I was on the rowing machine the other day, and the guy next to me started coughing. I tried to wipe the look of horror off my face as I thought, “Oh my God, I now have the flu!”
Is it just me, or do others have the same fears?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, a person working out at the gym next to me today started sneezing, and I winced and thought, “Sweet Baby Jesus, I’ve been exposed.”
Am I the only one that thinks these thoughts?
I got the flu shot this year, as I do every year…except that one year I didn’t and ended up getting the flu. Boy was that awful!
Then there was also that year I got the flu even though I got a flu shot.
Honestly, I don’t want to ever have the flu again. I bet you don’t want to get the flu either this year or any year for that matter.
Let’s face it. Germs are everywhere. Here’s the thing, we can sit in agony every time a sneeze crosses our path. We can ball our fists, roll our eyes, and hold our breath each time a cough occurs near us. We can keep holding our breath in angst until flu season passes, wishing hazmat suits were in style, or we can breathe and be proactive.
Since I’m not really that great at holding my breath, and I don’t think I would look good in a hazmat suit (They are not very slimming.). I like to be proactive and prepare for the big win against the flu during the season of germs!
Here are 7 easy steps in preparing for the big fight.
1. Get Your Flu Shot
Please get your flu shot. You can get the mist instead if you don’t want to get the shot.
Now I know I just told you that one year I got the flu after getting the flu shot, but here’s the thing. I was much less sick than I was when I got the flu several years back without getting the flu shot.
It’s the responsible thing to do. You might not care whether you get the flu or not, but if you have the flu and go out of the house while you are contagious, which happens, then you could be exposing someone to the flu who has an immune system that can’t fight off the flu. You could be doing great harm to a weaker person by being near them when you are sick, so be responsible and get your flu shot.
2. Keep Your Food Supplies Stocked
During flu season, make sure you have plenty of frozen dinners on hand. Now, you might be saying, “Frozen dinners? What? That doesn’t sound healthy. How am I suppose to fight the flu with unhealthy food?”
Here’s the thing, if your child, or husband, or you are sick, you don’t have time to cook, and you won’t feel like cooking, trust me! But, hey, your family still needs to eat. Make sure you have some great tasting and as healthy as possible dinners stored away in the freezer for those days sickness has hit your house.
Stack up on instant meals like soup or macaroni and cheese. Simple meals that nearly anyone in your household can cook in a microwave will help you get through those days when illness prevails.
Buy extra boxes of healthy snacks like oranges, protein bars or dried fruit. Make sure you keep a protein bar in your purse during flu season. We all know what it’s like to be in a doctor’s office waiting room. You’re stressed out enough, and you don’t want to add “hangry” to the list of symptoms.
3. Have a Large Supply of Your Essentials
Go ahead and buy that large pack of toothbrushes. Now, I know it seems excessive, but when someone in your household is sick, you have to get rid of that germ carrying weapon. Changing out the toothbrushes more frequently during cold and flu season is a smart investment. While you are at it, pick up several new tubes of toothpaste.
Of course, you will want to buy a few jars of hand sanitizers. Buy one to place by the door. Buy a travel-sized one for your purse and car.
Make sure that you purchase enough soap to get you through the season. You’ll be washing your hands more frequently.
Your hands may begin to get dry and chapped from all the handwashing, so make sure you have hand lotion sitting right beside your soap.
Keep extra tissue boxes on hand, and make sure they are the soft kind. Trying to blow your nose on a lovely thick paper towel, or walking around the house with a toilet paper roll tucked under your arm is not the way to go. Have many boxes of soft tissues strategically placed around your home so you can catch that runny nose.
Buy extra paper towels, and place a roll in each bathroom to help reduce the spread of germs. During flu season, I’m not a fan of drying my hands on a damp hand towel in the bathroom. I’m guessing you aren’t a fan of that either.
Stock on up laundry detergent because you will be doing laundry more often than usual, especially if your house gets hit by the dreaded stomach flu. Changing sheets more regularly becomes a must during flu season.
4. Maintain Your Pharmacy Supplies
Take vitamin C and Zinc daily when you start to feel ill, and make sure you have enough for the family to last through the season of sickness. Black Elderberry is a great supplement to take during the winter. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can check out information on Black Elderberry here.
Go through your medicine cabinet BEFORE you or your family member gets sick and throw out any medicines that have past their expiration date.
If you are low on the staples (like ibuprofen, Tylenol, Immodium, antihistamine, cough syrup), then make sure you replenish your supply to prevent that 2 a.m. run to the store. As always, if you have children in your home, make certain that your medicines are out of reach. A padlocked tackle box is a great place to store medicines when youngsters are in the home.
Check Your Thermometer
Make sure your oral thermometer is working well. There’s nothing worse than struggling with the on/off switch of a thermometer that is not working during the wee hours of the morning when your child is sick.
5. Keep Your Phone Contacts Updated
Make sure you have an updated list of your family doctors’ names and contact information as well. There may be a time when you or your loved one will need a specialist during flu season. You may find yourself on a trip to the hospital, which may require your physician’s name and contact number. It’s best to keep that information on hand.
Is your pharmacy’s number listed in your contacts? If not, make sure to add that. You don’t want to have to carry a prescription to the pharmacy and wait when your doctor’s office can easily call it in. Proving the office with the pharmacy contact information will prevent you from standing at the pharmacy waiting for your prescription to be filled.
6. Check Your Wallet
Health Insurance cards should live in your wallet, that way you will never have to mentally struggle over where you put the darn card while you are feeling miserably sick.
Many times, your insurance will provide you with a separate prescription card. Make sure that card resides next to your health insurance card in your wallet.
7. Keep a Charger in Your Car
Keep an extra phone charger in your car. A quick trip to the doctor’s office or hospital is unheard of, especially during flu season. There is nothing quick when flu season is upon us. If you must spend hours in a waiting room, you want to be able to charge your phone if you need to so you can let the rest of your family members know what’s going on. If you keep the extra phone charger in your car, or in your purse, you can find an outlet in the waiting room and charge your phone. That will be one less thing you need to worry about while you wait.
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be well armed to fight through flu season. Good luck, and (Did you just sneeze?) God bless you.