10 Tips for Staying Germ-Free - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Mar 18, 2020

10 Tips for Staying Germ-Free

Every year we gear up for cold and flu season by taking preventative measures such as receiving the flu shot and doing the best we can to mitigate our exposure to germs. With the news media now swamped with headlines surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), also referred to as simply, “the coronavirus,” many of us are now taking extra precautions to keep ourselves and homes as germ-free as possible.

The good news is, there are many simple and effective ways to fight off germs. Here are our top 10 tips for keeping germs at bay during the cold and flu season:

  1. Wash your hands! One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep germs at bay is to wash your hands and to wash them frequently. Always wash your hands after using the restroom or before preparing food. It’s also important to wash your hands every time you step through your front door. Whether you have just returned from work or the supermarket, it’s important to wash away the germs you have most likely picked up in these public locations.
  2. Use hand sanitizer in between washes. While scientists will tell you that hand-washing is more effective for ridding yourself of germs than hand sanitizer, they will also tell you that using sanitizer is better than nothing. In between washing your hands, use hand sanitizer after touching communal items such as door knobs or pens at the check-out line in stores.
  3. Avoid touching your face. Many of us touch our faces more than we realize. For some of us, we touch our face as a nervous habit or even take it a step further and bite our nails. You use your hands more than you realize, touching many different objects throughout the day. When you touch your face you are allowing germs to transfer from your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth. Be more mindful of how frequently you touch your face and make an effort to stop, especially during the winter when sickness is high.
  4. Keep your workspace clean. Most of us spend a lot of our time at work. If you work in an office setting, be conscious to disinfect your desk, computer, mouse, and phone every single day. If you happen to work in an open-office environment, do your best to avoid co-workers who are exhibiting symptoms of illness.
  5. Limit your exposure. If you know that someone is ill or experiencing symptoms indicative of the flu or coronavirus, keep your distance. It’s OK to let someone know that you are distancing yourself for health concerns. Be polite and they will understand! If able, work from home as much as possible during cold and flu season to limit your contact with others and germs.
  6. Clean your home regularly. The best way to keep germs at bay in the household is to clean regularly. Rather than waiting to do all of your cleaning once a week or - let’s be really honest - once a month, do a little bit each day. One way to break it down is to dedicate a different room to each day of the week. For example, perhaps you focus on cleaning your bathrooms on Mondays and doing a deep clean of your kitchen on Tuesdays. Making your housework more approachable will help you keep up with it!
  7. Pay extra attention to high-germ areas of your home. Wash your bedding frequently, change your kitchen sponge often and always put the toilet seat down when you flush. Making small lifestyle changes such as these can have a big impact on mitigating household germs.
  8. Wash your produce. Aside from potential pesticides and preservatives, it’s very possible that other people have touched the produce that you have picked up at the store and are now preparing to eat. Rinse off all of your produce to limit your exposure to unwanted chemicals and germs.
  9. Get a good night’s sleep. One of your body’s best defenses for fending off germs is getting an adequate amount of rest. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of zzzs each night to keep sickness at bay.
  10. Eat well and exercise. A well-balanced diet and an active lifestyle are great ways to set your body up for success. Being proactively healthy lessens your chances of catching sickness. And if you do get sick - being healthy will help you shake it off quickly. If you’re not one for fruits and veggies, consider adding a multivitamin to your routine to make sure you’re getting all of the vitamins you need to keep your immune system up.

Follow these tips to stay healthy and give yourself the best chance for fending off germs and illness!