Sniffles, coughs, and sneezes abound. Hearing those familiar, unwelcome sounds indicates the start of yet another flu season. If you hear plenty of the sniffles around your office, here’s how to avoid getting sick. If you already caught something, we also include some tips on how to get work done through it.

1. Load up on vitamins

Making sure your body is equipped with nutrients and vitamins needed to maintain a healthy immune system is your first defense against illness. Loading up on vitamins includes eating well, adding lots of color (fruits and vegetables) to your diet, and avoiding sugar. You may also opt to take a multivitamin, or drink freshly pressed juices in the morning.

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated is good for your skin, and combats aging. If that isn’t enough to get you to pick up a glass of water, it’s also good for staying healthy, get rid of toxins, and fight off infections.

If you show any of these signs of dehydration, start drinking more water; thirst, dark urine, dry mouth, headache, and fatigue.

3. Wear a face mask

Face masks help keep your airways clear of germs. An easy way to catch a cold is by being near someone who’s coughing and sneezing. The mask will block any particles that might be carrying viruses or bacteria from entering your body through your airways.

Masks are great for staying healthy, but they’re also important to wear when you’re sick, to avoid spreading diseases. We’ll discuss this a little more at the bottom of the article.

4. Get enough sleep

Sleep is when your body resets and repairs itself. When you don’t have enough sleep, it could weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick. The typical adult needs approximately 8 hours of sleep, but you can check how much sleep you need according to your age.

5. Sanitize your workspace

Smartphones and computer keyboards have more germs than a toilet seat. If you want to avoid being exposed to excess germs, clean your workspace regularly with disinfectant. Tools like Cyber Clean are great for cleaning hard-to-reach areas like the crevices of a keyboard.

6. Avoid smoking and alcohol

When not taken in moderation, alcohol weakens your immune system and doesn’t leave you feeling so great. Smoking can also make you more susceptible to harsher colds, because cigarette smoke increases lung inflammation and damage. Keep yourself healthy by avoiding over-drinking and cigarette smoke, at least until flu season passes.

If you’re already sick…

If you’re already sick, follow the steps above and see a doctor to find out if it’s a simple cold or something that needs stronger medication. Get the right treatment, and don’t go in to work to avoid getting others sick. Ask if you can work from home and do meetings via video call. If staying home isn’t an option, be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands regularly.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick