How To Protect Yourself From Getting The Flu

fsaCold and flu season is here. Worse yet, Ebola may be here as well. How can you protect yourself from getting sick?

First, I am not one who believes in flu shots so that won’t be one of the options I list below. I have had my fair share of flu shots, and each year I received one, I got very sick.  Oddly, once I stopped getting an annual flu shot, I also stopped getting sick. Oh sure, I may have gotten the sniffles, a mild cold, but no full fledged flu breakout.  This is my results, and I am not saying to not get a flu shot I am only saying for me, I have made a choice not to get one.

With that said, when I have felt like I was getting sick, one thing that I took and swear by is Sambucus Black Elder Berry Extract, as soon as I feel like I might be getting sick, I take one teaspoon three times a day for 3 or four days in a row and I never end up getting sick. This has also worked for my parents as well.  It is amazing, plus, I think it tastes fantastic as well. So, when it comes to my first go to item to help me from getting sick, it is Black Elder Berry.

Ideally, if I do everything below I should never need the Black Elder Berry, but, we all know we don’t live in an ideal world. We are surrounded
by germs, and sick people every time we leave our home.  We could live like hermits and never go out, but that is not very practical, and it doesn’t account for the kids and spouse who are coming and going on a regular basis.

The health care professionals will tell you to keep your hands clean at all times. I agree, and I recommend going a step further, get into the habit of not touching your face with your hand at all. If you have to sneeze or cough, do it in your sleeve, in the bend of your arm, or into a tissue or handkerchief. The way things are now, I always carry a handkerchief with me at all times. I put a clean one in my pocket every morning, regardless if I used the one from the day before or not. My hands go in and out of my pockets, and some germs get passed back and forth, so I always make sure I have a clean one each day.

Eyes and nose, use your handkerchief or tissue to whip your eyes or nose with. Don’t use your fingers.  Your mom was right when she said “don’t pick your nose” and it wasn’t just cause it looked nasty, it was unclean. Always use a tissue.

Keep your hands out of your mouth.  I can’t believe how many people I see during or after a meal who have something caught in their teeth and they stick their finger in their mouth to dislodge it. Hands and fingers are filthy and carry germs, keep them out of your mouth. Carry around a couple of dental picks. These little things are so handy and you will be surprised how often you will use them once you start carrying them around. They are single use, so when you are done with it, through it out and use a new one next time you need it.

Now it should go without saying, but, wash your hands every chance you get. In the office, I go into the restroom before a meeting and after, just to wash my hands. I wash my hands after I pump gas, go to the grocery store, and of course after I go to the bathroom. In between hand washing, I use hand sanitizer. I have a bottle on my desk at work that I get a squirt from throughout the day. I also carry a little bottle around with me in my pocket as well so if I am in a meeting, especially after I shake hands with someone, I give myself a little squirt. No it does not offend anyone, and many times I offer others a squirt as well.

If you are seeing a theme here you are right, from my experience, the best way to keep from getting sick, is keeping my hands clean and keeping my hands and fingers away from my mouth, nose, and face, including my ears.

In addition to keeping your hands clean keep focused on your surroundings, stay away from pharmacies, many times sick people are there picking up scripts to make them feel better. Stay away from the doctors office, I never understood the concept of a “wellness” visit during flu season. If I am well, why would I want to go into an office full of sick people? Also, keep watch out for people at work who come in sick, be polite but direct and tell them they need to go home rather than spread their germs to everyone else at work.

It also helps to stay well hydrated with clean fresh water, as well as eat foods high in vitamin C like, lemon, Kiwi, Mango, Oranges.  When your body gets dehydrated, it has no way to naturally flush out any germs in encounters throughout the day.

I am not a doctor, and this isn’t meant to be any type of medical advise, just simple common sense from someone who, thank God, manages to stay very well when others around me are sick.

Please share what you do to keep yourself from getting sick, we all need as many tips as possible.