Listen closely — do you hear sniffling, coughing, nose-blowing? Yeah, me too. At least here in San Francisco, cold season has definitely arrived. I thought I’d avoided whatever bug the MyNewPlace office is apparently incubating, but once my roommates started getting phlegm-y, I started to worry. It might be a little late for me, but it turns out there’s a bunch of stuff you can do to make sure your apartment remains your virus-free sanctuary this winter…
1. Avoid the germ magnets
Now, okay, this sounds really obvious and easy, but is actually kinda tricky in practice! That’s because germs tend to collect on door handles (apparently fridge handles are among the worst), remote controls, phones, and faucets — a.k.a. the things in your apartment you need to touch all the time. Probably not realistic to avoid them entirely, but just be aware of the major culprits, and maybe give them a Lysol wipe-down now and then to avoid germ buildup.
2. Changes your linens
Especially anything communal, like hand towels. If you’re starting to feel a bug coming on, change your sheets (or, protip, just your pillowcase if you’re short on time. Or lazy, no judgments) so you’re not breathing germs in while you sleep.
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment building, you know this can sometimes be a challenge! Between roommates, neighbors, and outside noise and light, getting real rest can be tough. But do whatever you can, because sleep really is the best medicine come cold season. Ask roommates to keep it down, draw your curtains, use earplugs if necessary.
4. Wash your hands
Someone had to say it (other than your mom, obviously).
5. Stock your kitchen with liquids and healthy food
Even if you’re not sick yet, pick up some soup, tea, and juice next time you’re at the grocery store — they’ll keep forever, and if you do get sick, you won’t have to drag yourself to the grocery store when you’re feeling like crap. Make sure to eat healthy and drink LOTS of water when you’ve got a cold. Your body needs good fuel to get better!
6. Search and destroy: mold
Mold is a common allergy, and the last thing you need is to feel worse when you’re already sick. Mold can build up during winter when you’re keeping windows closed and heat in, so check bathrooms, your kitchen, and around windows for mold and mildew. If you do find any, bleach is your best