Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

A Mom’s Guide to Surviving Cold and Flu

surviving cold and flu

I think that we’ve had all of the contagious diseases that are possible in a two-week timeframe. I’d like to say I’m joking, but I’m not. At least my body and family don’t feel like I’m joking! I will tell you that I am not a medical professional, but I am a mom who is sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Here are my ten tips for surviving cold and flu (and stomach flu) season:

  1. Wash your hands on repeat. Any time we return home from being anywhere, my mantra is wash your hands. Did you blow your nose? Wash your hands! Did you sneeze? Wash your hands! Are you coughing? Wash your hands!
  2. Don’t touch your face, your nose, your eyes (and then go wash your hands again). These are crevices in your body in which germs enter. There’s a Curious George episode about germs and the body. I show this to my kids seasonally to remind them of how they get sick when germs get in their body.
  3. Don’t share hand towels with sick family members. Wash and replace hand towels on a daily basis.
  4. Believe in disinfectant. Whether your preferred method is vinegar, bleach wipes or other alternatives – you do you, but clean and wipe hard surfaces regularly. For us, this looks like using a disinfectant wipe on remotes, phones, doorknobs, light switches, and handles.
  5. Boost your immune system with elderberry gummies, vitamin c, and a regular multivitamin. I also regularly take probiotics to help with gut health.
  6. Get enough sleep. I think the best thing we can do for our body is get enough rest. I know that can be especially hard during hectic seasons of life, but your body is especially vulnerable when it is chronically sleep-deprived. Believe in the power of a nap.
  7. Hot beverages are soothing. I also think that a hot beverage works superpowers on a sore throat. My hot beverages of choice look like Throat Coat tea (it’s an actual thing, look it up), my homemade version of a Starbucks’ medicine ball tea, or apple cider vinegar/lemon/honey/hot water. Hydration is the ultimate end-goal.
  8. Use saline spray or a neti-pot. I find nothing to be more satisfying that seeing weird snot clumps come out of my nose.
  9. If someone has a stomach bug, place them in isolation. I know that may seem harsh, but they really do need rest and to keep their germs to themselves. You can surround them with a barf bucket lined with a plastic bag, a sleeping bag or blankets, towels, and fresh jammies. I always think it’s good to remind kids where the “appropriate” places are to barf.
  10. Know when to call it quits and seek help from a medical professional. I may be a super mom, but I do not have the title of “doctor.” There are times when people have been sick for too long or have too high of a temperature for me to know what to do.

My family has been sick with cold and flu way too much this year, so I hope these tips find you in good health. Or if they find you with the sniffles, I hope they help recover sooner!

surviving cold and flu


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