The hardest part of event season is ending. You’re ready to pack up your laptop, briefcase, planner, cell phone and tablet (not to mention all the swag you picked up at the trade show) and head home for some turkey. Unfortunately, everyone around you is coming down with a case of the sniffles and, chances are, you’ll be breathing in recycled air on the plane ride home.
But don’t fret! Here are six simple tips to keep you well this winter, designed especially for the event folks out there who are still working hard and starting to feel the chill.During the spring and summer, people spend more time outside breathing in pollen, so it’s easier to blame our sneezes on allergies. In the winter, we don’t think to consider allergies as the source of our ailments because it’s also cold and flu season. However, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 5 people have indoor allergies, which can actually be worse in the winter. If you know you’re allergy prone, don’t skip your daily Zyrtec© just because it’s snowy outside. Germs thrive in Airplane seat pockets. The American Society for Microbiology says that “disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week”. Specifically, their study showed that MRSA lasts longest (up to 168 hours) on seat-back pockets and E. Coli lasts longest (up to 96 hours) on armrests. If you stick some hand sanitizer in your bag before you board the plane, and avoid touching the pockets, you will have a much lower risk of picking up a sickness on your flight. Eating fiber-rich foods can strengthen your immune system and help keep you healthy during colder months. Breakfast is a great time to fill up on fiber with oats or bran. Snacking on nuts throughout your busy day will also help keep your fiber levels up.
Layers will keep you warm while you’re outside (or if you find that your booth is under the icy air conditioning unit). They’re also great because you can shed them as soon as you get inside, or pile them on as you head to happy hour after the show is over. Be sure to remember your jacket!
Ramping up the heat inside is tempting as the temperatures start to fall outside but using your heater too much will negatively impact your health. Typical home and office heaters suck moisture out of the air, leading to worsened allergies, dry skin and general discomfort.
Stress and anxiety negatively impact the immune system. Mayo Clinic research indicates that people who work under constantly stressful conditions may have over-stimulated “fight-or-flight” responses. According to the study, “long-term activation of the stress-response system… can disrupt almost all your body’s processes.” Whenever possible, take a breather – not doing so puts you at risk of developing anxiety, digestive problems, sleep problems, weight gain and memory loss.