I hate cold and flu season, and it saddens me to say that it's here...early. My son came down with the stomach flu last Monday and it's still kind of lingering around. Last year, he was just a newborn and didn't get sick AT ALL. I chalk it up to the fact that we really didn't go anywhere. If you're a germaphobe like me...you might want to consider becoming a hermit until springtime. But, really if you're trying to avoid getting sick, here are some ways you can still live your life and limit your exposure.

Get your groceries delivered. This was a lifesaver last year when I became a new mom. I didn't need to leave the house. Plus, an added bonus is not having to wheel your cart through a parking lot of snow in the winter. It's a win for all involved. Depending on what grocery store you shop at, some even offer a deal where you get your first three deliveries free. No one wants to get the flu just because they needed to pick up laundry detergent.

Have a date night at home. When I was kid there were two types of takeout that you could get delivered...pizza and Chinese food. Thanks to companies like Food Dudes and Uber Eats, you can eat like a king and have that restaurant meal without leaving your house. Seafood for dinner? Sure...you can get it delivered. Feeling some Mexican food tonight? Yep, they deliver that too. I will even rent a movie through my TV guide at home. #DateNight

Send gifts. I hate to say it, but I've seriously declined going to a few birthday parties and other functions to avoid sick people. Last year, my husband and I were invited to an engagement party and I knew there was at least one person there recovering from "the pukes". So, I declined the invite and sent a gift via Amazon. Amazon even wraps the gift for you. Done.

Plan holiday activities at home. Alright, everyone LOVES visiting Santa and getting their pictures taken with him...but, think of how many children sit on his lap--potentially sick children. Nothing ruins the holidays faster than the flu. If you have really little kids with weak immune systems...maybe it's best to have someone in your family dress up as Santa instead. It still makes for a cute picture but you're saving your holiday from 'the pukes'. Decorate cookies as a family, make crafts, watch Christmas movies, send out cards, etc. There's a lot of things to do.

Use an E Clinic. The clinic that I go to actually has an online version where you can get a diagnosis and prescription without physically going to the doctors office. So, if you think your child has pink eye, use the E Clinic, and avoid picking up the stomach flu from the other sick people at the doctors office.

Use the drive-thru pharmacy. Of course, some things you will still need to leave the house for...like your prescriptions. But, instead of going into the store and touching door handles, carts, the credit card reader, etc. use the drive thru. You'll touch way less things. Think about it...all of the sick people in town are going into the drug store to get their medicine. So. Many. Germs.

Holiday shopping. I love shopping local and the good news is that most of my favorite local shops and stores are also online. You can get most anything delivered now-a-days. So, you don't actually need to fight the crowds on Black Friday...and your immune system thanks you.

Now, obviously there are times you'll need to leave the house to get things done. I get it. The idea here is to limit those trips to hopefully minimize your risk of getting sick. In those cases, let hand sanitizer be your best friend. Remember, don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth if you've come in contact with a sick person. That's how germs enter your body.

Have a happy and flu-free Thanksgiving!