Tips for helping you and your family stay health the rest of this winter.
As a mom of four, I’d do anything to improve my chances of staying well in the midst of this flu epidemic these next few months until the less germy light of spring. But then, when one of my babies gets sick, I’m always begging God to just give the illness to me instead, and spare them the pain. What we moms won’t do for our kids, right?
Personally, I learned flu prevention the hard way. My family spent six months two years ago passing one sickness after another back and forth and it was rather unpleasant! (Getting sick actually helps build up your immunity in the long run, of course, but there are always new and different strains of bugs going around that make you susceptible again — and the recent one is pretty scary, indeed.)
Lots of rest
Make an extra effort to get yourself in bed earlier and keep to a routine. We’re so diligent about our kids’ routines, but not our own. Ideally, you should sleep during the same hours every night. So if you already know your body requires eight hours of sleep be sure your routine matches that. That means wind down time should probably be around 9 p.m., bed around 10 p.m., and then up and at it at 6 a.m.
Water and hot tea
Everyone claims they drink enough water, but most people still struggle to get to their threshold. In general, 80 ounces is what I recommend for an active person. Water is essential to regulate the body’s temperature, as well as circulating nutrients and flushing out waste. I can’t stress enough the importance of good ol’ H2O when trying to fight off a virus! Add in some warm tea to your regimen this season, too — green tea, chamomile, and other herbal teas will add extra antioxidants to keep that immune system robust.
Start from nature — the more “whole” your food is, the more benefits you’ll receive from it. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and healthy oils are foods that will keep your immune system strong, as well as your muscular system. Keep processed foods to a minimum, especially during cold and flu season. If you think of each time you eat as either working for you or against you, it will be easier to resist the many temptations that come at this time of year.
There are 20- to 30-minute workouts all over the internet that will get your blood flowing, your heart pumping, lower your anxiety, and decrease your stress hormones. I recommend at least four times a week for at least 20 minutes. The more time you have, the better.
While it’s ideal to receive your nutrition from food, it’s harder to get everything you need during wintertime. I take a probiotic, B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, and some days an Omega 3. It’s amazing how terrible a vitamin deficiency can make you feel. Schedule an appointment with a holistic care doctor in your area to discuss what might be the best for you. They can determine what you need by your symptoms and sometimes even by blood work.
There is no greater medicine, in my humble opinion, than the power of positive thinking. You will change your life by changing your thoughts. If you feel something coming on, your body will go into fight or flight mode, but you can still control your mind. You can tell yourself it will be fine and you will fight it.
If these preventative actions don’t work (there’s no 100 percent guarantee that they will) and you find yourself sniffling under a blanket anyway, be sure to stay down and rest, gargle warm sea salt water several times a day, and use a saline wash for your sinuses.