I swear, cold and flu season hits earlier and earlier each year! I'm fully prepared though ... I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve to try and stay as healthy as possible during this time.
It was a difficult task, but I have narrowed it down to the nine most important tips I swear by to stay healthy. If you have CF -- or even if you don't -- give some of these tips a whirl. You won't be disappointed.
- Frequent round-the-clock hand washing, and when you can't wash with soap and water ... Purell!
- Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in vitamin C or take a supplement. (I take so many vitamins I probably should bottle my pee!) I think it's very important to keep all your vitamin levels at an optimum level so you can stay healthy. I even will throw in those chewable Airborne tablets if I know I'll be in a crowded area.
- Gargle with warm salt water... I always gargle at the end of each day. I feel like the salt water helps prevent proliferation of any bug that I may have come in contact with throughout the day.
- A daily sinus rinse ... I always do mine before I start my nightly treatments, using one packet per nostril. I see salt water as a powerful and inexpensive way to liquefy the mucus and help get it out. For me, it's really a no-brainer.
- Hands off the face! Resist all temptations to touch any part of your face. If I have an itch, I will either use the inside of my shirt or a tissue to scratch it.
- Keep your phones, keys and debit cards clean … These are all things we put on filthy surfaces and are constantly using at all times. I make a point to clean them often with a disinfectant wipe. I try to wipe down my phone at the end of every day, because it touches my face, and who knows what's crawling on it.
- Pack a pen with you ... How many times do you have to fill something out or sign something? I always try to have a pen with me so that I don't have to use the same one as the other 127 people before me. I'm pretty sure office pens don't get wiped down.
- Use your elbows ... It's all about the “bows” people! I try to elbow-bump people rather than shake their hands. I am a hugger, but during flu and cold season I try to refrain and "bow" people instead. I hate when you see someone, give them a big hug and then they start hacking up a lung a second later and tell you how sick they are. Um great, thanks for the hug; it really was so kind of you! Not!
- Everyone has different beliefs about the flu shot. Personally, I always get mine around Oct. 1. Remember it takes about two weeks for your flu shot to start working, so keep that in mind when you decide to get one.
Stay healthy this winter, and please, if you're sick, stay home when possible! I can guarantee you, nobody wants your boogs!
Editor's note: Before taking any vitamin supplements, check your vitamin levels with your care team to find out what a safe dose is for you.