Trying to Stay Healthy This Winter
Last updated: June 2023
One thing we all learned about having COPD is that we must be more careful than others because it could damage our already damaged lungs and make it more challenging for us to recover.
Before wearing masks was a thing, I often wore masks while flying or while being in large gatherings like in a grocery store, etc. I will continue to do this even though they have changed the mask mandates.
Droplets from a cough or sneeze spread bacterial or viral-borne diseases or touch from unwashed hands. Many people do not realize the most common means by which they transmit infections is through close contact with infected individuals or direct contact with contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and telephones.
Taking a few relatively simple measures can minimize exposure and reduce the incidence of infection.
Minimizing your risk of infection this winter
These are some things that we can do to keep healthy all year long:
Wash our hands
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I think it is important to address the proper handwashing techniques. A good example of why is from when I was younger and taking CNA (certified nurses assistant) classes, one of the first things they taught us was handwashing.
Who knew that I had been washing my hands wrong all those years? The instructor had us put this substance on our hands that represented the dirt and bacteria on our hands.
They then had us wash and dry our hands thoroughly. Next, they brought out a black light, and even though we did a good job washing our hands, the light showed that some of us still had bacteria under our fingernails and wrists.
We learned from this example how important it is to wash our hands correctly. This may seem silly to some, but to get germs off effectively, you must follow these steps.
- Get your hands wet
- Put soap on your hands
- Scrub thoroughly
- This includes a little past your wrists, both palms, and the back of your hands
- Under fingernails, this is done easily by rubbing your fingernails and thumbnails into the palm of your hand
- Rinse thoroughly, including wrists, with fingers pointing down toward the sink
- To dry your hands, turn off the sink with your paper towel and also use it to open the bathroom door
Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have washed your hands first. The reason is that this is how cold, flu and other germs get into our bodies.
Wipe off surfaces often
Keep high-traffic areas clean by wiping down light switches and door handles, cupboard doors, cell phones, etc., with a disinfected cleaner. I like to use something all-natural that won't leave a chemical smell, etc., hanging around.
Some other thighs that I have learned to help me stay healthy are taking vitamins and supplements. Some are good to take all year long, while others are just for the season.
I am not giving any medical advice, and you should always talk to your doctor about taking any vitamins or supplements. These are just some helpful things; my doctor knows I am using them.
I take zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C and will take an immunity booster supplement. Zinc and immunity booster I usually only take through the cold and flu season.
Essential oils may help
Something else that I do I learned about a few years ago is essential oils. Again, I am not giving any medical advice, and you should always talk to your Dr. about taking any vitamins or supplements. These are just some things that I have found helpful.
Yes, I know the controversy of using oils, but I have researched and talked with my doctor. I can’t believe the difference they have made. Among the many things I have learned about oils is that you can’t go out and buy from the grocery or retail stores.
You need to research and ensure you get oils that contain only plant compounds without additives or synthetic oils. Pure oils usually list the plant's botanical name.
Look for the words “pure” and “organic.” Low-quality oils can do more harm than good. I diffuse oils, but there are many ways to use them. If you ever decide to use them, get educated on them first and use them from a reputable source.
In conclusion, if we eat right, keep hydrated, get some exercise, have good handwashing hygiene, try to get a good night's sleep, and listen to our bodies and give them what it needs, this will give us a great start to staying healthy.
Please share with me in the comments below some things you do to stay healthy.
Where do you stand with your COPD?