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How to Stay Prepared For Cold and Flu Season

Leah Faye Cooper

When Dr. Contessa Metcalfe joined the most recent installment of BlogHer Health, there was one thing everyone hoped the Kleenex® Brand ambassador would discuss: cold and flu season. According to a recent Kleenex® survey, 65 percent of Americans are concerned about cold and flu season this year, compared to 50 percent last year. Ahead, Dr. Metcalfe, who practices occupational and preventative medicine in Atlanta, shares her four tips for staying prepared this cold and flu season.

Stay Active

You don’t need to exercise like you’re training for a marathon (unless you want to, in which case, go forth!) but physical activity is great for producing a feel-good boost of energy. “Aerobic exercise increases endorphins, helps you feel better, and helps your immune system prepare for anything that’s coming its way,” says Dr. Metcalfe.

Always Have Tissues on Hand

“[One of] the best things to do in my opinion is to keep Kleenex® on hand,” Dr. Metcalfe says. “Kleenex® Soothing Lotion™ tissues in particular are packed with aloe, vitamin E, and coconut oil, which help prevent redness and facial dryness we worry about in the winter time.” Kleenex® Soothing Lotion™ also has 3-layers to help protect your hands and nourish your skin. Dr. Metcalfe keeps them at her office and in her car, and makes sure her kids have them in their backpacks when they head to school. Used tissues, she says, should be thrown out immediately before thoroughly washing or sanitizing hands. (Pro Tip: You can stock up on Kleenex® Soothing Lotion™ tissues on Kleenex.com).

Get Outside and Lean Into Joy

This may seem counterintuitive during cold and flu season, but Dr. Metcalfe is adamant about going outside when it’s safe to do so. “If you can… get some fresh air and some fresh Vitamin D,” she suggests, adding that isolation can increase anxiety and depression, and in turn weaken the immune system. If you’re unable to go outside, she suggests engaging in a hobby that brings you joy, like painting or cooking.

Make Time For Yourself

Like many women, Dr. Metcalfe says she often finds herself prioritizing the needs of her husband and children, and ignoring her own. “We put ourselves last,” she says. “That unfortunately is not a good recipe for taking care of ourselves.” She recommends setting time aside to read or watch TV, and she’s also a fan of periodic social media breaks to clear your mind. “You have to de-filter your life,” she says. One of her favorite ways to unwind? Cozying up on the couch and watching a funny movie or a good tear-jerker. “My favorite Kleenex® movie is Beaches!

This article was created by SheKnows for Kleenex®.

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