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October 20, 2021 2 min read

The kids are back to school and restrictions are easing in our everyday lives. It is great to be getting back to some normality, but it also means getting back to flu's, colds and other little bugs that are beginning to circulate again. I've already had a head cold myself and my kids seem to be lurching from one cold to the next!

Teddy bear with thermometer and face mask

So how can we keep well this winter? Here are 5 simple tips on keeping the bugs away, and recovering quickly if we do get something.

1) 'Eat Well & Stay Active' - I know it can be a busy and stressful time of year (especially if kids are sent home sick from school!). But the best way to stay healthy and keep your body strong and able to fight off bugs is to eat a good and varied diet and keep as active as possible. Meal plan if necessary to keep meals interesting and varied, and plan regular walks and activities!

2) 'Manage your Mental Health' - In the darker, colder months this can be hard but is even more essential, and managing our mental health is integral to maintaining physical health. So be sure to destress - find things that make you happy and do them! Maintaining a good sleep routine is also important - going to bed at a reasonable time, reducing use of screens before bed and getting a solid 8 hours. Oh, and tip 1 is also essential for maintaining good mental health.

3) 'Vitamins & Supplements' - Whilst I'm not a vitamins fiend, I do find that the correct supplements do have a place. There are 2 that I find particularly helpful during the winter months for helping you keep the coughs and colds away. Vitamin C is a great way of building your immune system up and also lessening the effect of a cold. Another supplement I am very keen on and take every winter is echinacea it is fantastic for fighting of colds and can be really helpful. Here is a link to a study showing its benefits and here is where you can buy it.

4) 'Medical Care' - Obviously vaccines are a hot topic at the moment! But a simple way of avoiding the flu and lessening the effect of head colds is to take the flu vaccine if you can! I've also included some links here on advice on how to care for yourself if you are sick and when you might need to seek further help - HSE advice on keeping well, and another.

5) 'Grow a Beard!' - There have now been a number of articles which have looked at the positives of beards and health (here is a catch all one). From reducing allergies, to reducing the amount of bacteria on the face and protecting from exposure to the elements beards are now thought to be great for health! But they do need to be clean and well maintained!!

Barber trimming a beard

So there we have my 5 top tips for keeping well this winter. Let me know what you think. Are your kids starting to get sick already this winter? Is your beard protecting you?!

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