It’s sniffle season and you are sending wary glances at your colleague whose workstation is piled up with crumpled tissues. The bad news is that you definitely are in the danger zone. Research shows that in an office, it takes just 4 hours for those a cold virus to spread to the door handles, copy machine button and water dispenser. In such a situation, you don’t have to throw up your hands and prepare for the inevitable. Follow these five strategies and you won’t be reaching for the tissues any time soon.
1. Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
While the experts are no closer to finding a cure for the common cold, they sure know how it makes it’s way into you. Your skin is a great armor against the cold virus, but it can’t protect you completely. Unconsciously touching your hands to your face is as good as hanging a welcome board out for the cold virus. The mucous membrane of your eyes, nose and mouth are the gateways to any germ that wants to worm its way in. If you’re a nail-biter, you’re even more at risk. So keep those hands away from your face if you want to stay cold-free.
2. Wash, Wash And Wash Again
Make it a habit to wash your hands frequently and definitely for longer than two seconds. One interesting tip experts suggest, is to sing the ‘happy birthday’ song in your mind twice as you lather up your hands. Remember to wash your hands before you eat, every time you return home and especially after you have just visited someone who is sick. When washing your hands in a public bathroom, don’t use your hands to open the door after. Push the door open with your foot or open the door using some tissue. If soap and water is not available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Sleep Makes You Stronger
Folks who sleep less than 6 hours at night are 4 times more likely to catch that cold virus floating about. So forget your late-night TV show binging sessions. Always try to get at least 7 hours of shut-eye every night, regardless of what plans you have. If you are feeling under weather, it is all the more important to get more than 8 hours of sleep for your body to fight those germs.
4. Eat Healthy, Eat Protein
A diet rich in proteins helps to build up your immune system, so eat fish and eggs. Probiotics are also important if you want to boost your immunity. Oral probiotic supplements are good but eating yogurt and aged cheeses is the more natural way. Probiotics have been found to reduce a cold two days quicker than it would usually take. Make sure you get in all your nutrients as well. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can get you singing bye bye cold good bye as well.
5. Avoid Shaking Hands When Someone Has A Cold
This is a no-brainer when it comes to avoiding germs. While you might not want to appear rude by avoiding a handshake, come up with excuses not to. Try to fib your way out of it gracefully by saying you have a cold coming on and don’t want to spread it around. If you absolutely must shake hands, use a hand sanitizer or wash your hands as quickly as you can.
In addition to avoiding shaking hands, keep an eye out for contaminated surfaces. 80% of infection happens though touching contaminated surfaces and very rarely from someone sneezing near you. You might not be able to go around wiping everything with a sanitizing wipe, but you can lower your contamination risk. Research shows that copier buttons, elevator buttons and doorknobs contain the most germs. When you come into contact with them, always make sure you sanitize your hands after.