If your office sounds more like a doctor’s waiting room than a place of business these days, you’re not alone. The fall cold has descended upon most workplaces, and we’re all eager to avoid it.
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“If you want to avoid catching a cold, the key is strengthening your immune system, and more and more research is showing that the best way to do that is by boosting your gut health,” she says. “(Yes, balancing the bacteria that live in your intestines sounds gross, but it’s important!) Eating lots of whole, fibrous plant foods will help, and you should learn to love fermented foods, too.”
Held recommends kombucha, miso, and greens. But if all of that sounds too exotic for your palate, there are plenty of other things you can do to keep yourself in good condition.
1. Be clean.
This has nothing to do with basic tidiness and everything to do with keeping your workspace clear of germs. Wipe down your phone, keyboard, and desktop on a regular basis. If you don’t mind being the office clean freak, spare a moment for the doorknobs you touch every day, too. They’re one of the dirtiest places in your home or your office.
2. Lower stress.
Stress can make you sick. You can’t always control which germs you’re exposed to, but you can control how able your body is to fend off illness. Dealing with stressors better will help you avoid a situation in which your immune system is too compromised to fight off invaders.
3. Stay home when you’re sick, and encourage your coworkers to do the same.
There’s a lot of pressure to be the person who shows up to work, no matter what. But in fact, we’re all better off if sick folks stay home and get better. If you absolutely can’t unplug from work when you’re ill, see if your manager will let you work from home. It won’t help you recuperate faster, but it will stop you from exposing coworkers to your sickness.
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