As the weather outside gets colder and the days get shorter, it's important to remember to take extra care of ourselves and our loved ones. For those living with developmental disabilities in community group homes, this time of year can be incredibly challenging. Here are some tips on how to boost your immune system and stay healthy during the winter months.
- Get a flu shot. Getting a flu shot is essential to taking good care of your health. Not only can it prevent you from getting sick with influenza, but it can also provide broader protection against the virus in your community. The CDC states that getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of influenza and protect yourself and your loved ones from harm. By getting a flu shot each year, you are protecting yourself and doing your part to keep others in your community safe.
- Stay hydrated. There is no doubt that drinking plenty of fluids is vital for maintaining good health. Hydration helps to support organ and cell functioning and fuels the brain. Proper hydration also aids digestion and absorption of food, as well as flushing out toxins from the body. When it comes to staying hydrated, there are several factors to keep in mind.
- Start by drinking plenty of water throughout the day – at least 8 glasses or 2 liters of water – and aim to avoid drinks high in sugar or caffeine like coffee, soda, and energy drinks.
- Opt for low-sugar beverages such as teas (hot or iced) and herbal teas, fresh juices, vegetable smoothies, dairy products like milk and yogurt, or whole fruits with a glass of water if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
- Staying hydrated doesn’t have to be hard work – taking small steps to build healthy habits can make all the difference in keeping your body happy!
- Get plenty of restful sleep. When it comes to overall well-being, there's no better investment of your time and energy than getting enough quality sleep. A good night's rest refreshes your body, mind, and spirit, helping you to function at peak capacity during the daytime hours. If lack of sleep is a common issue, start by ensuring your bedroom is dark, quiet, and relaxed – all things needed for good sleep hygiene
- Try to create a calming nighttime routine.
- Unplug from technology before bedtime.
- Use aromatherapy with essential oils like lavender or jasmine in a diffuser to help promote relaxation.
Have you received your flu vaccine?
Even though flu season peaks between January and April, seasonal influenza activity is high and continues to increase across the country. We are seeing a high number of cases, and it is only December. That’s why now is the time to get your flu shot if you have not already.
Contracting the flu can be serious, especially for very young children, older adults, and those with chronic health conditions, including heart disease, asthma, or diabetes. While some people could recover from the flu within a few days or even a couple of weeks, others could risk complications that can cause hospitalization or even death. Mild flu complications could be sinus and ear infections, while more serious complications could be pneumonia.
Stay protected, and get vaccinated!
Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. After about two weeks from receiving the vaccination, antibodies develop in the body and begin to provide you protection against the influenza virus infection.
Get vaccinated now to protect yourself before any spread in your community begins! If you have any questions about flu vaccines, contact us or call us with questions at 845-341-2714.