Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D., is a leading national expert in wellness, disease prevention, and bioidentical hormone therapies. Dr. Schwartz has written four best-selling books, testified before Congress, hosted her own PBS special on bioidentical hormones, and is a frequent guest on network TV shows. Dr. Schwartz is the author of Dr. Erika's Healthy Balance newsletter.

Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D

Tags: germs | flu | hygiene | stress

Don't Give Germs a Chance

By Erika Schwartz, M.D   |   Thursday, 01 May 2014 04:08 PM

You’ve probably heard the saying, “mind over matter.” Well, there’s nothing further from the truth. If you feel sick and push yourself, you will get sicker. If you listen to your body and take it easy, you will recover faster.
To create a lifetime of good habits that prevent germs and the flu virus from taking hold, consider these healthy behaviors.
Sneeze or cough into your elbow. Don’t forget to throw the shirt you were wearing in the laundry at the end of the day.
If you are sick, don’t go to work. Be respectful of your colleagues and never bring a cold or the flu into the workplace. Take care of yourself by staying home and don’t infect others by exposing them to your illness.
Keep impeccable personal hygiene. Wash your sheets and towels twice a week, change your undergarments daily, and wash your clothes. Take a shower twice a day if you have small kids, go out of the house to work, or are out in areas with many people. Change your work clothes when you get home to avoid bringing viruses into your house.
Wash your face twice a day with soap and warm water. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
Wash your hands often. Remember that in the surgical suite, surgeons scrub their hands for 15 minutes before a procedure. You don’t have to spend 15 minutes washing your hands, but you can spend at least one minute doing it.
Reduce stress. Stress reduction helps prevent colds. If you are feeling anxious about a stressful situation, and if you cannot do anything about improving it, put it into an imaginary drawer and shut it. That way it won’t bother you, destroy your immune system, or burn your adrenals to a crisp making you sick and vulnerable.

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