Fever, muscle aches and the chills aren’t a recipe for a fun time away from the office. But, if your workplace is like mine, you’ve probably had a lot of co-workers out sick over the last few weeks. On top of feeling miserable, getting sick can cause you to fall behind at work or use up all your time off.
If it seems like more people are under the weather at your workplace than usual, there may be a reason. This year’s flu vaccine is a poor match against the virus, which means the shot provided less protection against getting sick. According to officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every part of the country is experiencing lots of people sick with the flu.
While it’s not possible to eliminate all risks of catching the flu, you can improve your chances of staying healthy by following a few tips.
1. Take a daily vitamin. Studies have shown that vitamin E, as well as other vitamins and antioxidants, can help boost your immune system. Try a multivitamin to get all the nutrients you need to stay well.
2. Get enough sleep. When your body is worn down, you’re less able to fight off infections. Make an extra effort to get about eight hours of sleep each night when the flu is rampant.
3. Wash your hands often. Practicing excellent hygiene is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of catching the flu. Keep instant hand sanitizer handy for times you don’t have easy access to a sink.
4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Give those who are ill plenty of space. Don’t touch co-workers’ personal items, and never share dishes or eating utensils.
5. Don’t smoke. Smoke paralyzes the cells that protect you from incoming viruses – making smokers much more prone to catching the flu. Even if you don’t kick the habit permanently, consider temporarily quitting or cutting back while trying to ward off illness.