It seems like this time of year everyone is walking around with tissues in hand and cough drops nearby. Getting sick is such an inconvenience, in addition to feeling less than your best, you might have to miss work, spend additional dollars on trips to the doctor and cold medications, and miss out on fun holiday gatherings. If you're determined not to be out of commission for any amount of time this winter, here are some tips for staying well. 

The Centers for Disease Control has created a list of things that you can do to aid in your efforts to remain healthy throughout the flu season, and the rest of the year. According to the CDC, "Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea." Not pleasant sounding.

The CDC lists getting the flu vaccine each year as the most important step you can take in protecting yourself from getting the flu. If you've done that, here are a few other helpful suggestions.

  1. Avoid close contact. If you have a sick coworker, family member or friend, try to minimize being in their immediate area. This applies to you when sick as well.
  2. Stay home when you are sick. No one likes to miss work, but if you are sick, you should stay home and rest, which also helps prevent your illness from spreading. If you're having flu symptoms, the CDC suggests staying home for 24 hours after the fever has broken, with the exception of seeking medical treatment.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose. Not only is this common courtesy, it can also help to reduce the spreading of germs.
  4. Clean your hands. Nothing beats plain old soap and water for fighting off germs.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Doing so is an easy way to spread unwanted germs.
  6. Practice other good health habits. Keep your surroundings clean and if someone is sick, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant. Additionally, a well-balanced meal, sleep, and water are great health habits to maintain.

And please note to take all medicines as your doctor prescribes them.

Credit: Center for Disease Control