You’re looking to Thrive. You’re striving to Thrive. And then you get sick…the flu, a cold, a pulled back that keeps you sidelined. That’s not too Thriving! But it happens.

Early autumn is a good time to review your shots and perhaps remind yourself of some good habits to keep ‘top of mind.’

Now is the time to get your flu shot. Will it be 100% effective? According to the good folks at the CDC it won’t be…but that’s no reason not to get it. Dr. Paul Sax, clinical director of the infectious disease division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says its “60-70% effective.” The flu can and is deadly with up to 49,000 people dying during a year considered “bad.” The flu can also really sideline you from your life; a week or two of downtime with a week or two of recovery time is a chunk of time! If you’ve already got medical issues a shot of prevention sure seems worth the trouble.

For those with a weakened immune system or who are over 65, now is also the time to ask your physician about getting a vaccine for pneumonia.

Two other vaccines to consider are tetanus, which needs to be boosted every 10 years and a shingles. (Harvard Health Letter, September 2013)

Good hand washing techniques require some practice, believe it or not. The standard recommendation is to rub your hands together with soap for about the same period of time as it takes to recite the entire alphabet, rinse, dry your hands with a clean paper towel and, if you’re exiting a bathroom, use the paper towel to open the door.  Being mindful of not rubbing your nose, eyes or mouth is also helpful in keeping down your exposure to germs.

This is also the season of “over doing it”. We want very much to do it all; stack the firewood, put up the holiday lights, rake the leaves, get the winter clothing out of the attic. Without a doubt this is when its easy to pull a muscle or get a good case of soreness. Mindfulness is a good way to make sure you’re paying attention to what you’re doing so that you don’t pull that muscle or end up too sore to enjoy apple picking.

One more tip ~ this one from the AARP. “According to a 2005 Japanese study, gargling regularly with plain tap water during the common-cold season helped prevent more upper respiratory tract infections than even gargling with a mild antiseptic mouthwash.”  (October 2010)

Wishing you a happy, healthy season!