3 articles Tag flu

4 Ways to Look After Yourself This Winter

winter self-careWith winter comes late, but beautiful sunrises and glorious sunsets, not forgetting gorgeous walks through the frozen countryside and the twinkling lights of the festive season. But when you’re a parent, winter also means snotty noses, chapped lips, coughs, colds, the flu and of course, those dreaded sickness bugs that spread like wildfire.

Getting sick of the winter season is often inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to look after yourself, even if you are a busy parent. So, don’t just battle through it – here are some help tips and advice you can take to help you look after yourself this winter.

Looking good makes you feel good

Yep. When it comes to winter, with harsh winds, driving rain and bitter snow, many of us don’t bother with makeup or even moisturiser. But if you don’t take the time to look after yourself, then you’re going to run yourself down and be more susceptible to illness. So, take the time to moisturise your skin, and don’t cancel that microblading appointment – what is microblading, you ask? Click the link to find out more – make sure you take those extra vitamins and put your feet up once in a while. Your body and mind will thank you.

Kill the germs at the source

If you’re really worried about flu and sickness bugs this winter then it’s important to try and kill them off at the source, and that means regular handwashing. Make sure everyone in the house is following a strict handwashing routine, which means washing after the using the bathroom and before eating, and especially if they sneeze or use a tissue. It’s also a good idea to get the kids to wash their hands when they come home from school. Remember to regularly wipe down door handles, light switches and even the TV remote to keep the germs at bay!

Go outside

It might seem like you’re exposing yourself to more germs but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting outside will certainly give your immune system a boost and it’s certainly better than sitting inside the stuffy house. Even if you just bundle up for a short walk around the block, your vitamin D levels will certainly enjoy a boost from the sunlight and your mood will certainly rise. Giving your mental health a much needed boost too.

Keep hydrated

We tend to drink more in the summer time because, quite simply – we’re thirstier! In the cold weather, a cold glass of water might not have the same appeal as it does on a scorching day but staying hydrated will certainly keep those nasties at bay. If you don’t fancy water then try some simple fruit juice or fruit infused water. Treat yourself to a new water bottle so you’re reminded to drink the recommended amount of water per day. Drinking plenty will keep UTI’s at bay, as well as helping your joints to stay flexible and supple – it helps with brain function too!

How to Cope with Winter Illness

This time of year seems to be the prime time for illness. The weather is still cold and most of us would rather stay indoors and wrapped up even when we’re well, let alone when we’re poorly, but for most of us, that level of hibernation just isn’t an option! Being the only driver in the house and living as far from Sausage’s school as we do, I’m all too aware of the “make do and mend” approach that most of us mums have to take when we’re struck down, so I thought I’d put together a list of things that you should be doing when illness strikes.

1. REST

I know its easier said than done for most of us, but rest is so important when you’re ill, and it’s so much harder to recover if you’re on the go all the time. The key to resting is picking your battles – school runs, cooking and other vitals obviously still need to be done, but things like hoovering and washing can usually wait for a day or two. Leave these until you’re feeling up to it – we promise, the world won’t end if you don’t vacuum!

2. Get Some Advice

Most of us know the difference between feeling under the weather and being truly ill, but sometimes we’d like a little bit of medical advice and if you can’t get an appointment with your GP, you’re left in the dark. The Independent Pharmacy has an online doctor who can help to advise you if you feel you need medical attention and can suggest over-the-counter medications which might help you to feel better.

3. Accept Help

As a Mum, I know how easy it is to be stubborn and brush off offers of help even when you really need it. Now is the time to swallow your pride and accept that you need help. Call in favours from fellow Mums to see if they can do school pick ups for you, or let your Mum/Mother in Law make a fuss of you – they love to do it really and you can repay favours when you’re felling 100% again.

4. Exercise

If you exercise regularly and don’t want to let it slide, the usual rule of thumb is “if you’re ill from the shoulders up, exercise. If you’re ill from the shoulders down, don’t!”. If it’s a head cold, going for a light jog might help blow the cobwebs away and speed up your recovery, but if it’s anything else, refer to point number one and REST!

5. Dose Up

Dosing yourself up with paracetamol, anti-inflammatories or decongestants might be enough to allow you to get on with everything you need to do if you really can’t bear to take a day off. There are loads of magic potions which are available over the counter which can make a cold of virus seem like to big thing and although we’d prefer it if you sat at home in your PJs, watching Netflix and drinking tea, we also know that sometimes that’s just not possible. Our one bit of advice would be to check that none of your medicines make you drowsy if you intend on driving anywhere.

Get well soon!

Keeping Kids Germ Free During Cold and Flu Season

cold and fluYesterday, I was talking to a friend about Burrito Baby, explaining how my tactile almost-three-year-old doesn’t LOOK with her eyes, she looks with her hands. When BB says “Mummy, can I look at that please?” she doesn’t mean can she cast an eye over it, she means “can I touch it?” – I’m fairly certain that’s normal for a kid of her age but it does make me chuckle that she’s such a feeler and it also made this video by The Global Hygiene Council about cold and flu prevention ring absolutely true:

I’m ENTIRELY unsurprised to hear that kids are 25% more likely to catch colds and flu, which is exactly why both of mine will be having their flu jab this year. Many people seem to underestimate just how poorly flu can actually make you and often liken it to a simple cold but proper flu can be absolutely debilitating, especially for someone with asthma like Sausage, the young, old or people with a compromised immune system.

We had ‘proper’ flu in 2008 on Sausage’s first Christmas and honestly, it’s one of the occasions during my adult life when I can say that I felt more ill than almost any other time. Sausage’s temperature skyrocketed and she actually ended up in hospital on Christmas Day night because we were so worried about her. I was the next to come down with it, followed by Husband and between us we were basically bedridden for a week – not easy to deal with when you have a five month old baby and two sick adults.

Sausage has pretty good habits when it comes to cold and flu prevention, like flushing her tissues once they’ve been used and keeping her hands clean, but it’s not so easy with BB. She hasn’t had a dummy for ages but she still has a bit of an oral fixation, which means that we have to constantly remind her to get her hands out of her mouth and I’ve lost count of the amount of times that she’s sweetly caressed my face…with a SOAKING wet hand!

We find it really handy to keep disinfectant wipes around for keeping surfaces clean. They are so easy to use and don’t require a sponge or cloth to be kept on hand at all times, and they’re perfect for using on hard plastic toys which, quite frankly, are little germ farms if one of the kids has a cold.

How do you ensure that the spread of germs is kept to a minimum? Are you hot on hand-washing and a disinfecting diva? I’d love to hear any little tips and tricks that you use at this time of year to keep germs at bay, so do leave me a comment below.