The flu shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to take the time to rest, get better, and prevent the spread of germs. Here are some tips for a quick, comfortable, and safe recovery.

1. Have your toolkit

Keep tissues on hand to clean up and cover your coughs and sneezes. A heap of cozy blankets, hot packs, or a hot water bottle can help keep your warm. Make sure you have a thermometer and check your temperature regularly, and keep contact information for your doctor handy.

2. Hit the pharmacy

Stock up on non-prescription medicines including pain relievers, decongestants, fever reducers, cough drops and anti-diarrheal medications. Vitamins and supplements can also help. Vitamin D can protect against the flu and may help speed up recovery time if you get sick. Omega-3 supplements, as well as foods with omega-3, may protect the lungs. Ginseng supplements may boost immunity, helping the body heal faster. Cough drops are great for relieving a nagging cough or a sore throat.

3. Stock your pantry

The probiotics in yogurt may help settle an upset stomach. Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium, both of which help you fight fatigue and get strong. Papayas, which have vitamins C and E, may reduce inflammation. Make sure to stay hydrated with water and hot teas. Chicken soup tastes good and is good for you but avoid salty soups, which can dehydrate you.

4. Sanitize for safety

While washing up with soap and water is best, health experts say you can use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, if needed. Look for hand sanitizers with a minimum of 60 percent alcohol, which are the most effective against germs. Stock up on household cleaners and paper towels so you can clean surfaces around your home including counters, door handles and other areas that can get contaminated with germs. Facemasks can also be a good idea to contain germs, especially if you or someone in your family is at high risk of flu complications.