimer: consult your doctor or medical professional beforehand, so they may assess whether you’re a good candidate for a flu shot.
Aeration for Sanitation
Flu germs can be transmitted through the air, so make sure to open windows throughout the day to ventilate your workspace. Even if it’s cold outside, it’s important to get rid of the stale air throughout the day. If needed, tell everyone in the office to bring an extra layer to wear. Also, try to take a brisk walk outside during your lunch break; step away from the office and get some sun, as Vitamin D is also helpful to keep your immune system healthy in Winter months.
C the results
Vitamin C not only helps with your immunity, but it has also shown to help with reducing symptoms after you get sick. Too much supplementary Vitamin C may not be a good thing; instead, go with natural sources like fresh juices. But don’t just opt for the citrus fruits: red and green bell peppers contain almost three times as much Vitamin C than oranges!
Zen and Mend
A healthy body = healthy immune system. Stress can really hurt your immune system, so make sure you have ways to destress throughout the flu season. Remember to always eat clean, get your 8 hours of sleep, stay hydrated, avoid drinking too much alcohol, and exercise regularly. If you’re someone who’s affected by seasonal changes, it may be a good idea to book a sun-filled holiday over the Winter season to get you through it.
Don’t be tough, be smart
The most important tip on this list is know when to take sick leave. While you may want to come off as the diligent employee who comes to work with a face mask on, you’re not doing anyone any favours. Rather, you're more likely to be blamed for getting the entire office sick. The CDC recommends people to stay home 24 hours after your fever or other flu symptoms are gone (i.e. body aches, coughing, sneezing, running nose, chills, headache, etc.). You can infect people one day before your symptoms begin to show and up to one week after the first day of becoming sick, so better not to risk it.
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