Cold and flu season is upon us, and thanks to Typhoid Holly in my office, who’s so obsessed with “optics” that she’d rather hack and spittle all over everyone instead of calling out or working remotely, I’ve already gotten sick twice. I did some research on how to prevent getting sick when I’m around inconsiderate monsters like her, and I’m here to help. Stop spreading pathogens and keep your office from becoming a petri dish with these tips!
1. Wash your hands often. This is a biggie. You can’t control how many germs Holly gets on surfaces, but you can control how many of those germs stay on your hands. Docs say that plain old soap and water is best — no need to splurge on antibacterial or antimicrobial formulas.
2. If you can’t get to the bathroom, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. I keep a few bottles at my desk and in my purse for whenever someone sneezes, coughs, or touches anything in my vicinity. I’m that person.
3. Don’t touch sick people, even if they swear they’re not contagious. Now is not the time for hand shakes or hugs.
4. Keep your surfaces and surroundings clean. Lysol or Clorox wipes will help kill any lingering germs and viruses on your desk, door knobs, desk phone, computer mouse, refrigerator and microwave handles.
5. Keep your allergies at bay. If you suffer from sinus or respiratory issues like me, talk to your doctor — she may recommend you take an antihistamine or anti-inflammatory daily to keep your sinuses and respiratory passages from getting inflamed, which will make you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
6. Don’t touch your face. Your hands, even when they’re clean, are still full of germs, and you’re spreading them to every orifice when you touch your face. Bonus? You’ll keep your pores clear.
7. Stay hydrated. It’s easy to warm up with a coffee or tea instead of a bottle of water when it’s below freezing outside, which caffeine can act as a diuretic. It’s important to keep drinking water (or juice, Pedialyte, what have you) when it’s cold outside.
8. Eat well. Vitamins! Grab a bunch of bananas or a box of clementines from the supermarket and throw a couple in your bag to snack on instead of something from a vending machine. Add fruit to your cereal in the morning. The added boost of vitamin C will boost your immune system.
9. Work out. You’ll feel better inside and out, and you’ll also feel less cold!
10. Rest up. Seriously, it’s more important now than ever to get your rest. When you’re run down, you’re more likely to catch a bug. Don’t get sick from not getting enough sleep!
11. Get a flu shot. Please.