Congratulations, you've made it deep into the middle of flu season! If you're reading this, you're either a very smart preemptive sick day prepper, or already in the throes of fighting off a cold or flu situation.
Either way, welcome, keep sipping on that hot toddy, we've got a few tips that can help you navigate winter sickness the right way.
First, a couple of disclaimers. This is in no way medical advice. If you're looking for that, then please, we urge you, talk to your doctor if you have serious concerns. Second, this has nothing to do with any international virus epidemics that may be in the news, so if that's what you came for, you may be disappointed (for info on those matters, check here). For our purposes, we're just addressing some very well known best practices to help you be a bit more comfy when dealing with the common cold or flu.
By now, if you don't know that it's a good idea to frequently wash your hands with soap during flu season, well, you just haven't been paying attention. It's by far one of the best ways to avoid touching germ-infested surfaces and then transferring a potential virus to your face and becoming infected.
Think this doesn't apply to you? Well, some studies estimate that the average person touches their face at least 23 times per hour.
However, if you're just so in love with yourself that you can't help touching your face, you can at least cut down some of the risks of picking up or transferring germs by using some hand sanitizer. We find that Purell works quite well.
You can stash dozens of tiny Purell wipes in your backpack, purse, or car after picking up the 120-piece box of Purell Cottony Soft Hand Sanitizing Wipes, which you can buy now for $23.92. And if you're looking for something to put in your bedroom, kitchen, or office, you can pick up a four-pack of Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Soothing Gel, available starting at $26.17 per case.
Sure, you could just grab an old school thermometer, but you're a techie, so you only want the best. That's why the Kinsa Smart Ear Digital Thermometer, available to buy now for $39.99, is probably more your speed when it comes to determining if you or your family member has a fever. This is a particularly great choice because it works for both adults and children.
The associated free Kinsa app is available for iOS and Android and gives you guidance on what steps to take based on your temperature reading. However, the thermometer still works even if you don't have a smartphone or decide not to use the app. Just press the Kinsa Smart Ear Digital Thermometer on your ear as depicted in the instructions and you'll get a reading without having to put an old school thermometer in your mouth.
One of the biggest challenges when you're down with the flu is managing and ultimately getting rid of chest congestion. In addition to medication and drinking as much fluid as you can, one of best tools you can use in this crucial part of the battle is a humidifier.
A good humidifier can go a long way toward helping you to clear up chest congestion during and even after your bout with the flu.
If you want to go the simple route, we recommend the Honeywell Cool Mist Humidifier, which is available to buy now for just $39.12. This device is a compact humidifier that doesn't require a filter, lets you enjoy the cal of watching the water slowly disappear from its tank and has an automatic shut-off mechanism to allow you to sleep your way to wellness without worrying about your electric bill.
If you're looking for something a lot more tech-focused, the TaoTronics smart humidifier, available to buy now for $69.99, might be more up your alley. First, the system comes with an associated iPhone app that allows you to use your smartphone to change the humidifier's settings from the comfort of your bed. And if you're so beaten up by flu symptoms that even smartphone use is a challenge, the device also allows you to operate it through voice controls via Alexa or Google Home devices.
One of the biggest weapons you can use on your road back to recovery from the flu is hydration. Hot or cold, you can never have enough liquids when battling the flu, it's part of the fuel your body uses to wage war against the virus. Unfortunately, part of the rigors of suffering from the flu include not always remembering to drink enough liquids, which is why the HidrateSpark 3 Smart Water Bottle, available to buy now for $59.95, can be a valuable tool while you're bedridden.
This smart water bottle actually reminds you when its time to drink more liquid. Using the company's free hydration app, which connects to the smart water bottle via Bluetooth, the system tracks how often you're drinking fluids.
When the system detects that it's been a bit too long between sips, the smart water bottle glows to let you know it's time to quench your thirst again. The app works on Android devices and iOS devices.
Depending on where you live, the flu may come along with freezing temperatures lurking just outside your door and window. If that's the case, you may need a little help when it comes to keeping warm. That's where the MaxKare Electric Blanket, available to buy now for just $52.99, comes in handy.
The comfy flannel blanket, which comes in blue and brown, is easy on the skin and measures 5 feet wide and 7 feet tall. The blanket, which uses a tiny display that's attached to a 20-foot cord, allows you to set the blanket to three different heating levels and has an automatic turn-off feature after eight hours of use.
Those are just a few of the basics, but really, the tools for beating the flu are an early, preventative trip to your doctor, and good hygiene (wash your hands often). Beyond that, the above should make your flu suffering just a little more bearable.
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