YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We’re just days away from Christmas, but well into the cold and flu season. And with the chilly winter weather settling in, how can we keep ourselves physically and mentally healthy this year?
Dr. Mike Sevilla from the Family Practice Center of Salem has some helpful tips on how to avoid getting sick or slipping into the winter blues.
GET YOUR FLU SHOT
It’s not too late to get your flu shot. The Ohio Department of Health raised the activity of the flu this year to the highest level, one month earlier than last year’s flu season.
DON’T SPREAD GERMS
Along with washing your hands, using hand sanitizer and properly covering your coughs, try using a fist bump instead of a handshake. Also, adults should know when to call it quits — if you or your child is too sick to be out, just stay home.
CLEAN OFTEN-TOUCHED SURFACES
At work, regularly wipe down shared spaces and equipment like copy machines, computers and phones. At home, focus on surfaces like doorknobs, TV remotes and faucets. Bacteria can last on these surfaces the longest.
WATCH: Staying mentally healthy
SAY NO TO “SAD”
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs only during the winter months. It can be treated with exposure to bright lights, which can be bought in stores or online.
The winter blues can also come from increased amounts of stress during the holidays. Try clearing your thoughts and focusing on your breathing, or download a meditation app on your phone.
VISIT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Continue spending time with friends and family after the holidays wrap up. You could even make it your New Year’s resolution.
For more information about this topic or to read different posts from Sevilla, visit his blog.