Rain in the UAE can only mean two things: it’s officially winter and we’ll be coming down with the flu in approximately four hours. The combination of wet weather, freezing office air conditioning and countless hot-to-cold transitions means the dreaded flu is inevitable – unless you follow our flu-prevention tips. Here are our tips for avoiding the seasonal sniffles so you can still make it to your brunch on Friday.
1. Keep your distance
So this may seem like common sense but it can be harder than you think – after all, you can’t stay home from work just because your desk-mate has the sniffles. Make sure you keep your distance from anyone with symptoms – especially coughing and sneezing – as this can contaminate your air and put you at risk. It may be difficult to avoid contact with sick family members but just remind them it’s not personal. If you happen to live with someone that has the flu…
2. Wipe down communal areas
Living with a sick housemate means you’re likely to catch it too, especially if they’re handling common household items like the kettle, doorknobs or the remote. Wipe down these surfaces at least once a day to make sure you’re not the next victim. In the office, wipe down your mouse and keyboard frequently, as well as your mugs and glasses if you’re not bringing your own.
3. Don’t touch your face
If you touch a contaminated area, chances are you won’t actually get sick. That is, until you put your hand to your face and transfer germs to your mouth. Yuck. Moral of the story: keep your hands away from your face, and for goodness sake remember to wash them.
4. Get some sleep
Your immune system can’t function at its best if you’re exhausted, so make sure to get those eight hours in every night – no excuses.
5. Eat more protein
Research shows that individuals with a high-protein diet are less likely to get sick, so stock up on fish, chicken and eggs and avoid caffeine and processed foods (which you’re already doing anyway, right?).
6. Stay hydrated
Flush out nasty toxins by drinking copious amounts of water, or take things up a notch and dust off your nutribullet and make some vitamin-packed green juices. We’re talking spinach, kale, apples, carrots and broccoli – and lots of it.
7. Layer up
One of the amazing things about living in the eternal sunshine is the year-round summer wardrobe. The downside? Our office air conditioning is less summer, more Antarctica in a blizzard. If yours is like ours, make sure you bring extra layers to work – like a scarf or jacket – to make sure you don’t get sick from frequent temperature changes.
8. Stock up on Zinc
You can only get Zinc through your diet as it’s not stored within the body, and having a zinc deficiency can wreak havoc on the immune system and make you susceptible to pesky illnesses. To up your zinc intake, eat more meat, nuts and shellfish or opt for supplements (just check with your doctor first).
9. Enjoy the great outdoors
Escape stuffy environments and go outside for some fresh autumn air – whether that’s eating lunch outdoors, going for an afternoon walk or sitting outside with a book. Air circulation is poor in enclosed spaces like offices, making it easier for germs to circulate, and much more likely that you’ll catch whatever is going around. Vitamin D is also a mood booster, so why not take a break from your desk during your afternoon slump.
We’re not doctors, but we’ve been victims of the flu and know how much we hated it. Unfortunately, if it’s going to happen it’ll happen but at least you’ll know you’ve tried everything you can. And, if you do get sick, check out our list of ways to get over the flu faster.
Photos: Unsplash and Instagram