Enjoy what we have left of mild weather, because winter will be here before you know it. Time to plan ahead.
Preventing colds and flu
While our winters are comparatively mild here in Central Texas, it does snow, it does sleet, and winter brings with it some very chilly weather. And that means sniffles and sneezes. Before going outdoors, pack some tissues in your pocket, and in the pockets of little ones.
Capturing coughs and sneezes and keeping drippy noses to one’s self is the best way to prevent spreading cold germs and flu viruses. Remember to throw those used tissues away in a safe receptacle and… restock that pocket! Washing hands more often will help combat the spread of germs and viruses too.
Staying away from fellow humans is obviously an option, but that’s not really very practical in our sociable everyday lives (or very friendly around the holidays). It can be hard to resist those Texas-sized holiday hugs… But if that lovable, huggable someone is sneezing, wheezing, and coughing, a warm smile and a wave may suffice. They’ll thank you later for not catching their cold and delivering a healthy, germ-free hug when the time is right.
Many people take extra doses of Vitamin C as a preventative measure. These supplements are called megavitamins. Your daily multivitamin could be providing you with more than enough vitamins already though.
What about this season’s flu vaccines?
That’s a bit more complicated. If your doctor recommended a flu vaccine, you should have gotten it by Thanksgiving, but it’s not too late. The peak of flu season is January and February, which are our coldest months. Keep in mind that your body needs two weeks before any flu vaccine takes effect, so the earlier the better.
Vaccines change from year to year as viruses evolve. Online sources of credible information on this year’s vaccines can be found on the government’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
A good basic tutorial is available at the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/in-depth/flu-shots/ART-20048000
Staying Warm, Head to Toe
Proper clothing is another way to help prevent getting the flu or a nasty cold. Here in Texas, winter days can warm up quickly, so dressing in layers is always a good idea. A t-shirt or thermal undies under a flannel or wool shirt, topped by a nice warm jacket does the trick. Layer off, layer on as either the thermometer takes its merry trip up and down… or your body itself warms up, especially if you’re doing hard, outside work as so many of our rural dwellers do in December.
If you do catch a bug…
We can help! With everything from a wide variety of cough drops, nasal sprays, mucus thinners and other over-the-counter medications and… tissues! Come in and stock up. It pays to be ready. Cough drops, especially, help keep your mouth and throat moist, warm… and happy.
Holidays can be stressful
We often think of how wonderful Christmas and other winter holidays and celebrations are and how much fun we have getting together with friends and family. But holidays can also be stressful times for some folks. Try not to get stressed out. Try not to rush around frantically trying to get everything done. Try not to put undue burdens on yourself and others with unreasonable expectations. And try not to overdo eating and drinking. For more on handling stress, check our April issue.
If you’re diabetic (see our November issue) or trying to lose weight, we realize you have a challenge resisting the many tempting treats. Here’s a tip: When pies, cakes, cookies or sugary drinks are offered, seek out a friend or relative who shares your concerns and go take a nice walk outside together instead. (It’s also a great excuse for avoiding dish washing!)
To all our friends and customers in and around Brady and the surrounding countryside, all of us here at City Drug wish you and your family the warmest of holiday wishes and a very, very Merry Christmas.