Flu Season is on the Way: How to Best Avoid Germs

Keep your immune system as healthy as you can with these tips

The cold weather is coming, and with it comes flu season. There’s nothing like a really bad head cold or chest cold to make you feel miserable. You end up missing work or school, feeling terrible, and getting behind in your life. What can you do to protect yourself from the common cold, or worse yet, the flu? Here are some tips for keeping your immune system strong enough to fight off those nasty germs!

Tip 1. Get your flu shot

Getting your flu shot not only helps you avoid getting the flu, but it also helps your whole community. The more people who get the flu shot, the less likely it is that the flu will spread in your community. Why not get your flu shot today?

Tip 2. Wash your hands

The number one way to avoid spreading germs is to wash your hands carefully throughout the day. This way you wash away the germs you might pick up by shaking people’s hands, touching door handles, handling money, and so on. Here are some suggested times to remember to wash your hands:

  • Before you prepare food
  • After being out in public
  • After using the bathroom
  • After shaking someone’s hand
  • After interacting with your pets
  • After handing trash and doing housework
  • After helping a sick child or family member
  • After sneezing or blowing your nose

Tip 3. Don’t touch your face

“Don’t touch your face” might seem like a strange piece of advice, but it’s true. Most cold germs will enter your body through your mucous membranes in your mouth and nose. You can minimize your risk of catching a cold by avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. So, if you are someone who bites your nails, rests your head on your hands, or itches your nose, try to break these habits.

Tip 4. Stay well rested

Being well rested can help your body fight off cold germs, whereas being tired and worn out can increase your chances of picking something up. If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, try these sleep hygiene recommendations from the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health.

Tip 5. Eat right and stay hydrated

Just like a car, your body needs good healthy fuel to run at its optimum capacity. Try to maintain a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy meats, and whole grains, and don’t forget to stay hydrated! Eating healthily doesn’t mean you can never give yourself a treat, but try your best to give your body the nourishment it needs.

Tip 6. Dial down the stress

Can stress cause you to get a cold? Not exactly, but it can take a toll on your body and impact your ability to fight off cold germs. Take a step back and look at your life. Are you under constant stress? Do you ever give yourself a break? To get your stress under control, try stress-relief strategies.

Tip 7. Do a little house cleaning

Objects in your home, car, school, or workplace can harbor germs. Try to wet-dust and clean about once a week. Pay special attention to food preparation areas, phones, tablets/computers, railings, door handles, and other areas that you touch a lot.


With these tips, we hope you can avoid this winter’s germs and have an enjoyable holiday season.


The Branford Hall Career Institute provides regular posts on career development, health, fitness, and lifestyle in its weekly blog. Find out more about enrolling in a career-focused training program at Branford Hall.