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It's the not-so-wonderful time of the year again — cold and flu season!
And you've probably had at least a small case of the sniffles so far, are we right?
But while getting the office cold that just won't quit may seem inevitable, we're here to tell you, there's hope! There are quite a few things you can do to up your chances of staying healthy — five, in fact, if you ask Dr. Bojana Jankovic Weatherly — and we're sharing them all with you.
1. WASH YOUR HANDS (OR AT LEAST USE SANITIZER)
Yes, you’ve heard it before, but washing your hands really is the absolute best way to keep your hands clean! But, Dr. Bojana says, if you can't do that, using a hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
And keep in mind: "We want to make sure that the hand sanitizer has at least 60 percent alcohol," she says, "and why that's important is because that concentration of alcohol kills over 90 percent of the germs."
Note: Use at least a dime-size amount and rub it all over your hands — including under your nails!
And remember, sanitizing does NOT kill all germs! So if you are around someone who's sick, make sure to still wash your hands!
2. BRING YOUR OWN PEN
Whether you're going to the doctor's office or the bank, BRING YOUR OWN PEN! Because the one that's hanging out on the counter may have been touched by someone with a bug — and you don't want it!
3. WIPE YOUR PHONE
"Whether we're texting or whatever we're doing, we're constantly touching stuff and [then] touching our phones," says the doc. The solution? Wipe your phone with an alcohol wipe to get all those bugs GONE.
4. VACUUM YOUR NOSE
Humidifiers, saline spray and — yes! — peppermint oil are all great for keeping your Eustachian tubes cleared.
Dr. Bojana says that for people with allergies, saline spray is a particularly effective choice. "It'll help flush out that excess mucus, and it's going to make your immune system function better," she says.