5 Simple Strategies for Weathering the 'Flu Season
Photo Credit: Heather Shevlin on Unsplash
Prevention is always the best medicine and following these five simple strategies will ensure you weather the vagaries of winter and the cold and ‘flu season with the best defenses.
The Corona Virus is an issue and needs to be addressed with the utmost care for prevention and protection, but garden-variety colds and ‘flu can still get us down. Here’s how you can take good care of yourself and your family.
A strong immune system and sensible precautions are the best approach.
Nourish your body with health giving foods that are easily digested for optimum nutrition and efficiently eliminated to keep your system running smoothly. Learn about the gut microbiome and how plenty of good bacteria is essential for health.The Human Microbiome: Why our Microbes Could Be Key to Our Health
A plant based diet is best with lots of colours – dark greens, oranges, reds and yellows, some blues and purples and, oh yes, whites and browns. Colourful fruits, berries and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients – that’s what gives them the colour. These are known for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that maintain good health. “Eat Your Colours”.
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Unsplash
Go easy on meat and whenever possible, choose organic meat and eggs. Grass fed beef, free range chicken and wild caught fish are the best choices. Enjoy nuts and legumes for protein and minimise dairy products and animal fats – like butter. Choose extra virgin olive oil instead. When you can find a verified source, buy olive oil that is high in phenolic compounds for its additional health boost of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Olive Oil Phenols
Intermittent fasting is proving quite effective and comes in three basic flavours; alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding. Here are six variations on the theme. 6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting.
Get plenty of quality sleep.
The best way to ensure good sleep is to have a routine. As daylight lowers, the body begins to produce melatonin, which is a sleep inducer. Supporting the body’s natural rhythms puts you in a state of relaxation that will lead to a sound sleep.
Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Avoid television and stimulating movies and games at least two hours before bed. These can be too stimulating for the system and disturbing or exciting images and stories can intrude on peaceful sleep. Avoid blue light from computer and smart phone screens. There are glasses and apps to protect you from this. And of course put your cell on "do not disturb".
Choose instead to read, meditate, or listen to relaxing music. Enjoy conversation with family or friends... or pet. Avoid caffeine late in the day, alcohol before bed and give your body plenty of time for digestion after your evening meal. 17 Tips to Sleep Better
Enjoy sunshine, breath and exercise.
Sunshine is the very source of growth and well-being on earth. We need some on our skin every day to stay healthy and feeling well. Taking precautions in bright sunlight is wise but a few minutes a day of sunshine on the skin is essential and boosts the natural production of Vitamin D which is necessary for disease prevention. Why Sunlight is Actually Good for You
Breath is life, no argument there. However deep breathing induced by exercise – especially outdoors and preferably in fresh unpolluted air – is beneficial for greater well-being. Breathing to fill the belly and lungs and move the diaphragm is the breath that increases oxygen levels in the blood. This in turn increases stamina and body function as well as lowers blood pressure. Deep breathing while resting increases relaxation response and sense of calm and peace. Benefits of Deep Breathing
Exercise The human body is made to move but with all the efficiencies of a technologically based life, we have become increasingly sedentary. Daily movement – as simple as a walk or dance can have far reaching benefits to improve the circulation of oxygen and nutrients, breath, body tone and function.
5 Benefits of Moving Your Body.
Photo by Danielle Cerullo on Unsplash
Wash your hands often.
Getting into the habit of washing your hands before and after meals, using the washroom, upon returning home from outside excursions is just a good sound habit to prevent the spread of viruses even within the household.
It’s also good to keep a hand sanitizer in purse or pocket for the trillion times a day you touch a surface that a trillion other hands have touched – railings, handles, taps and such. But instead of using chemical sanitizers that can strip the natural protective oils of the skin, choose a more naturally anti-bacterial solution.
Essential oils are the very best anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents for a variety of uses. Single essences or blends are beautifully scented and can uplift the spirits while it cleanses the hands. Essential oils in water with a bit of dish soap make a heavenly surface cleanser in kitchen and bathroom.
If you are traveling, recycled air is a big concern, especially on aircraft. A simple procedure is to have your essential oil on hand and every hour or so of your flight, Put a few drops in the palm of your hand and rub your palms together vigorously. Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe deeply alternating breathing through nose and mouth taking the richly scented anti-bacterial air deep into your lungs.
Check my infographic for the essential oils known for anti-viral properties.
If a cold or ‘flu catches you.
You’ve done all you can to avoid getting infected, but there it is.
If you can – go to bed. A few days of bed rest at the first signs allows the natural healing activity of the body do what it does best and that is to fight viruses. You may even find that you get over it before it even begins.
It’s also best to stay away from the office and effecting others – they will thank your for it.
Taking over-the-counter cold and ‘flu remedies may get you through the must-do presentation or meeting, but prolonged use gives you a false sense of wellness to carry on despite the virus raging in your system.
This just over taxes the immune system. Energy is called on to fight the viral marauders at the same time as you are asking your body to carry on activity as usual. What's a body to do? Give yourself a break and be kind to your body. Your body in turn will be kind to you by developing a stronger immune system of defense for the next time you are exposed to someone sneezing.
Of course, plenty of fluids, water and herb teas with sweet fruit juices in moderation. If you have to be out and about, looking after children or other unavoidable commitments, make sure you give yourself permission to curtail other elective activities and take that time to rest, snooze, read, meditate and get to know what quiet is like. It is what it is and allowing yourself to be ill and offering yourself comfort or allowing someone else to take care of you is an act of self-love that is the most healing medicine in the world.
Photo by Hans Vivekon Unsplash
Our health is the most precious gift we are given. We need to respect that gift by taking good care of our bodies. Care of the incredibly complex resource of our immune system should not be a focus just in the cold and ‘flu season or when something like the Corona Virus looms, but an everyday habit.
I’ve shared my everyday lifestyle choices here that I have refined over the years. My own “silver bullet” is a daily tablespoon of high phenolic olive oil every morning on an empty stomach. My “go to” when I get any indication of sore throat, cough or stuffy nose is a tablespoon of high phenolic olive oil with a few drops of oregano oil several times a day. It’s strong and, for me, usually stops anything in its tracks. 9 Benefits and Uses of Oregano Oil
If we make a habit of healthful practices, our immune system will be our best friend as we mature and prevent the onset of more rigorous disease or the mental and physical infirmity that too many individuals believe is inevitable.
Make healthy choices your lifestyle map. See yourself well and vibrantly healthy. It's the natural state of a human being. Embrace and maintain the habits to get there and stay there.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
– Jim Rohn
To your health!