Mind & Body

How to prepare for cold and flu season, and be a good human while you’re at it.


This article was brought to you by Twinings Defence, a part of the New Twinings Live Well range

It’s upon us. You can feel the chill in the air when you get up in the morning. It’s getting dark earlier, we are dusting off the oil heaters, pulling out our fuzzy dressing gowns. In the iconic words of John Snow “winter is coming” – which can only mean one thing. So too, is the dreaded cold and flu season.

If you have young kids, use public transport or work in an office, then bracing yourself for flu season is a legitimate concern because those three things are the top culprits for the sore throats and runny noses that can put you out of action for days – even weeks.

Aside from getting a flu shot, here are the best ways to defend yourself – or help others to – against the dreaded lurgy this year.

Ditch sick-day guilt

With two in five Aussies working from home, the concept of a 9 to 5 job is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. But this new working-order is wreaking absolute havoc on things like ‘sick days’. It seems like most of us are weirdly more likely to work while we’re sick now.

The most important thing for many is ditching sick day guilt. If you’ve worked in an office, you know exactly what we mean. People can get unreasonably mean about other people’s sick days. “He’s not sick again is he?” “Didn’t she have a sick day last month?” “He didn’t look sick yesterday…”

It’s like we’re all fighting for the hero badge gained for whoever soldiers on, no matter how sick or stressed they are, but staying home when you’re sick is still the best defence against spreading the flu to other people. It’s also really important to take the appropriate time to recuperate.

Keep washing those paws

By now most of us are smart enough to know that viruses can live on surfaces and know how important it is to wash our hands thoroughly after touching just about anything. Especially before you are doing anything where you are touching your face. Flu season is not the time to get complacent people. It’s a 20 second wash with soap.

Build your immunity

Everyone knows our immune system is critical to our overall health, so the most direct route is to double down with a healthy, nutrient-rich eating plan as we slide into the colder months and you want to avoid getting sick. Limit sugar, treats, and fatty foods, and fill up on a variety of fruits and vegetables, which are full of vitamins and antioxidants.

There is nothing more comforting and soothing for the soul in winter than a hot cuppa tea and Twinings combine comfort and wellbeing with their ‘Twinings Live Well’ range, which help make getting your daily quota of H2O, along with a few other ingredients that make daily wellbeing deliciously enjoyable.

“What I love about our Live Well Defence blend is its authenticity and real feel-good factor. The taste is zingy fresh lemon and warming ginger as if you’d chopped them at home but with the added benefits of Echinacea and the clever blending with cinnamon and lime that take it to another level. The perfect pick-me-up for when you’re feeling under the weather,” explains Bel Charlesworth, Senior Herbal Advisor for Twinings.

“As a medical herbalist, Echinacea is one of my herbs of choice for supporting the immune system, especially to help with the common colds and other respiratory infections”, she says. “We’ve also used Echinacea root rather than just the leaf to ensure there’s maximum benefit in every cup.”

Snore and restore

One of the other ways to support our immune system? Getting enough of those sweet, sweet z’s. When we sleep, we heal. So put down the screens a little earlier and aim for the recommended minimum of eight hours of sleep every night to help keep you fighting fit throughout this cold and flu season.

Take it outside

One of the other things we now know as ‘experts’ on how germs can spread, is how much harder it is to pick up germs from other people when we are outside in the fresh air.

So why not rug up and keep having our social fun with a bit of distance out in the open air. Plus, if the sun is out, you can catch a few rays of Vitamin D while you are at it.

Keep it clean

If someone in your home has the flu, you can drastically reduce your risk of contracting it by keeping surfaces in your house clean and disinfected. Use an ammonia based disinfectant cleaner to wipe down door knobs, phones, toys, light switches, and other high-touch surface areas a few times each day.

This article was brought to you by New Twinings Live Well Defence herbal tea. A delicious blend of green tea with a hint of ginger, citrus and echinacea to help soothe and support you.