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That dreaded tickle in your throat. The annoying sniffles. The constant fatigue. Ugh, being sick sucks. And while having an excuse to stay home in your pj’s sounds nice, it’s not actually the case when everything hurts and you can only breathe through one nostril. Here are ten ways to make sure it doesn’t happen to you this winter.

RELATED: 12 Things to Do When You Have the Worst Cold Ever

pack lunch
Twenty20

Bring Your Lunch

We’ve all given in to the cookies (and other temptations around the office) and called it a “meal” when we’re too busy or stressed to grab a real lunch. Instead, pack something nutritious that boosts your immunity (think lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains) and then have a cookie as a treat.

meditate
Twenty20

Meditate

Simply put, stress lowers your resistance to infection, making you more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu. Carve out a little time for meditation and relaxation every day to keep an even keel through it all. After all, a mellow mind equals a healthier body.

RELATED: 8 Things That Might Happen If You Start Meditating

massage
Twenty20

Book a Spa Day

On the regs, if you can. Experts say that just 20 minutes of massage can decrease your cortisol levels (cortisol = stress hormones that weaken your immunity). Can’t swing an appointment? Get thee a foam roller and slowly roll it up and down under your back while listening to a podcast.

RELATED: 9 Podcasts You Should Be Listening to on Your Commute

walk
Twenty20

Take a Daily Stroll

Studies show that taking a brisk walk every day for 30 to 45 minutes increases the number of immune system cells in your body. The fresh air and extra sunlight don’t hurt, either.

laugh
Twenty20

Laugh

Cracking up at a joke or a funny cat video counteracts the effects of stress and boosts your immune system. So cue up some sitcoms or grab a pal for that aforementioned daily walk.

stretch
Twenty20

Don’t Skimp on Stretching

Afterward, be sure to stretch. By doing so, you’ll get your lymphatic system moving (which is crucial for pushing any toxins through your body). Plus, it feels darn good.

drink tea
Twenty20

Drink More Tea

Preferably one that’s packed with antioxidants (so pretty much any form of green tea) and anti-inflammatory ingredients (like nettle or dandelion).

wine1
Twenty20

DRINK MORE WINE, TOO

In moderation, of course. Pour yourself a glass of Merlot with dinner and enjoy every last sip. A study conducted by the University of Auckland shows that doing so can decrease oxidative stress and bolster your immune system. Cheers to that.

RELATED: This Brita for Wine Solves Your Red Wine Hangover Problem

children
Twenty20

Stay Away From Children

Unless, of course, you have them. In which case, your best line of defense is to wash their sticky little hands (and yours) frequently and enforce a reasonable bedtime every night.

sleep
Twenty20

Get Some Shut-Eye

And on that note, if you still somehow find yourself coming down with a cold (not to point fingers, but it’s probably that sniffly coworker who sits thisclose to you), hit the hay earlier than you normally would and you should be able to stop the thing in its tracks.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Actually Get 8 Hours of Sleep

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