Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
1. Teach yourself to not touch your face throughout the day – you’ll get sick less, as hand to face/mouth contact is one of the most common routes for microbial transmission.
For a complete overview of the pathogenesis of the rhinovirus (a virus responsible for the majority of cold and flu-like illnesses) check out this article. Some key excerpts are:
“The most common way to ‘‘catch a cold’’ is to pick up a rhinovirus with the fingertip and introduce it into the eye or nose.”
“It is possible to avoid catching a new cold by paying close attention to the hands. Not touching the eyes or nose with the fingers will decrease the risk of infection.”
Washing one’s hands are still the gold standard. However, the vast majority of people are not washing their hands especially often. Conversely, people are constantly touching their faces, essentially subconsciously. Therefore, to reduce the risk of transmission/self-inoculation, stop touching your face (particularly around your eyes).
The study “Protective Effect of Hand-Washing and Good Hygienic Habits Against Seasonal Influenza: A Case-Control Study.” specifically concludes that “infrequent touching [of] the eyes, nose, or mouth with one’s hands” led to a “substantially lower risk of community-acquired influenza infection” (frequent hand washing and getting the flu vaccine were also associated with substantially lower risk).
In the article “Medical myth-busting: Separating fact from fiction about colds and flu” from the Fred Hutch, Dr. Steve Pergam (a member of the Vaccine an Infectious Disease Division there) says things like:
“To infect someone, these particles don’t have to be breathed in, they just have to get into any mucosal surface — eyes, mouth or nose. . . Stop touching your face!”
“Your hands touch elevator buttons, public transport rails, all the different places you go on a daily basis, then you touch your face hundreds of times a day. I have a bottle of hand gel with me at all times. You can’t stop yourself all the time, but be more aware of whether your hands are clean before you start rubbing your eyes.”
A 1982 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology titled “TRANSMISSION OF EXPERIMENTAL RHINOVIRUS INFECTION BY CONTAMINATED SURFACES” found that in a controlled setting, when healthy adults touched a surface contaminated with rhinovirus and then touched their face, up to 56% of them became infected.
The 2015 study “Survival of rhinoviruses on human fingers” states “person-to-person transmission is most likely due to the contamination of hands by the nasal secretions of the infected person passed to a susceptible individual, either directly to the fingers or via an environmental intermediary; infection then follows from self-inoculation to the upper nasal airways or eyes.” and subsequently cites four more studies as supporting evidence.
2. December is a tough month for those struggling with depression. A great way to fight it is by volunteering and volunteering is very simple.
It’s a win-win situation. In my personal experience, my own problems seem to sort themselves out when I start to help other people with theirs. Get in the holiday spirit and volunteer!
A very simple example would be a service like meals on wheels, it can be as easy as picking up food and dropping it off to someone that needs it. If you don’t have a car they also need help prepping food. Their info is readily available online.
Animal shelters always need volunteers to walk and wash dogs amongst other things. Be careful with this one, you will be tempted to adopt!
Perhaps you are skilled in a trade. Find a lucky individual to offer your services for free.
There are endless ways. Make cookies for your work. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway. Watch your friends, kids, for free.
Things to expect for 1st timers:
It’s work! It won’t necessarily be fun. You will need to sacrifice to make it happen, whether that’s time, money, both, or simply canceling/skipping out on something else. You will feel good about it and if you are someone that is struggling with depression it can help you realize you are a good person that deserves to feel good about yourself!
Feel free to share positive volunteering stories, without advertising of course.
3. Don’t waste time with ctrl-alt-delete to click “Task Manager.” Rather, ctrl-shift-esc opens Task Manager in Windows directly.
4. If you’re a manager or supervisor remember every once in a while to ask your employees what the hardest part of their job is.
Their answers might surprise you and can oftentimes be easily remedied.
5. When online shopping, if you have a choice between a free shipping discount or an item discount of roughly the same amount, use free shipping to get all your money back if you return.