December is almost upon us, which means, most people start thinking about celebrating the holidays. Not to sound like a big old Scrooge, but December is also the beginning of peak flu season which runs from December to March.
How do you know if it’s a cold or the flu?
• Aches and pains are sometimes slight
• Mild to moderate chest discomfort or pain and a cough are present
• Chills may occur
• Fatigue is sometimes there and is often mild
• Fever is unlikely
• Headache is unlikely
• Sneezing, sore throat and stuffy nose are common
• Aches and pains are often severe
• Chest discomfort and cough are common and may become severe
• Chills are common
• Fatigue is common and can be moderate to severe
• Fever and headache are both common
• Sneezing, sore throat, and stuffy nose can occur sometimes
Prevent illness by:
• Washing hands often
• Keeping your home clean and sanitized
• Avoiding contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu
• Avoiding crowds, when possible, during the peak flu season
• Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
• Keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Getting enough sleep, exercise, and nutritious foods, daily
• Keeping stress under control
Prevent spreading germs by:
• Avoiding close contact with others when you are sick. There are no heroes when it comes to cold and flu. If you’re stick, STAY HOME!
• Use tissues or the inside of your elbow to cover your coughs and sneezes
• Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
While I always advocate for good self-care, it’s especially important when you’re sick.
• Drink plenty of fluids
• Get extra rest and sleep
• Soothe sore throats by gargling with warm salt water and drinking warm water or tea with honey and lemon
• Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and excess caffeine
Seek medical advice if:
• You have difficulty breathing
• You feel faint
• Your sore throat is severe
• You have a cough that produces a lot of phlegm (especially if it is green or yellow)
• Your fever is 102 or higher with a cold, or 104 or higher with the flu
• Your symptoms last for more than 7 days
• You have a fever with shaking chills
• You have sharp chest pain when you breathe deeply or cough
• You suffer from a condition that puts you at risk for complications from the flu
Remember, it’s always important to take care of yourself and listen to your body, but it’s especially important when cold and flu season is upon us.
As always, take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out. Karen
It’s almost the New Year! If you want to set yourself up to have your best year yet, check out my new book, Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes That Add up to Big Results! It’s available now @Amazon.com.