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You get sneezed on, coughed at and touched by children all day long – and at this time of year with so many bugs doing the rounds, it can be hard to stay healthy. We asked teachers what their top tips were for boosting their immunity: how do they stay out of sick bay, and in the classroom? Here’s what they had to say.



Stressed teacher

1. Take a daily multivitamin tablet

Yes, in an ideal world we’d all give our bodies and minds everything they need from a natural source – however, when running at a million miles an hour, working long days, doing your own school run, marking, undertaking prep for the next day, and struggling with leaving for work and getting home in the dark, sometimes an easy option is required! Placebo or not, lots of teachers think this is worth a go. Others mentioned supplements of zinc and magnesium.

2. Start your day with a cup of hot water, a squeeze of lemon and a slice of fresh ginger

We never knew, but they have antibacterial properties! One teacher who was always suffering from a sore throat found it disappeared when she started this morning routine. If it works for one, it may work for you too.

3. Have a teaspoon of Manuka honey each day

Lots of teachers mentioned this – some simply have it straight from the jar; others melt it into a cup of hot water; whilst another blends it into a morning smoothie with natural yogurt and banana. We also think it’s really good when combined with number 2.

4. Try a daily probiotic

Too much processed food (Christmas) and stress (back to work) can adversely affect the good bacteria in your gut, leading you to feel run down and leaving you more susceptible to bugs. A good probiotic may help.

5. Berocca and Echinacea

Lots of votes for these, some saying they take Berocca all year round whilst others say it’s a winter only solution for them. One teacher had the opinion that Echinacea should only be taken when you’re feeling well (ie. don’t start taking it when you are already unwell) – but you may need to get googling on this one – lots of differing opinions out there!

6. Get enough sleep

Tired teacher

Easier said than done when you’re worrying or feeling unwell, but one tip was to ensure your bedroom is warm for when you go up to bed, but then turn the heating off and open a window before you go to sleep.

7. Don’t smoke

8. Wash your hands – a lot!

Of course it can be tricky to find the time when you have lots of mini marvels vying for your attention, so keep a tub of antibacterial hand lotion in your handbag or desk for when you can’t!

9. Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrains

10. Exercise regularly

Whilst it may be tough to find the time, you’ll always be glad you did (why is it so hard to remember that feeling?!). It’s also the only way to lower stress hormones (no matter how much that glass of wine or favourite tv show feels like it relaxes you, it won’t reduce harmful hormone levels).

Good luck with staying well! We wish you all a very healthy and happy new year.

With thanks to all our contributors.


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