• Watermark Health

Staying Healthy This Cold and Flu Season

Updated: Nov 16

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Watermark Health is entering another season, one that often brings more coughing than celebrating - cold and flu season. We’re seeing an increasing number of patients with upper respiratory infections (URI), and this map shows Texas’ current levels of flu.

We want you to stay healthy during the holidays. To help you out, our clinical leadership have shared seven tips for staying healthy and insight into the impact that cold and flu season can have on our clinics.

Seven Tips for Staying Healthy

Some scientists and epidemiologists theorize that cold and flu season is in the winter, not just because we typically spend more time indoors but also because we stop taking care of ourselves in the busy holiday season. Here are seven tips to stay healthy this holiday season:

  1. Consider a Flu Shot and/or Covid-19 Vaccine Booster. 1. Before you travel or spend time seeing your family, we invite you to consider the evidence-based medicine behind the benefits of vaccines. Mainly if your family includes grandparents, elderly parents, or someone who is immunocompromised. If you want guidance from our staff on vaccines, visit our vaccine information page. As always – consult your primary care physician regarding all medical decisions.

  2. Wash Your Hands. It may seem obvious, but in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, we can forget this essential task! Sing “Happy Birthday” twice and follow these instructions on when to wash your hands.

  3. Get Enough Sleep. Sleep is one of the most restorative things your body needs. (Psalm 127:2). This season is filled with parties, presents to shop for and wrap, and end-of-year tasks to finish, and for many of us, good sleep can be the first thing to go. Work on getting 7 to 8.5 hours a night and pray for building a healthy habit of rest!

  4. Eat Healthfully. While “healthy” might mean different things to different people, most nutritionists agree that sugar is inflammatory in your body. We’re not saying to entirely forego eating the Christmas cookie or your favorite pie, but also make sure you’re getting your intake of fruits and vegetables! (1 Corinthians 10:31) Check out these tips for healthy eating during the holidays.

  5. Take Care of Yourself Emotionally and Spiritually. In the busy, make sure you’re finding time for deepening your relationship with the Lord, things that fill your bucket, and healthy ways to cope with stress. Learn about using the acronym REST as a metric for how well you rest!

  6. Consider Taking Some Supplements. You can take Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Melatonin, and Probiotics to support your immune system. They all have substantial evidence showing they can prevent or help shorten an illness's course. Talk to your primary care physician about adding these supplements to your routine!

  7. If You Are Sick, Stay Home. According to the wisdom of the children’s character Daniel Tiger, “when you’re sick, rest is best.” Care for those around you and work remotely if you can (Philippians 2:3-4). Peak cold & flu season is not the right time to push your physical limits because you feel “good enough”.

*The best medical advice will come from a primary care physician who has walked closely with you and your specific medical concerns. The information on this page is meant to serve as an additional resource and reminder of the value of health. It is not intended to be direct medical advice. All individuals should consult with a medical professional regarding their medical decisions.

What Is Cold & Flu Season’s Impact on Watermark Health?

While we seek God’s strength to make each patient feel cared for, cold and flu season can lead to some monotony for our clinic staff. On a typical day – a staff member could look at the schedule and see that the following ten patients are all coughing and sneezing. This differs from the rest of the year, where various visit types and chief complaints exist. This repetition can cause the days to blur together and take an emotional and physical drain on our team.

While we take the proper precautions of using PPE and sanitization, clinical staff have a greater risk of exposure to more germs than cold and flu.

Each disease is different, but conditions like strep throat, pneumonia, RSV, COVID-19, and adenovirus can all show up in the clinic simultaneously.

Pray For Healthcare Workers & Watermark Health Staff

Healthcare workers are notorious for caring for the health of others before their own. Like the oxygen mask on an airplane, we shepherd our staff and volunteers in a way that increases the value and importance of prioritizing their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health before caring for others. We invite you to pray for our team as we head into the next three to four months of cold and flu season. (Ephesians 6:18)

Here's some ways to pray for our team:

  1. Pray for protection from diseases and the health of our staff and volunteers. (Proverbs 30:5)

  2. Pray for healthcare workers to implement healthy habits and rhythms of rest during busy seasons. (1 Timothy 4:7-8)

  3. Pray for intentional conversations and compassion during repetitive visits. Pray that our team would guard against going through the motions, be submissive to the Holy Spirit in conversations, and be reminded of Christ's compassion for the hurting and sick. (Colossians 3:12)

  4. Pray for patient visit demand and capacity limits. During cold & flu season, the demand for visits is higher than we often have the capacity for. We may have to share with 50+ patients daily we've hit our capacity for that day. Pray for understanding patient hearts and for our team to trust that God will ultimately provide for their needs, even when we must refer them elsewhere. (Ezekiel 34:16)

We invite you also to join us in praying for the Lord to use cold and flu season to bring patients to our clinic who will find healing from their spiritual sickness through Jesus Christ.