5 Simple Things I’m Doing to Stay Healthy This Season
‘Tis the season – cold and flu season that is – and I’m hearing of more and more people who are fighting various different bugs. I’m personally not a fan of the flu shot; I far prefer to strengthen my body’s own defenses so that my immune system is strong and up to the challenge.
Here are the five (very!) simple things I’m doing this year to keep my immune system in good shape:
1. Start the day right with 24oz of hot water with fresh squeezed lemon, a pinch of unrefined sea salt, and a spoonful of coconut oil. This is a new practice I’ve implemented on the recommendation of one of my fellow practitioners and my body is loving it! I drink this every morning before I eat or drink anything else, and it starts off my day alkalinized, hydrated, and soothed. Not to mention it’s delicious.
2. I get outside for a walk every day. I have to admit that I’ve struggled with this one now that I live in Portland (quite a wet contrast to the draught we’ve come from in California!) I have had to relearn how to get outside even in poor weather. I know how good it is to get out for daily walks – especially when you’re pregnant – so I’ve been forcing my hand even in major downpour. Deposit that check at the bank? Sure! Walk there. Pick up a couple extra ingredients for dinner? Sure, walk there! Need the kitchen knives sharpened? Sure! Walk there. It satisfies my urge to do something productive while also gets me outside in the fresh air moving my body. Remember: getting fresh air is important all the time – gym workouts are great, but they don’t replace the health benefits of getting outside. Hey, we’ve even considered getting a dog just to force me out in the rain more…
3. Drink my bone broth daily. I’m not great at this in the summer when it’s hot, but in the winter, this is my staple. I add in a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt to boost the flavor and drink it like tea. If I don’t drink it straight, I incorporate it into the family’s meal – soups, stews, slow-cooker meals – all are great vehicles for bone broth. A cup a day keeps the doctor away!
4. Prioritize sleep. Our bodies are naturally tuned to the seasons and earth’s natural biorhythms, even if we spend the majority of our time indoors. It’s totally natural and normal to crave more sleep at this time of year. What’s not normal – or healthy – is to override that urge by forcing ourselves through with more caffeine and willpower. I head to bed early these days – between 9 and 9:30 most nights – and let myself sleep as long as I am able – usually to about 7:30am. That’s almost 10 hours of sleep on a good night! That might sound excessive, but I bet if you gave yourself permission to do the same, you’d find your body relaxing into deeper, longer sleep. Did you know that your body does its deepest cleaning and healing while you sleep? It’s a critical time for recovery, so don’t skimp on it.
5. Keep the holiday treats out of the house as much as possible. I’m all for mindful and pleasurable indulgence – don’t get me wrong. But I’m also keenly aware that if I put myself in a will-power needing situation, I’m setting myself up for failure. It’s one thing to have lil’ treat at a holiday party, and another thing to stock the house with bucketloads of holiday goodies. We basically keep all that stuff out of the house. When we’re gifted some, we put it out of immediate view and savor it slowly and sparingly. This strategy both draws out the pleasure and prevents us from grabbing treats mindlessly. It’s that mindless eating that is so damaging at this time of year.
How do you take care of yourself during the winter season?
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