At the first sign of a snow flurry, everyone runs to the store for milk and bread. The same is true when the temperature drops. Once the weather swings in a colder direction, people begin to starting take note of the flu season that’s just around the corner. Fortunately, our team at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville is equipped to help you combat flu season this year!

Don’t Let the Flu Sneak Up on You

Remember last December, when there was a major flu outbreak in Tennessee? While we hope this won’t occur this year, you just never know. Therefore, it’s important to start taking preventive steps now in order to prevent suffering from the flu later.

So what should you do? First, you should get vaccinated against the flu—soon. Since flu season typically begins around October, it’s important to get your flu vaccine now in order to be fully protected when the season gets underway.

And, yes, you do need the vaccine every year. The flu shot you received in 2016 will not protect you this year, because each year, different strains of the flu are more prevalent. That’s why the flu vaccine is reformulated each year. So make sure you get the 2017 vaccine before the flu season arrives in full force.

It’s More Than a Flu Shot

While getting the flu shot should be your No.1 priority, there are other things you can do to protect yourself this season.

In addition to getting the flu vaccine, you want to make sure you stay on top of your health as the flu season approaches. Just because the temperatures are about to drop doesn’t mean you can’t suffer from dehydration. In fact, winter dehydration is pretty common because of the fact many people think they need to keep up their fluids in the hot weather. However, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside.

It can be tempting as the temperatures drop to turn to comfort foods and turn away from our healthy eating habits. Don’t do it! The best way to make sure your immune system is strong is to fuel it appropriately. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Getting plenty of quality sleep is also important when it comes to your immune system. Make sure you’re regularly getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. If stress is keeping you awake, take steps to lower your stress by exercising regularly and finding healthy ways to relax.

Of course, don’t forget to wash your hands—and the objects in your daily life—regularly. Germs are everywhere! If you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer to cleanse your hands. Think of the objects you touch frequently during the day, including your smartphone, your keyboard, and light switches. Make sure those items are wiped down with disinfectant regularly.

Need a flu shot, but don’t know when you can come in? No worries, as no appointment is necessary. You can visit AFC Urgent Care Sevierville seven days a week when it best fits your schedule.