We've had a couple of bugs doing the rounds in the BasketsGalore office over the last couple of months. First came the terrible vomiting bug at the end of November/start of December (not great at any time, let alone during our busiest sales time!) Anyone showing signs was sent home to recover for a few days, but it still managed to spread. I think perhaps my baby boy, Rowan, may have been responsible for this one, as my husband & I soon had it, followed by his grandparents and then quite a few of my colleagues. Then another flu type bug infected those who had escaped the vomiting one. They too were then quarantined to home for quite a few days before Christmas. I somehow managed to catch both bugs, with the flu type one taking hold just before New Years & lasting 3 weeks!
I am pleased to report that I finally feel back to full health and it got me thinking about how we can try to keep ourselves & our children healthy. Here is my list on ways I intend to keep my family healthy: (although this may be a bit difficult with a 15 month old who tends to catch everything going!)
Obviously this list only really applies to help avoid catching coughs, colds and bugs, not more serious viruses and illnesses.
1) Eat Well
Many of us tend to over indulge at Christmas time; either on leftovers, snacking on cheese or dipping into those giants tins of sweets. Now is the time to get back on track and choose healthier options. Many of you must be thinking along the same lines as I've seen lots of fresh fruit gifts being dispatched. They have inspired me to start making fruit smoothies again - yummy! It's good fun at the moment watching Rowan trying new fruit & veg. As a little baby he ate most things as they were in puree format. He didn't like the lumpier textures as we progressed away from purees and now he finally has enough teeth we can get a little more adventurous.
2) Keep Hydrated
I definitely do not drink enough water throughout the day at the moment. We have a water dispenser in the work kitchen (although the one pictured below would always be empty!) I am going to try and drink a couple of glasses from it (water, not champagne) instead of always making myself a tea or coffee. I need to take a leaf out of Rowan's book, as he is always sipping away. I constantly have water or diluted baby juice in his cup and he now just helps himself or tells me "juice" when we needs some.
I'm not sure these even work that well, but perhaps a daily vitamin could help to boost the old immune system in conjunction with an improved diet. Health visitors also suggest you give your baby vitamin drops from around 1 year, so I will make sure Rowan gets his every day instead of just when I remember! Keeping him healthy should also benefit me & those he spends time with.
4) Regular Exercise
I am normally fairly good at this one, as I like to attend workout classes a few times a week. However, I suspended my gym membership during December due to being so busy at work. I was then ill for most of January and so couldn't face it. I went back for the first time last night and am in such pain today from lifting the weights, but I'll soon be back into the swing of it & it really does leave me a "feel good" feeling after completing a class. What if I can't get to the gym? Maybe an exercise DVD, going for a walk with Rowan or chasing him about various soft play areas also seems to keep me fit! Swimming is also a great one to do together and we've also done mum and baby yoga.
5) Fresh Air, But Wrap Up Warm
During winter we don't tend to be outside as much but are inside with the heating on, breathing in the same recycled air. It is just soooo cold at the moment that getting out and about can be tricky, especially with a little one who hates wearing hats and gloves! This week we've made an effort to go out for a walk in the pram so he could stay cosy & warm, and gone for a quick trip to the playground and park to feed the ducks. You don't need to stay out that long to benefit from it. Bike rides are also a great thing to do together, but again it's more difficult during winter with the cold and darker evenings.
6) Wash Your Hands
We all know germs are easy to pass on so I make sure to carry antibacterial hand wash for myself and to clean Rowan's hand's with baby wipes if he has been touching toys and been in the soft play area with other children. At work we all make an effort to use the antibacterial wipes on our PC's and telephones and to wash our hands after sneezing or coughing when possible.
Sleep is something a lot of us probably don't get enough of. We were very lucky that Rowan has been a great sleeper for so long. We all went through a spell of not sleeping well in January due to illness so it's great to be getting longer spells of sleep now. We all need extra sleep to get over bugs too, so make sure to try and go to bed a bit earlier or have a nap (although how often do we get a chance to do that!) Not too much screen time before bed can help to ease you off to sleep faster too. Do something that relaxes you rather than stimulates your brain too much - a book or bath perhaps. A bedtime routine for kids is also a great way to get them to wind down & settle for the night.
My husband swears by his positive mental attitude to get him through any illness, well that and gallon-fulls of lemsip! So keeping positive and happy may well help you to avoid or get over illnesses faster. This is completely unproven, but anything's worth a try when you are feeling rubbish.
What get well or cold prevention tips do you swear by?