According to the University of Arizona, it takes a mere 4 hours for an infectious virus to contaminate the office. Surfaces such as door handles, photocopy machines, phones become potential routes of infection. Arm yourself for this year’s cold and flu viruses by following these 5 simple but effective steps.
Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to fighting off an infection. Be sure that you are giving yourself ample time of deep REM sleep by limiting your intake of stimulants such as coffee, sugar, and alcohol, and trying to stay on a good schedule. Exercise will also help promote deeper rest so if you’re running short on time, think about getting a good 15-30 minute walk or run in each day.
2. Eat well
If you are one who tends to skip out on cooking, now probably isn’t the time. Take control of your health by preparing some simple healthy meals. Pack fresh healthy snacks for work to limit your desire to chow down on chunk food floating around the office. Be sure that you are getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients too. Skipping out on essential parts of your diet, like not having enough protein, will weaken your immune system.
“My strategy is to double down on trying to get enough sleep, even if it’s just a power nap on a plane. Research shows that our bodies need seven to eight hours of sleep in order to stimulate an immune response from our ‘natural killer cells,’ which attack viruses. Sleep is my most reliable defense against infection.” Dr. David Katz, Founder of the Yale University Prevention Research Center
3. Clean your space
If you are in a high traffic office or space, keep things clean! Have sanitizing wipes in your desk so that you can wipe away surfaces regularly. Things like your cell phone, keys, even purse handles get handled all the time and are regularly exposed to viruses. A quick wipe can make the difference between health and sickness!
4. Bring your own
Whether it is the pen you use in meetings, the water bottle you bring to the gym, the towel you take to the pool- bring your own. The more other people touch stuff, the higher the chance is that there is a virus on it. Don’t expect everything you rent or borrow to be clean, even if it looks that way.
5. De-stress and unwind often
Don’t wait until the weekend to unwind. Make sure that you are regularly taking time to relax, release stress, and find some peace during the day. Get a massage, sit in a sauna, take a bath, go for a walk, listen to music, or curl up on the couch with a good book. Releasing stress is key to keeping your immune system strong and promote good restful sleep. It will also make you happier and calmer all around.