What chance does a sleepless, working parent have when it comes to fighting off the seasonal ickies and viruses. Really good chances actually. Don’t let a cold or flu get you this winter. Do this by minimizing your risk and boosting your immunity NOW, when you are feeling well. Here are three strategies…
You’re Feeling Great, Thanks
You aren’t sick. In fact you feel fine. Well, that is awesome. Now is the time to make sure you stay that way.
Get plenty of sleep – Get 8-10 hours of sleep at least. It has been said that those who get less than 7 hours of sleep per night are 3x more likely to catch a cold. Use blackout curtains to keep your room dark, drink sleepy time tea, and rub lavender oil on the bottoms of your feet 30 minutes before bed. If you have to go to bed when your kids do than so be it!
Eat a nourishing diet – Eat lots of seasonal colors including green. Drink up bone broth and Kombucha like it is going out of style. Add plenty of herbs and spices to your meals (garlic, turmeric). Eat lots of fatty fish. You need the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, plant sterols, flavonoids, and probiotics.
Supplement Your Diet – I am a firm believer in supplementation. Try adding some Vitamin E, B-Complex vitamins, fatty acids (omega 3s), spirulina, CoQ10, and magnesium.
Kick stress to the curb – It is fact that stress makes you twice as likely to get sick after exposure. Do all that you can to eliminate sources of stress and find ways to deal that don’t involve unhealthy habits…ie junkfood and alcohol. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) than check out my post on What To Do When You Get The Winter Blues.
Get Active – Exercise helps you stay well. That is just the way it is. Though this time of year we may not be itching to go out in the cold to hit the gym and the darker days make us sluggish. Well, do something fast at home. Do some p90X or try one that I happen to love myself called Lift Weights Faster. Only have ten minutes? Knockout out a quickie dumbbell or kettlebell workout, guided by video step by step.
Have Sex – Yep, good ole hanky panky. This pleasurable activity increases endorphins, which than revs up the immune system. It also eases stress. So get busy if you don’t like blowing your nose every five minutes.
Oh Heck! You’ve Have Been Exposed!!
So now you have been exposed to the cold or flu by someone close to you. What do you do? Take it laying down? Heck no!
Scrub a Dub – Wash your hands like it is going out of style…before every meal for sure. Try to avoid touching your face and mouth unless your hands have just been scrubbed. Old fashioned soap and water is still the most effective way to prevent the spreading of illness.
Sanitize – I do not recommend hand sanitizer at it has some chemical nasties in it. No sense in rubbing that garbage all over your skin. Instead try a sanitizing spray such as Thieves oil. Grab a small spritzer bottle and add witch hazel to it. Then take a 1/2 teaspoon of epsom salts and add 5-10 drops of Thieves oil. Add the oil/salt to the spritzer bottle. Shake well and spray liberally as needed to sanitize surfaces (like the keyboard at work) and your hands/face.
Take a Booster – Eat/drink/supplement with healthy doses of garlic, bone broth, ginger, echinacea, astragalus, vitamin A, and elderberry syrup.
Ugh! You Feel Awful…
Take it easy – You need some TLC. Tell the kids they are eating grilled cheese sammies for the next few days and you plan on doing little else but taking care of yourself. Sleep as much as you can.
Take a sip – Drink immunity boosting hot tea with some coconut milk and honey.
Breathe easier – Diffuse some pine or eucalyptus oils into the air to help support respiratory function. You can even make a homemade vapor rub. The easiest way to do this is to add some of the desired oils to some olive or avocado oil and put them in a roller bottle. A hot water bottle on the chest after application helps speed up the relief. Easy peasy!
Soothe a sore throat – Slippery elm bark in some tea does wonders!!! You can also make homemade lozenges. Just make a dough with slippery elm powder, tea, and honey. Roll into balls, coat with more powder and allow to dry. Keep them in the freezer and you will always have some at the ready.
So who is ready for the season of sickness?? You, that’s who!