Unless you were a germophobe before the pandemic, you probably didn’t think of your way of life as unhygienic. Soap flew off the shelves, and we started asking ourselves, hmmm… why wasn’t soap as popular before?
While much has changed since the beginning of the outbreak, experts have still continuously touted many healthy habits that we all should have been doing long before. And some health practitioners have spoke on immune boosting. But the more we know, the better we become. I hope this cold and flu season is the healthiest we’ve seen in a while, with everyone’s newfound propensity for handwashing and hopefully immune boosting!
Here are five long-lasting healthy habits we should carry on long after this pandemic has cleared up.
1. Wash your hands often
And don’t just rinse them with water or quickly wash with soap — wash them thoroughly. The experts say at least 20 seconds of vigorous scrubbing with soap is required to remove any lingering germs. Even if you always wash up before eating or after a trip to the potty, you should be cognizant of washing throughout the day, especially when you come back into your home. Flu season has always proven to me that we haven’t done this well.
2. Stay put if you’re sick
We’re all probably quite guilty of still living life as usual when we’re mildly ill, which leads to community spread quite easily, even more so during cold and flu season. I had often been guilty of this when working in the corporate world. It was hard to allow myself to ret and recover and believe my long term health paid for that. Perhaps we’ll take this “stay home when sick” mindset into the future. Stay put, rest, and get well before you go back into the world. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but decreasing the spread of illness as much as we can will help one trip out in public at a time.
3. Use that face mask if you’re sick, it’s ok if you want to.
I’ve often seen masked people in the pharmacy section of the department store during the cold and flu season. During flu season, I’ve been given a mask to use at the doctor’s office. When shopping for immune boosters and any necessary medications, be aware of those around you and be respectful of other’s space. And this was many, many years before the COVID-19 pandemic. I see this becoming more inclusive throughout the flu season each year, which would help reduce spread if you have to leave the house for some essential items.
4. Don’t spray coughs and sneezes everywhere
Even if you’re home alone, get in the habit of coughing and sneezing into the crook of your elbow. As kids, many of us were taught to cover our coughs and sneezes, but that was often with our hands. The elbow is a better place, if you’re in a situation where you can’t get to a sink or a safe hand sanitizer, you’ll have germs all over your hands and spread them everywhere. My favorite hand spray is OnGuard spray. It has benefited me for many years.
5. Keep your hands off your face
And because we’re always touching something, don’t touch your face unless your hands have been freshly cleaned the right way. If you have germs on your hands, you’ll wind up getting them in your eyes, nose, or mouth if you don’t form the habit of not touching your face. This has always been true, but we were made much more aware of this recently.
And allow to mention – stress less, sleep better, drink water, eat healthy…have trouble with any of these…reach out and I can offer some solutions to your stumbling blocks.