Cold and flu season is fast approaching here in Australia. It’s important to clean your home well to avoid infecting others living in the same house. According to HealthDirect.gov Australia adults get the common cold on average between two and four times a year.
We all know what to do to prepare for the cold and flu season and best practices for avoiding the dreaded flu. But do you know what to do after you’re sick to get yourself and your home back to feeling and looking its’ best?
We’ve covered the top five things you can do after yourself, or anyone in your home, has been struck down by a cold this winter.
Photo by David Mao on Unsplash.
5 Things to Do After You’ve Been Sick
1. Change your bedsheets and wash your towels.
Changing your sheets after being sick is essential. Let’s be honest, you’ve likely spent most of your days lying there, spreading your germs thoroughly through your bed linen. Where possible wash your sheets in hot soapy water to help ensure none of those nasty germs make it back to your bed.
If you’re not feeling up to changing all your sheets, try switching out your pillow case. Lab tests have shown the average pillow case harbors 17000 times more bacteria than a toilet seat — gross! If that does make you wash your sheets weekly, we don’t know what will.
Towels are often forgotten when doing the post-sickness clean. Towels are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs as they’re almost always damp. So, ensure to wash them in hot water and dry them in the sun.
2. Get a new toothbrush.
It comes as no surprise that getting a new toothbrush is a must-do after recovering from any sickness. Now might be a good time to consider switching to an electric toothbrush. But are they really any better than manual toothbrushes?
“Both manual and electric toothbrushes can be used just as effectively with the correct technique to keep your mouth clean and your teeth healthy. The key is to brush and floss every day, regardless of the kind of brush you prefer. The biggest concern with brushing is more about cleaning the teeth and gums effectively to help avoid unnecessary fillings and the potential risk of gum disease.
When it comes to optimising your oral health, the most important tip is to keep up with your regular oral hygiene routine of brushing twice daily, flossing and having regular six-monthly preventative care appointments to help minimise tooth decay and gum conditions.”
3. Deep clean your home.
While the idea of deep cleaning your home isn’t exactly the most appealing way to spend your free time, it will help you feel better and help prevent others in your home from getting ill. Concentrate on the areas in your home you spent the most time when you were feeling under the weather, such as the couch, your bed or even the bathroom. It’s time to get out the Glen 20 and get to work.
First things first; wash any blankets, throws, robes or other items which you’ve been snuggled away in trying to get better. These items can quickly become home to lots of germs and bacteria, so it’s best to wash them in hot water and dry them out in the sun where possible.
Secondly, wipe down and disinfect any surfaces. This is especially important for common areas in your home, like the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Next up to clean, material surfaces such as couches and chairs.
How to deep clean your couch:
If vacuuming and a wet-wipe just won’t do, it may be time to deep clean your house. Here’s our step-by-step guide to deep cleaning your couch.
- Vacuum your couch to remove any extra crumbs and dirt.
- Mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part water in a small dish, adding carpet cleaner for an extra good clean.
- Take a cloth and lightly dab the mixture into the couch — be sure not to soak the couch.
- Leave the couch to dry, this usually takes about half an hour.
- Once dry, take your vacuum and remove the dried solution.
For stubborn stains get in contact with your local upholstery cleaner. Depending on the material of your couch different methods may be best used to avoid damage.
4. Stay hydrated.
Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated, especially after being sick. The Australian Government recommends an adult should drink at least 8 cups, or 2 litres of water a day. This depends greatly on the height, weight and activity of the individuals.
If you struggle to drink the recommended amount, try adding fresh fruits to your glass or bottle of water to make it more appealing. Or, if you’re really dehydrated, speak to your local chemist about an electrolyte supplement to get you back on track.
5. Try to get back into a healthy sleep pattern.
We all know sleep is integral to health. It is recommended adults get an average of seven to eight hours sleep per night. This number increases to nine for children and teens. Alarmingly, more than 75% of adult Australians admit they sleep less than six hours per night on average.
Tips for getting better sleep:
Establish a routine.
Whether it be a skin care routine, meditation or simply a cup of tea; whatever it is, just ensure you do it each evening around the same time. Having a nighttime routine lets your body know when it’s time to rest, making it easier to fall asleep.
Read a book.
Reading a book before going to bed will not only give you motivation to get to bed on time, but you’ll likely sleep better too!
Go to bed at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Get yourself into the habit of going to bed at the same time every day — you’ll be surprised how much it helps. Creating healthy habits like this can make a big difference to your overall health and wellbeing.
Avoid caffeine, food and alcohol right before bed.
Certain food and drinks can alter your body’s ability to fall asleep. Some of the foods to avoid before bed include:
- Ice cream.
- High-sugar cereals.
- Hot pepper and spicy foods.
- Dried fruit.
Downplay the screen time.
Research has shown the blue light emitted from our favourite devices (ipads, laptops, etc.) is detrimental to our sleep. Bluelight actively delays the production of melatonin, the chemical our brain uses to get us to sleep. Putting your devices down and picking up a book as little as half an hour before bedtime can increase your quality of sleep.
For more tips and tricks for things you should do after you’ve been sick, speak to your local cleaner.