Fending For Yourself This Flu Season

April 3, 2018

Flu season: Trust me, it isn’t over. For the past three weeks, I have been out of the office and in bed battling illness. Come spring, it’s easy to think that you’ve missed the incubation period for contracting influenza. But lo and behold, coming from a victim herself, the flu is still alive and stronger than ever. In fact, officials are claiming that influenza B is increasingly spreading across the country. Read more about the situation here.

Let today’s post and my past misery serve as a public service announcement. Take care of yourself over the next couple of months! I know, you’ve heard this all before, but here’s a refresher on some tips for maintaining a healthy office:

  • Wash your damn hands.

Observe yourself over the workday and see how many times you touch your face. How many surfaces have you touched today? When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? How many times have you washed your hands? Case in point.

  • Clean up after yourself.

Okay, MOM. But seriously… Simple steps such as putting your mug in the dishwasher can save your colleague from exposing themselves to your germs (and having to pick up after you). As much effort as you are putting in to keep yourself from getting sick should be put in to keeping your workspace a clean and healthy environment for everyone else, too.

  • Cover your mouth.

Please — it’s common sense. If you are experiencing symptoms of a cold or the flu, use tissues and cover your mouth while you cough. Often times these illnesses are spread through the droplets you leave around you. Don’t be gross.

  • Put your health FIRST.

It’s more than just sneezing into a tissue and taking a cough drop — think about the bigger picture. Keep hydrated and maintain a heathy diet. Get a solid night of sleep. Take a short walk when you’re feeling stressed. Doing these things will help to keep your immune system strong!

  • Stay home.

I unsuccessfully attempted to come back to work two times over the span of my three-week illness until I finally gave up for some rest. A tip from my coworkers, and now from me to you: Just stay home. Not only are you a high risk of spreading the disease, but the more you overwork yourself, the more time it will take to feel better. Ask your doctor for a work notice if need be. Inquire about the possibility of working at home. I’m lucky enough that Fast Horse offers this type of flexibility. I understand feeling antsy or stressed at the amount of work piling up while you’re away, but at the end of the day, taking care of yourself needs to come first for a full recovery.

Looking toward future flu seasons, it looks like other preventative measures are getting set in place. As stated, being aware of your surroundings, who close by is sick and acknowledging how to fend for yourself is one of the best things you can do to remain healthy. Let technology do some of the work for you; more and more apps appear to be coming out, localizing the outbreaks on a collective map and organizing relevant information. Check it out. And stay healthy!