You’re at work when all of a sudden you hear it from the cubicle next door. It’s just a sneeze. But then you notice someone coughing across the room. And there’s sniffling echoing through the halls. This is when you realize – everyone around you is sick! So what do you do now to stay healthy?
You can find sick people wherever you go, You’ll find them dragging themselves to Soul Cycle and then coughing over the handlebars. Or in line with you at Starbucks. You can find sick people anywhere. And sometimes it seems that they’re EVERYWHERE!
The worst is obviously when it’s your family. How can you keep yourself germ-free while being head caretaker? Not to mention taking care of little kids who don’t yet know to cover their nose or mouth. But here are things you can do that improve your odds of staying healthy, even while tending to the sick in your household.
Support your immune system with supplements
There are certain supplements you can take that will give your immune system a boost. And this goes beyond just vitamin C. Not that you shouldn’t build-up your vitamin-c. But you shouldn’t just stop there.
Here are some of my favorites. –
Garlic is the one you’re most likely to have on-hand in a crunch. You can add it to a healthy salad, blend it into a immune boosting smoothie, or boil it into a soup. But before you do, know there is a special way to cut your garlic to get the full immunity and anti-inflammatory potential.
Cut the garlic and then let it sit for a full ten minutes before using it. This allows it to develop the enzyme in garlic that is most healing. Learn more about this here.
Take immune boosting supplements from the moment you’re exposed to the sick. Building your immune system now is the best way to go. This will give you the best shot of staying healthy when everyone else is sick.
Drink lots of water
You may hate drinking water. But when everyone else is sick and you want to stay healthy, water is essential. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water on these days.
The kidneys perform a multitude of functions. And here are a couple that might interest you when trying to keep healthy. The kidneys assist in removing waste. And they help maintain PH balance so you aren’t too acidic. Why should this interest you when you’re trying to stay healthy?
When you’re in an acidic state, you’re more vulnerable to inflammation and disease. And when there’s too much waste that isn’t being properly excreted, you’re more vulnerable to germs. Both of these can increase your odds of getting sick.
So proper hydration is imperative for the healthy functioning and immune boosting power of the kidneys. Even if you hate water, drink it when everyone else is sick. Your kidneys need it to keep you healthy.
Cut out the added sugar
When I was sick as a kid, my mother would let me drink soda to increase my fluid intake. Now I know better as an adult. Yes, fluids are good. But even a small amount of added sugar is bad when you’re trying to get the most out of your immune system.
Just a teaspoon of sugar can significantly depress your immune system for a matter of hours. A teaspoon is tiny. If you’re eating something with added sugar, you’re likely having a lot more than that.
Small amounts of fruit are fine because the fiber helps your body metabolize the sugar. Just don’t go overboard. And stay away from fruit juice. I know – orange juice is supposed to be good for a cold. But it’s really not. It’s just a bunch of sugar that’s been squeezed out of the healthy fruit.
This is also why I stay away from Emergen-C. Yes, I know tons of people swear by it. But it contains added sugar. Instead, I take the supplements I mentioned earlier in this post. These will be much more supportive to my immune system because they don’t have sugar.
Compulsively wash your hands
There’s nothing much you can do when a small child sneezes into your eye. But with most other germs, washing your hands can be a miracle worker. Especially if you do so frequently, thereby limiting the opportunity germs have to invade your immune system.
If you’re living with someone sick, make sure to wash your hands after touching the parts of the house most likely to carry germs. This includes the sink, refrigerator handle, remote control, and the cabinets. These are high traffic areas and you should assume they’re infected.
At work, wash your hands whenever you come in direct contact with the sick employee. If your job doesn’t allow you frequent access to the restroom, carry antibacterial wipes. Washing your hands is better if you have the choice. But use antibacterial wipes in a pinch.
The evening may be the only “you time” you get all day. But if you want to stay healthy when everyone else is sick, you have to make sleep a priority. One of the best ways to weaken your immune system is to become run-down.
It’s ideal for you to be in bed by 10 pm. If you can’t possibly sleep that early, do quiet activities like reading or listening to music until you get tired. Staying awake past 11 pm will result in a rush of cortisol and a ‘second wind”. But this isn’t what you need when trying to stay healthy.
When you don’t get quality sleep, your body becomes depleted. And not only will your crave the sugary foods that decrease immunity. Your body will be physically exhausted, compromising your ability to stay healthy.
It’s a challenge to stay healthy when everyone else is sick. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a week of sniffling and coughing. Take these steps to adequately support your immune system. And you may be surprised to stay healthy despite your surroundings.
RoseMary Griffith says
I had no about the sugar or the orange juice, Erica. I’ve been lucky not to get that kind of sick for a while. When flying a few weeks ago, I just get crazy when people cough and sneeze and they don’t cover their faces or wash their hands. It boggles my mind that adults behave that way! I travel with antiseptic wipes and the trays and armrests!
The antiseptic wipes are a great move. I’m sure they help you stay healthy.
RoseMary Griffith says
Glad to read this again, Erica. It’s so important for those of us lucky enough to be healthy, to stay that way! Especially with everything going on this spring. Lots of water, lots of sleep. The not-travel part is sure hard to cope with! Hope you and your hubby stay well.
It’s definitely a more challenging time to stay healthy. We can all just do the best we can. I hope you and your husband are also doing well!