As the hot weather of summer begins to fade and kids head back to school, cold and flu season is lurking in the shadows, waiting to make its appearance. Now is the time to start making changes to your personal habits that might have become a little lax over the summer. Those in healthcare should start paying closer attention to their diet, exercise, sleep, and other self-care habits to make sure that their body and their immune system are at their best before the threat of colds and flu are an everyday reality.
Summer is a time of vacations and indulgence, but as it comes to a close, you’ll want to improve your diet. Make sure that you’re eating foods that are rich in the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost your immune system and prepare your body to fight off the germs of cold and flu season. Even small dietary improvements can make a huge difference, such as adding a couple of servings of fresh fruit to your menu each day.
Late nights and early mornings are the name of the game for those in healthcare, but when your body isn’t getting enough rest, you’re setting yourself up to fall victim to whatever germs come down the pike. Make sure that you are getting at least eight hours of sleep per night or find ways to squeeze in naps and other ways of allowing your body to rest and recharge. While you might feel like there are other more important things to do, when you’re down and out with a nasty flu bug, you’ll wish you hadn’t sacrificed that sleep.
Get back to the gym or start training for that holiday 5k today. The exercise will help your body be in better shape to fight off the seasonal germs that you know are heading your way. Find an enjoyable routine that you’re likely to stick with and reap the benefits of a regular exercise program.
When it comes to a high-stress job like that of a nurse or physician, the name of the game is “me time” for relieving stress. Though much of the on the job stress you face in a day isn’t something that you can directly control, you can make sure that you set up time in each day, week, and month to do something for yourself to help release that stress. Schedule time with friends, book a relaxing massage or spa day, or talk with a professional to help keep stressors from affecting your immune system.
Stay Away from Other Bad Habits
Reduce your consumption of alcohol, avoid smoking and drug use, and take care to cut other habits out of your life that leave you feeling less than healthy. All of these things put your body at risk of falling victim to whatever cold or flu germ that is going around. You’ll be more effective at your job and happier in your life when you start early to change the habits that will make you more susceptible during cold and flu season.