With the last days of summer fading away, it’s time to start thinking ahead. While you can’t guarantee you can keep the family entirely free from colds and sniffles, there’s a lot you can do to help boost your immunity and make sure cold and flu season doesn’t catch you snoozing. Here’s our top tips!

Go shopping 

No one wants to think of getting the flu, but it’s good to be prepared. Now’s the time to load up on supplies to make sure you aren’t running around sick, cold, and miserable in PJs trying to find tissues at midnight.

Grab tissues, soap, and sanitizers, and toss some extra masks in the trolley too, as that will help keep the rest of the family safer. Add some paper plates and glasses to the list for if you get sick, too- tossing them in a bin will cut down on the chance of spreading germs to the rest of the family. It may be a good time to think a little out of the box too. Is your pantry full of some easy comfort food? If you have kids who could get sick, what would keep them entertained? If you go down sick, what would you like to do?

From a puzzle and colouring book to a box of mac and cheese, to a couple of DVDs, knowing you don’t have to fight boredom or make meals when you’re suffering from low immunity will be a big load off your mind. 

Get your shots

We know. No one likes a needle! But grabbing this year’s flu vaccine is the best way to stay healthy- and get better quickly even if you do pick up a bug. While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% infallible, the protection it gives can be the difference between a day or a week off of work or school. 

Scope out the medicine chest. 

There’s no real cure for the season cold, let alone the flu virus, but there’s plenty you can do to make it a less unpleasant experience. Make sure you have pain relievers, fever relief, decongestants, an antihistamine, and cough syrup on hand. Even better – try taking preventative measures and boosting your immunity with a daily supplement regime. If you have little ones, make sure you have medications suitable for their age and weight, too. You might also want to check on your thermometer and make sure it’s working properly. If you own a humidifier, give it a deep clean- and if you don’t, consider getting one to ease irritated and dry nasal passages through the cold season.

Expect sick days

While it will be wonderful if you don’t have to take one, it’s more realistic to plan around needing them, especially if you have dependents who may need you regardless of your own health. Check-in with your firm about their sick day policy, and make sure your spouse is on board with a plan for who will handle what, too. While you’re at it, it may be an idea to chat with people outside the family and see if you can reach out for support, be it taking the kids to school if you’re sick, or watching a sick kiddo so you can work.

No one enjoys being sick, but with a little smart planning, you can make sure it isn’t any rougher than it has to be. And remember- wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds (sing 2 verses of Rick Astley’s ‘Never gonna give you up’, or tell the kids to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice) to keep germs at bay, and don’t be afraid to rest up if you’re feeling sick!