Simple Solutions for Avoiding Sickness This Season
Most of us dread the winter months for the simple fact that we associate the whipping winds, icy conditions, and holiday stresses with acquiring common colds and influenza at seemingly the worst possible time. We decidedly avoid the unforgiving outdoor climate and focus on our jobs and making friends and family happy during the holidays. Yet still it seems as though we can never shake off the inevitable sore throat, runny nose, or fiery cough every time winter rolls around. But as it turns out, it might be because the things we do to avoid becoming ill are the very things that cause us to get sick in the first place.
For instance, as previously mentioned it’s natural instinct to keep yourself indoors during the colder months. We can’t help but find winter weather and being sick to be synonymous. But by doing so we forget basic third-grade science lessons on how we get sick in the first place. It isn’t wind that makes your throat sore as much as it’s the viruses floating around in the air being passed from human to human. When you reduce the time you’re outdoors during the winter, you increase the time you’re exposed to air teeming with the infectious material expelled from the bodies of everyone else who stays indoors with you.
This, in turn, increases the chances that you’ll get sick.
Despite overwhelming public awareness and data that should provoke us to commit the contrary, most people still do not adequately wash their hands. The three-second cold water rinse does nothing but create the perfect environment for germs to grow, not die. The minute you touch a door knob with a clammy hand, you’re going to pick up germs like a lint roller picks up hair. Soap and warm water are absolutes when washing your hands. Otherwise you’re just making things worse.
But humans encounter germs all of the time, in any season, so is this really why people get sicker during the winter than at any other point in the year?
The stresses of this particular time of the year are factors that must be plugged into any equation attempting to understand why winter and sickness are so closely related. Studies overwhelmingly indicate that emotions and the immune system are closely connected. The more worked up you are over being the perfect Christmas gift-giver, the more likely those germs your mouth vacuums out of the air with a yawn are going to keep you in bed for a few days.
Therefore it's essential that you get a good nights sleep and avoid the overwhelming stress inherent with the holiday season, in conjunction with getting a fair amount of exercise and fresh air. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before the high volume of viruses in the air and the high levels of stress finally take their toll on your immune system and wreak havoc on your life.