Getting two to four colds a year is normal for adults, especially during the winter time. Cold viruses thrive in low humidity and when we are stuck indoors we are closer to people and their germs. If you are getting more than four colds a year, your lifestyle may be to blame for your lower immune system.
One reason for a lower immune system is stress. Another cause is sleeping less than seven hours a night. Getting less sleep is often a direct symptom of not being able to deal with the stress in your life. So the first thing to do in order to reduce the amount of colds you catch is to learn how to effectively deal with stress.
There are stresses in life that we cannot escape. How you choose to react to these stressors is what keeps you from falling victim to them. Don’t overschedule your time and make sure to make the time in your day to care for yourself. This means eating healthy, getting exercise and doing things that make you feel good. It is easier to deal with stressful situations like a tough job if you have something to look forward to after your work day is over.
Stress and lack of sleep is only part of what can keep you getting sick over and over again. Another thing is not having good hygiene. Hand sanitizers are good but overuse can destroy your body’s abilities to fight off infection. The alcohol in many hand sanitizers can cause dryness and itching which can already be a problem in cold, dry weather. Practice washing your hands with soap and water and doing it often. Use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol free and beware of high germ areas. Being mindful to not touch your face after touching a doorknob can keep you from picking up germs.
Sinus infections are also a common ailment for some people in the winter. Practice prevention by using a Neti pot. A Neti pot is a teapotlike device that rinses out your nasal passages using lukewarm salt water. This can help you to keep your sinuses clear and prevent infections.
Another preventive measure is to remember to replace your toothbrush after an illness. Bacteria can live on your toothbrush and many times your toothbrush can be to blame for repeat illnesses.
Keeping your home too warm is another culprit for repeat illnesses. Sleeping in a cooler room can help you to sleep better and stay healthier. Using a humidifier is helpful when you are congested, but make sure to clean it well. Germs can breed in it and it may actually help to keep you sick.
You can stay healthier even when everyone around you seems to always be sick. A little preventive care can go a long way to help keep from getting sick during cold and flu season.