It looks like I’ll be taking another break from the editing series to offer you guys another timely tip, because this is something that can take down any writer at any time, no matter what genre they write or how often they write. Trust me, it’s more detrimental than writer’s block.
I’ve got a lot to do before Februrary, so right now would be a terrible–or rather–the worst time to get a cold or flu. My son and my boss were recently sick, which puts me at risk. With the odds against us, how can we as writers stay well this season?
Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face!!!!!
This is my first tip, and it ends in an exclamation mark (five to be exact) because this is the number one way you get sick–and because as a parent, I repeat this a lot. Infected hands spread germs, viruses, etc to your sinus passages through your nose, mouth, and eyes. It also works in reverse, so to reiterate:
It should also go without saying that you should avoid touching other’s hands or objects people commonly come into contact with: pens, doorknobs, money, shopping carts, etc. Rule of thumb: just wash your hands as often as you can.
Studies are really inconsistent as to whether or not vitamin C actually prevents illness, but most studies at least agree that it helps ease symptoms and can shorten the duration of illness. Since vitamin C is good for you, just go ahead and take it. Vitamin C comes in many forms and can be found in a variety of foods, but my sister has a coworker who swears by Emergen-C. I’m not sure how many she drinks a week, but she hasn’t missed a lot of work, so I’ll take her word for it. I drink at least one a week. So far I haven’t caught my son’s illnesses, or any for that matter in the last six months. Mind you he’s come home with pink eye, upper respiratory infections, coughs, colds, the flu, and sinus infections. I haven’t been to the doctor once this year–knock on wood. I think it’s time to give that child some Emergen-C before he ends up in the emergency room.
Cook with Garlic and Coconut Oil
People have been using garlic to prevent and treat illnesses for centuries. It’s an all-around healthful herb. You can take it as a supplement or just sprinkle it on your food.
You may already know the benefits of garlic, but have you ever heard about the benefits of coconut oil? My sister used to take a spoonful every day to prevent wrinkles. What she did or did not know was that it may also prevent illness. If you don’t like to take it plain, you can use it to substitute for cooking oil, to sweeten tea, or as a dessert topping.
I’m not going to tell you what to eat, but I will tell you what not to: sugar. Just one spoonful lowers your immunity for hours. Definitely avoid it when you’re sick, but avoid it, or cut back, to prevent illness. I know this is difficult; it’s in everything after all.
Drink Tea and Water
Hands down, green tea is the best; I don’t care what any study says about white or black tea. Don’t you dare ruin the benefits by flavoring it with sugar either. Sweeten it with lemon juice and honey for even more immunity support.
Now there’s something you need to know about H2O. Getting an adequate amount of water will actually prevent you from getting sick.There’s water in tea you say. That is true; however, there is also caffeine in your tea. I’ve heard it said that for drinks that contain caffeine like coffee and tea, you have to divide your water consumption by half. So if you drink 8 oz of coffee, you’re really only getting 4 oz of water. Caffeine dehydrates. I’ve read some recent studies that suggest this is not the case with tea, but to be safe, up your water intake.This improves your immunity.
Stay Away From Sick People
Easier said than done. Heck my sister just looks at a sick person and she catches whatever it is they have. Viruses can live in the air 3-7 hours. So if a friend or family member is sick, stay away. Offer to talk to them on the phone or by email. This is what social media is for. If they need soup or medicine, drop off the goodies at the door and run.
Do you feel tired, nervous, irritable? You may be stressed. Stress is one of the sickness cues. It lowers immunity, which leads to illness. It’s impossible to completely avoid stress, (the simple act of living is stressful), but it is possible to reduce it.
1. Limit Social Media: As much as I love keeping in touch with family and potential readers with Twitter and Facebook, there are times when I just dread reading my feed. Do you know what I mean? I avoided Facebook after the whole Ferguson debate, not to mention during elections, holidays, or after an episode of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones heirs. Trying to avoid spoilers, people. Do not tell me who died, for crying out loud! It’s no secret that social media messages lower our self esteem, make us feel more alone than connected, and cause us stress. Hell, I’m not even friends with my own brother on Facebook because his social media messages caused me too much stress. My advice: limit your time. One hour tops. Remove “friends” who do nothing but post their,political views/slants, religious views/bashes, or other negative content.
2. Get Sleep: If you think foregoing sleep will give you more time to write, guess again. Sleep deprivation increases your risk of getting sick which will in turn, you guessed it, negate all that extra writing time you traded for sleep.
Going back to the topic of stress, lack of sleep actually makes it more difficult for you to cope with stress.
Get your sleep and sacrifice something else like television time. Is TV really that important?
3. Read: Reading does more to reduce stress than exercise, chocolate, and meditation. Don’t take my word for it. Check out this article here.
We all know how difficult it is to write when we’re tired, busy, or just hungry. Imagine trying to write while sick. So, when the cold bites, when the flu stings, when you’re feeling bad. Simply remember this Tuesday Tip, and then you won’t feel so bad.
Stay well and writing this winter.