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Fall. One of my favorite times of the year! I can already smell the scents of pumpkin spice filling the grocery stores and coffee shops. But just as those temperatures start dropping, cough and cold season seems to be upon us. Between visiting the pumpkin patch, jumping through leaf piles, and possibly doing some harvest baking, keeping those colds at bay can be a challenge.
None of us wish a cold on anyone, but sometimes it's inevitable. While a cold is certainly not life threatening (if cared for properly), it’s often a nuisance that you just have to power through. If you're like most and still need to maintain your work/life schedule in the midst of an annoying cold, I'd love to share just a few tips for office etiquette that your co-workers will be sure to thank you for! Some of which may seem like common sense, but even the most thoughtful of us all could use a reminder every now and then.
If you're going to survive cough and cold season, the #1 success tip I can offer is equip yourself! For starters, load up on your own personal stash of Scotties Tissue, followed by an easy access pump bottle of Purell, Sudafed (or your preferred over the counter cold medicine), re-usable water bottle, herbal tea bags and lemons. All these items will assist you as you're getting over your pesky cold.
This goes without saying, but taking care of yourself during cough and cold season is the best way to ensure you'll pull through the season quickly! Drink TONS of water throughout the day. Pump your system with vitamins and healthy, nutritious foods. Avoid alcohol, as that tends to weaken your immune system. Visit your Doctor if needed, and be aware of your own body.
Again, may seem like a no brainer, but I cannot stress this enough. Wash. Your. Hands. This is the simplest way to cut down on germ transfer around the office. Opt for a gentle foaming soap that won't be so tough on your hands. Your skin will naturally be on the drier side in the fall/winter months, so using a gentle wash hand soap will cut back on further dehydration of the skin.
If your office has common areas you frequent, like a break or lunch room, be courteous and wipe down surfaces you may have been in contact with. Think: the refrigerator handle, cabinet pull, door handle. You might be surprised by how many surfaces we actually touch throughout the day. Be mindful of that so you're not unintentionally passing along germs to fellow cube mates. I'm an big fan of Clorox wipes – they're easy to use, kill gems effectively, and suitable for most surfaces.
Have a board meeting you can't miss, or a client meeting you can't reschedule? I get it, we've all been there. Pop some Sudafed and power through my friend. However, as you enter the room to meet your potential client, supervisors, etc. opt to not shake hands. Simply say, “So sorry, I'm getting over a cold and would rather not pass it along.” I promise you it will not be perceived as rude in the slightest, but rather appreciated!
There you have it! Are you feeling prepared for cough + cold season?
Kristin Chambless is a Colorado-raised, Florida educated natural blonde living in Charleston, South Carolina. She loves to write about fashion inspiration, travel, home décor and beauty topics for her blog, Color by K.