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5 tips for getting through work while sick

sick man holds tissue to his nose

When you've come down with the cold or flu, going into work can seem almost like trekking to the moon. While it's logical that most people would stay at home to recuperate, that simply isn't the case for many jobs. According to a survey of approximately 1,500 American office workers from Staples, nearly 50 percent of people still go into work while sick. Many people can't take the time off or are afraid of facing consequences. Regardless, there are ways to still go into work without compromising your own health or that of your co-workers. Just heed these following tips:

"Nearly 50% of people still go into work while sick."

Don't overdo it
Some people like to take on a few different work-related projects at once, which keeps them feeling productive. While that's perfectly fine when you're at 100 percent, it's not the best idea when you're under the weather. Therefore, if you're going to work while sick, try to unload your schedule. Focus on the most important tasks and don't do anything that isn't immediately important. Before making any modifications to your schedule, though, always consult with your supervisor and keep him or her in the loop regarding your situation.

Get plenty of sleep
As a rule, sleep is a good thing, as it helps to replenish us before the next work day and operate at or near our peak. When you're sick, though, you already feel somewhat diminished, and not getting enough sleep can only worsen your condition. A 2015 study published in the journal SLEEP found that a good night's rest - at least seven hours - can help you fight off infections like the cold or flu. However, sleeping isn't always easy when you're sick, as it's especially difficult to breathe. To combat that, Everyday Health suggested propping your head up and maintaining a cool, dark bedroom.

Change up your diet
When you're sick, eating isn't always on the top of your to-do list. However, food is among your best allies in combating the cold or flu. Prevention magazine noted that there are several key foods to eat whenever you're ill. These include revitalizing  coconut water, antioxidant-rich drinks like green or black tea, and yogurt and mushrooms, which increase the disease-fighting white blood cells. Consuming some caffeine is OK if you need that mid-day boost to get through work, but consume sugary drinks and coffees very sparingly.

Minimize your interactions
In some jobs, you can solve most of your problems simply by working from home. If that's not an option, then it's important that you take steps to reduce the amount of exposure you have to others and in turn the risk of getting them sick. For instance, take your lunch break outside. Not only does this create distance, but Healthline noted sunshine can actually boost your mood, which can be a much better alternative than your mid-day caffeine break. Other steps include skipping certain meetings or simply patching in via phone. If you must work around others, be sure to cover your mouth with the pit of your elbow when you cough.

"There are over 100 viruses that cause the cold and flu."

Get your flu shot
Let's say you've already had the flu once this season. Does that mean you're totally protected for the remainder of the year? Not exactly. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are over 100 viruses that cause the cold and flu, and one shot doesn't protect you from every single one. That's why it's still a good idea to get a flu vaccination even if you've already been sick. That way, you're doing more to protect yourself from additional viral strains.

When you need your flu shot, be sure to head to your nearby CareWell Urgent Care center. Each CareWell facility staffs a team of highly-trained physicians who can give you the necessary tools to keep you healthy and productive through every cold and flu season.

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