Keeping healthy during cold and flu season is a challenge in the best of circumstances. For most school-based SLPs, it’s even more difficult: the combination of poor hygiene (c’mon, we’ve all written the nose-picking social story) and tight quarters that encourage personal space violations (not to mention lack of windows to circulate air) create a breeding ground for germs.
So what’s an SLP to do? Before you invest in a hyperbaric chamber, read some of the measures I take to keep myself–AND my students–as healthy as possible.
This year I invested in a diffuser and a selection of essential oils. Since my room lacks air circulation, it can often smell stale. Personally I don’t like to spray chemical deodorizers as most of my students are sensitive to the smell–and they bother my allergies! I researched essential oils initially for creating a calming environment (lavender works great!) but in the winter I’ve been using eucalyptus to help unclog noses and synergistic blends to support immune systems.
I try to use cleaners that are natural as much as possible especially since so many of my kiddos have environmental sensitivities. I love Thieves Household Cleanser–it does a great job cleaning surfaces and smells wonderful!
However, sometimes you have to bring out the “big guns”–I’m constantly wiping down ipads, chairs, door handles, etc.
In the winter my hands are RAW from constant washing, so I keep lots of lotion nearby and drink a TON of water!
Speaking of hydrating, I keep a humidifier in my office to fight the dry air and keep nasal passages moist. I’ve got several at home also; I’m particularly fond of this model by Air Innovations.
The winter is the season to boost our immune systems. I make sure to incorporate lots of yogurt (good bacteria), take a teaspoon of royal jelly, drink kombucha and green tea–and, of course dark chocolate!
My doctor recommended increasing my dose of vitamin D and Omega-3. Starting around November (through mid-April), I take astragalus daily to boost my immune system. If I feel a cold coming on, I take CVE (cold, virus, flu), a homeopathic tincture by Bio Essence that usually does the trick!
I admit that my exercise routine suffers during the winter, but I make a conscious effort to get to my Jazzercise classes! I can come up with a tons of reasons NOT to go, but always feel better after class!
Last, I try to put in 8 hours of sleep–not always easy with our schedules but an important part of staying healthy during the winter months!
How do you keep your room and yourself healthy during cold and flu season?