It’s a busy time of year when kids are out of school, some businesses are closing up shop for the holidays, and people are taking some quality time to spend with friends and family. The last thing you need right now is a case of the flu. The tiredness, achiness, fever, and congestion that comes with the flu is absolutely miserable and can last for weeks. For some people, this virus can send them to the hospital, or be deadly.

You can ring in the new year healthy and flu-free, by listening to the timeless advice you’ve heard since you were a kid:

  • Get your flu shot – While you probably won’t be protected before you ring in 2017 (it takes about two weeks to build immunity after you get your shot), you will protect yourself from the flu during the new year if you get your flu shot now.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects – Protect yourself by making sure the things you touch frequently aren’t contaminated with germs like the flu. You can wipe surfaces down with a disinfectant wipe or clean them with soap and water.
  • Wash your hands – Sick people cough and sneeze onto their hands or surfaces all the time. Their germs linger on those door handles, light switches, credit card keypads, and other surfaces just waiting for you to touch them. When you do, and then you rub your eye, bite your nail, or eat something with your hands, the flu (and other illnesses) have free ride into your body to get you sick.

Of course, one of the best resolutions for the New Year is to live a healthy life. So if you’re sick, stay home from work or away from those holiday gatherings to keep your germs away from your coworkers and loved ones. If you have to cough or sneeze, do it into a tissue or your elbow so you’re not spreading germs on your hands and then onto surfaces other people may touch.

I’ll highlight several other health tips you can incorporate into your New Year’s resolution list in the coming weeks. Check back here on my blog and visit us on social media to learn more.