Probably just the Physician Assistant in me coming out… Here are my top three “go to” tips I use whenever I travel to stay healthy:
1. Squeeze a pea-size amount of Neosporin, Bacitracin or any other antibiotic ointment onto a Q-tip and circle the inside rim of each nostril before heading out the door. And, no, this won’t keep you from getting viruses (we all know that antibiotics only help with bacteria, right?)—that’s what the Flu Shot and #2 are for —but it will keep you for picking up other “nasties” along the way and, assuming you don’t go crazy or super creative with the Q-tip, it certainly can’t hurt!
2. After the plane ride, trip to the mall, office holiday party or your kids Christmas show, rinse your nose/sinuses with saline water via a neti pot to wash away any little germs that you may have been exposed to. Neti pots are sold in any regular drug store and come with directions. The key is warm water (boiled or distilled vs tap please) and about 1/2 tsp of salt (table salt is just fine) and puttin’ your big girl/boy pants on to give it a go. It feels kind of like when you get water up your nose in the pool but I assure you it’s much better than getting the flu! (This also come in handy in the Spring for those of you who suffer from allergies.)
3. And lastly, beyond the obvious gems of hand washing and drinking lots of water, the single most important thing you can do is SLEEP. I know this is super obvious and that everyone’s busy but there’s not a single thing you can do that is more important, and yet it gets missed. This use to be the one thing I thought I could skimp on in trying to get everything done, but I am much wiser now and know that it is not “optional” and is as important as breathing. There’s a lot more than just resting going on while we doze. More on that later.
In the meantime, here’s to staying healthy as we all bustle around here and there so we can enjoy this wonderful season of family, love & joy!