So, let's talk about how to stay healthy when everyone around you is getting sick.
**Wash your hands. I know this is a no-brainer, but the more you wash your hands, the less times you'll get sick this cold and flu season. I prefer alcohol gel, myself. I guess in Oklahoma they want you to wash your hands after every six times you use alcohol gel. Right. My rule is that if I have to go into the dirty linen room, I wash my hands. If not, it's gel all the way. Some nights, the highest I can count is three. (As in: "Alright. We're going to stand up now. One, two, three!")
**Don't touch your face. Hard, hard, hard to do. But if you get a pathogen on your hands, you're less likely to get sick if you don't transfer it to your eyes, nose or mouth.
**If your facility offers flu shots, take them unless there's a reason you can't do so.
**If you're vomiting, have diarrhea or a temperature over 100, stay home so you don't share your happiness with everyone in the facility. If you have a runny nose, sore throat and feel generally crappy, GO TO WORK. Your residents need you and you were contagious twenty-four hours before you even felt sick, so you've already shared your fun. Might as well go in and enjoy it with everyone else.
**Get enough rest. Also hard to do. During sleep is when you heal and your body can fight off any little thing that might be trying to become a big thing.
**Stay away from the sugar and get a little exercise. Sugar can suppress your immune system, besides making you fat and cranky when you come off that sugar high. Anyone who tells you they get enough exercise at work is full of beans... or something. Exercise improves your mood and can boost your immune system. Which will be helpful in case you can't avoid that Milky Way bar in the vending machine that keeps calling your name.
That's my plan. I guess I'll let you know how it works for me this year. Last year it seemed like I caught every bug that came my way, but I wasn't doing the healthy eating/exercise thing. This year I'm going to try it and see where it gets me.