Guest Author Laurie Bishop from The Happy Bishop is a yoga instructor, writer, and ultimate organizer for the flu season: It’s flu season, and as Muhammad Ali Jinnah once said nearly 100 years ago, “Expect the best, prepare for the worst.” Did you know there is a way you can organize and prepare for this time of year? Here’s my flu season survival guide for the flu and winter colds.
Make sure you have plenty of frozen dinners on hand. Now, you might be saying, “Frozen dinners? What? That doesn’t sound healthy.” Here’s the thing, if your child, or husband, or you are sick, you don’t have time to cook, and you won’t feel like cooking, trust me! Your family still needs to eat. Make sure you have some great tasting and healthy dinners stored away in the freezer for those days sickness has hit your house.
Stack up on instant meals like macaroni and cheese, or soup. Simple meals that nearly anyone in your household can cook in a microwave will help you get through those days when illness prevails.
Buy extra boxes of healthy snacks like protein bars or dried fruit. Make sure you keep a protein bar in your purse during flu season. We all know what it’s like to be in a doctor’s office waiting room. You’re stressed out enough, and you don’t want to add “hangry” to the list of symptoms.
Go ahead and buy that large pack of toothbrushes. Now, I know it seems excessive, but when someone in your household is sick, you have to get rid of that germ carrying weapon. Changing out the toothbrushes more frequently during cold and flu season is a smart investment. While you are at it, pick up several new tubes of toothpaste.
Of course, you will want to buy a few hand sanitizers. Buy one to place by the door. Buy a travel-sized one for your purse and car.
Make sure that you purchase enough soap to get you through the season. You’ll be washing your hands more frequently.
Your hands may begin to get dry and chapped from all the handwashing, so make sure you have hand lotion beside your soap.
Keep extra tissue boxes on hand. Trying to blow your nose on a power towel, or walking around the house with a toilet paper roll tucked under your arm, is not the way to go. Have boxes of soft tissues if you need to catch that runny nose.
Buy extra paper towels, and place a roll in each bathroom to help reduce the spread of germs. I’m not a fan of drying my hands on a damp hand towel in the bathroom and neither should you be.
Stock on up laundry detergent because you will be doing laundry more often than usual, especially if your house gets hit by the stomach flu. Changing sheets more regularly becomes a must during flu season.
Add C and Zinc to your vitamin regime, and make sure you have enough for the family to last through the season of sickness. Black Elderberry is a great supplement to take during the winter. If you aren’t familiar with it, there is a lot of information on the internet. You can always start here.
Go through your medicine cabinet BEFORE you or your family member gets sick and throw out any medicines that have past their shelf life. If you are low on the staples (like ibuprofen, Tylenol, Immodium, antihistamine, cough syrup), then make sure you replenish your supply to prevent that 2 a.m. run to the store. As always, if you have children in your home, make certain that your medicines are out of reach. A padlocked tackle box is a great place to store medicines when youngsters are in the home.
Make sure your oral thermometer is working well. There’s nothing worse than struggling with the on/off switch of a thermometer that is not working at the wee hours of the morning when your child is sick.
Make sure you have an updated list of everyone’s doctors’ names and contact information as well. There may be a time when you or your loved one will need a specialist during flu season, or God forbid, a trip to the hospital, which may require your physician’s name and contact number. It’s best to keep that on hand.
You will also want to make sure your pharmacy’s name and number are listed in your phone. You don’t want to have to carry a prescription to the pharmacy and wait when your doctor’s office can easily call it in. You will have to provide the office the pharmacy contact information for that to happen.
Health Insurance cards should live in your wallet, that way you will never have to mentally struggle over where you put the darn card while you are feeling miserably sick.
Many times, your insurance will provide you with a separate prescription card. Make sure that card resides next to your health insurance card in your wallet.
Keep an extra phone charger in your car. A quick trip to the doctor’s office or hospital is unheard of, especially during flu season. There is nothing quick when flu season is upon us. If you must spend hours in a waiting room, you want to be able to charge your phone if you need to so you can let the rest of your family members know what’s going on. If you keep the extra phone charger in your car, or in your purse, you can find an outlet in the waiting room and charge your phone. That will be one less thing you need to worry about while you wait.
Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be well armed to fight through flu season. Good luck, and God bless you.
When Laurie Bishop isn’t consumed with flu season preparedness, she runs The Happy Bishop, a website focusing on helping you make your life a little easier and happier. Please visit her blog at www.thehappybishop.com