I know, I know… wash my hands, right?
The last thing anyone really needs during a chaotic season is to be slowed down with a cold or the flu or a good respiratory infection–right? Right! I know I really can’t afford that during any given season. Since we are hearing more and more about the uselessness of the flu shot and how we’re being given antibiotics for things that don’t warrant antibiotics (read: they’re not actually doing anything to speed up the healing process)… it may be time for a new approach. It’s called “PREVENTION”!!!
Are you sick of hearing about washing your hands and covering your cough? Me, too. Although I have to say that the research on the washing hands thing is truly impressive. You might want to give that one the attention it’s begging you for. Many of the things that keep us from getting sick aren’t hard. In fact, I suspect that’s why we don’t do a lot of the things that keep us healthy: they sound too simple to matter.
Yup… they do. But look at it like an Impressionist painting. No, really–follow me here. Each little dab of paint on the canvas is simple and insignificant on it’s own. But when you put all those little dabs together, they make a heck of a picture. Same goes for your health. Which means the GREAT NEWS is that it’s NOT THAT HARD TO BE HEALTHY!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!! You just have to do a number of small, really simple things!
So here’s how to avoid getting sick (in addition to washing your hands and covering your cough 😉 ):
- SLEEP!!! For the love of dogs, please sleep. There is less daylight and your body is responding to the darkness–it WANTS to sleep and you’re not letting it. We are in “hibernation” mode. You need more sleep now. Add to it the variety of germs floating around that your body is fighting off. You are more worn out than you realize. SLEEP!!! And if you get a chance to take a small nap, do that, too.
- Drink a lot of water. When it gets colder out, the air is thin and dry–and it dries you out, too. Most people don’t drink enough water to begin with, and in the winter, that can be a real problem. Most of your body is made up of water and to keep it at optimal (read: healthy) performance, you need to replenish it.
- Take the time you need to keep yourself calm. Taking time for self-care–things that make you feel relaxed, restored and renewed (whatever that might be)–goes a long way to giving your body rest and helping it operate normally. When you’re stressed, your body releases chemicals that interrupt all kinds of positive, natural processes in your body. If you don’t know what makes you feel good, try stuff out. Take a walk. Try a yoga class. YouTube to look for breathing techniques (here’s a really good one by Dr. Andrew Weil).
- Slow down on foods that are hard to digest. These include dairy, meat and fatty/fried foods. Change the balance of your plate so that it is mostly veggies. If you can reduce your dairy and meat consumption by at least half–saving those indulgences for the parties and holiday gatherings where you might not be able to avoid them (or REALLY don’t WANT to!)
- Apply point #4 to sugar and caffeine–both of which will make your internals speed up. Caffeine has the added disadvantage of dehydrating you even though it’s made with water. Sad, but true. Both of them are pushing your body to borrow energy from some future point in time–which means it’s in overdrive, overworked and gonna crash at some point. Or you could wind up in a pretty nasty spiral of using these things more than you normally would–which could present you with longer-term problems. If you find yourself craving or “needing” either of these, it’s a really good wake up call to take a look at what’s going on in your life and adjust.
Are you feeling like it might be time for some changes? Are you sick of the drudgery? I have some great, distance-based group programs coming up starting in January and February. And if you need some more personalized assistance, feel free to book some time on my calendar to discuss your health, your concerns, and to talk about how to proceed. It’s free!