So much of life is out of our control, and that includes the large variety of viruses and germs that surround us each and every day. They are there, we just cant’s see them. Unfortunately, new ones seem to pop up every season. Being a second grade classroom teacher, I am constantly standing guard against the possible invasion of germs. So today I am sharing the 8 simple things I’m doing to stay healthy this season.
This week we have seen the need to stay healthy become even more imperative. Not only am I a second grade teacher, I teach in Santa Clara county in California. Currently my county has the highest number of reported Covid-19 cases and deaths in California.
It is scary. My job as a teacher is to help others learn the facts, stay calm, and make good choices. So I do what I can, and I focus on what I have control over. I am focusing on staying healthy, and this is what I am doing.
8 Simple Things I’m Doing to Stay Healthy This Season
- Throughly wash hands with soap and water. My students know that every time they line up, they need to show me their cleaned scrubbed hands. I wash my hands multiple times throughout the day. While we have a large bottle of hand sanitizer by the classroom door, I believe in the power of soap and water. Soap and water is always first, and the hand sanitizer is used only when we can’t get to a sink. You can watch a video on correct hand washing at Infectious Diseases A-Z: Good health through good hand hygiene.
- Get a flu shot. This is a autumn routine for me. The fact that I can get my shot at the grocery store means that there is no excuse. I was not always so diligent about this until the one year my son came down with the flu. He was in high school and so very sick for a solid week. Seeing a young healthy teenager get hit so hard taught our whole family a lesson. We all get them every year.
- Clean high touch surfaces. Keep the sanitizing wipes handy and frequently wipe down high touch areas. Table tops, hand rails, light switches, door knobs – any surface that gets touched frequently by people.
- Keep your hands off your face. That one is so much easier said than done! I know I rub my eyes, think with my hand on my chin, and scratch those common itches without a thought. I am working on being much more mindful of not touching my face.
- Eat a healthy diet. This is so important to remaining healthy and strong. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and balance this with low-fat proteins and complex carbohydrates. A healthy diet can strengthen your immune system.
- Exercise. This can be as simple as a brisk walk. If you can get outside and enjoy some fresh air at the same time, all the better! During winter, we tend to get cooped up indoors – letting the germs circulate and affect more of us. Getting outside for fresh air is a bonus, plus exercise is proven to help strengthen our immune systems. Honestly, it just makes us feel better!
- Get a good night’s sleep. We all know that burning the candle at both ends wears us down and weakens our immune system. In order to stay healthy we need to get a good night’s sleep every night. But for meany reasons, this is not happening for far too many people. Sleep affects many body systems including your hormone regulation. immune function, and cognitive abilities.
- Stay hydrated. It is believed that staying hydrated boosts a particular immune response to help you fight of colds and flu. I just know that staying hydrated helps my head stay clear. When I do feel like I might be coming down with something I increase my intake of fluids. In general, staying healthy includes staying hydrated.
Life took a turn on Friday afternoon
Like so many other schools, our students will be staying home for the next four weeks. However, school will go on. My students will be attending class and learning remotely via online resources and classes.
We found out we were closing school doors on Friday afternoon. The last two hours of class was spent getting my second graders signed into my new Google classroom, packing up backpacks with supplies they will need at home to complete work, answering loads of questions, building leprechaun traps (I will post video of leprechaun chaos on Tuesday in our google classroom), visiting our week-old baby goats, and lots of hugs.
It was an afternoon filled with so many emotions.
So while there are some scary viruses out there, we are in fact surrounded by germs every single day. The best way to combat them is to take care of ourselves. While we can’t control everything, these are the 8 simple things I’m doing to stay healthy this season.