You can’t live in a bubble, spending all of your time at home, and expect to make it big in entertainment.  You have to be out and about, meeting people and showcasing your talent.  This may mean shaking hands with strangers, sharing changing rooms and bathrooms, and waiting in a lounge with someone who’s sick.  How can you avoid picking up germs that will cause you to be under the weather?  Here are some ways in which you can guard against the common cold or flu.

Carry wipes everywhere you go.  This way, if you happen to handle anything that may have previously come into contact with the palms of a million others you can quickly swipe your hands clean again while on the go.  If you aren’t near a trash can to discard a dirty wipe, consider using hand sanitizer instead.

Opt for paper towel in public restrooms rather than using the dryers.  Studies have shown that holding hands for more than a minute under an air dryer actually increases the chances of new bacteria showing up before the job is complete.  Of course, always steer clear of non-disposable means of drying hands, such as traditional towels.  You may want to opt for using your wipes or sanitizer instead, even if you’re only at a friend’s.

The same hygiene practices pertain to shared soaps.  Unless you can wave your hand under a dispenser, it’s better to avoid this altogether.  Pump bottles are prone to bacteria and bar soaps are laden with it.  Using these may mean coming home with a cold or the flu.  Carry a travel-sized bottle in your bag instead.

Exercise caution when you need to be somewhere where you’re likely to come into contact with another person’s germs.  This means, if you see someone coughing and sneezing, it’s best to keep you distance if you can.  If interacting with this individual is a great networking opportunity, try minimizing your conversation time.  If you shake hand, wait until you’ve parted ways and sanitize.

The truth is, germs are everywhere.  If you are in a public place, you are exposing yourself to them.  You can’t become so paranoid that staying sanitized takes the focus away from getting a job done or makes you second-guess your career path.  Do what you can, and remember, exposure is really the best way to build immunity.  So, try not to sweat it too much.

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