The cold and flu season is hard if you live in a cold climate and sometimes the budget is so tight we can’t even allow the smallest extra purchase. In that case the best strategy is to do everything we can to avoid getting sick altogether. Which is basically impossible if you have kids, especially if they attend school or kindergarten. But you can try, the worst case scenario is that you get sick a little less than usual and that is not bad at all.
Let’s look at the completely free basics.
Avoid crowds as best as you can. During the holidays that can be a little tricky, but just do your best. And when you see/hear someone coughing or sneezing just get as far as you can from them.
Wash your hands. A no brainer, I know, but during the colder months this is extra important. Wash your hands after using public transport, going outside, before eating and so on. Do the same with your kids and teach them the importance as well if they are out in school, in kindergarten or with friends.
Good oral hygene is also very important to prevent the bacteria from spreading, so don’t skip on brushing your teeth and make sure your kiddos brush theirs thoroughly.
Stay hydrated! You immune system doesn’t work optimally when dry, so make sure to have plenty of water, 8 glasses a day are recommended for adults. Kids need around 5 glasses of water a day to stay healthy. Also other fluids like tea and soups are great.
Exercise. Don’t wear yourself out, but a moderate exercising is very beneficial. Go and sweat those toxins out.
Sunshine aka Vitamin D. Get outside when the sun is shining. This might not happen too often, so stay alert and run outside or on the balcony and bask in the precious sunshine.
Not completely free, but still cheap
Garlic. If you already have it at home or you grow it buy yourself then it’s free. Otherwise it’s doesn’t cost much to buy some. Garlic is a known badass for fighting all kind of health problems and is awesome for preveting colds as well. The way I like to get my dose is to cut a clove in smaller pieces and to swallow them with water as pills. This way you can’t feel the taste and without chewing it – much less garlic breath. For the kids, depends on their age. My older boys (10yrs and 8yrs) do the “garlic pill” method with me. My youngest is 2 so I just try to incorporate some in his foods.
Smoothies. If smoothies are something you usually do, just add more of the special ingredients. Berries, apples, chia seeds, cinnamon, and bananas is a good combination. I like to add a small piece of ginger. Use what you have, do a little google research on which fruits, herbs and veggies are the best.
Vitamin C. I’m pretty sure everyone knows this one. Foods high in vitamin c are kakadu plums, acerola cherries, rose hips, chilli peppers, guavas, sweet yellow peppers, blackcurrants, thyme, parley, mustard spinach, kale, kiwis, broccoli, brussel sprouts, lemons, lychees, american persimmons, papayas, strawberries and oranges. You can either eat them as they are, add them to foods or to your smoothies.
Omega 3. Eat more of foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids as in nuts, seeds, eggs, soy beverages, and salmon.
Detox Bath. Take a bath with epsom salts once a week or two, Epsom salts are cheap and great for detox baths. You can also choose to add some other ingredients depending what you have in hand like Dead Sea salts, apple cider vinegar, lavender, lemon or rosemary essential oil, honey. Just do your research before,check for allergies and make your your essential oils are safe to use in a bath.
Special mention – tea tree oil. If you have very little money to spend I recommend tea tree oil to be the one you buy. The possibilities and choices are vast with essential oils, but tea tree oil has truly been a lifesaver in our home. As far as preventing cold & flu, use an oil diffuser or in every room regularly or make a pray by adding about 10 drops of it to 100-200ml of water. Then just spray around the house or use it to clean any contact points to keep the germs from spreading.
That is it for my little “How to prevent cold/flu on a small budget”. I hope you found it useful. If you have your own cheap cold/flu prevention tips leave them down in the comments, cause I’m always looking for new ways to keep my family healthy.
Next time I’ll talk about how to cure a cold/flu on a small budget. So hit that subscription button to stay tuned. Until next time.