As a healthcare worker, keeping your immune system strong is a top priority. And this year, between COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, it’s more important than ever. Here’s how to stay healthy this winter.
Top Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter
Wash Your Hands
Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick. To wash your hands correctly, scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t find a sink, a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a good second choice. However, keep in mind, sanitizers aren’t as effective at killing and removing germs as handwashing.
Get a Flu Shot
Although this year’s flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, it WILL protect you against influenza. In fact, according to CDC estimates, the flu shot prevented 7.5 million illnesses and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths in 2019-2020. For the best results, doctors recommend scheduling your flu shot in the early fall. If you missed that deadline, an early or mid-winter vaccination still provides protection.
Follow COVID-19 Guidelines
Even with the distribution of the vaccine, COVID-19 continues to be a threat. Experts aren’t sure how long immunity lasts or when the vaccine will be widely available. Thus, continue to follow social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines. Also, limit social gatherings with those outside your immediate home/work circle.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet not only offers long-term health benefits but also helps you avoid winter colds and flus. Research shows certain foods boost your immune system. These include citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, sunflower seeds, green tea, and more.
Spend Time Outdoors
When frigid temperatures hit, your first instinct may be to snuggle up indoors. Yet a brisk daily walk can have a significant positive impact on your health. Physical activity combined with outdoor light reduces inflammation, promotes immune function, and improves your mood.
Get Enough Sleep
Did you know a good night’s sleep is just as important to your health as diet and exercising? One study found people who slept less than seven hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold. Plus, sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain as well as other chronic diseases. So, take advantage of those long winter nights and turn your lights out early.
Pay Attention to Your Mental Health
Despite your best efforts at staying healthy, ongoing stress can make you more vulnerable to everything from the common cold to serious diseases. Therefore, take the time to start a self-care routine. And if you’re still feeling down, reach out to friends, family, or healthcare professionals for extra help.
Are You Looking for a Better Job to Support Your Healthier Lifestyle?
If your current position is taking a toll on your wellbeing, it may be time for a change. Anodyne connects home care and health care professionals with right-fit opportunities throughout eastern Massachusetts. Browse our available openings and discover a healthier job today!