WINTER IS COMI....well, it isn't right around the corner. However, as fall fast approaches, many of us are starting to "winterize" the house and cars. So many of us scramble to make up the guest bedrooms/bathrooms to create a warm and comfortable space for family to stay during their visits. Also, dont get me started on the level of deep cleaning in the pantries and fridge/ freezer to make room for a surplus of food in case inclement weather hits or just to feed the family during holiday feasts. Some of us even go out and buy granola bars and non-perishable snacks and load up the trunk with thermal blankets, road flares, and waters for that "just in case the roads get bad on the 3-hour trip to Aunt Janes". Okay, okay, so maybe this is just me. Or, if this is you then let's stress that all of this is important, but not nearly as important as my next statement.
What are you doing to prepare YOURSELF for this fall and winter season?
It is easy to assume that as the chilling weather starts to descend upon us, things like colds and touches of flu will be accompanying it. Wellness experts and scientists all agree, that with the right wellness strategies in place, then we can have a greater probability of dodging those pesky sicknesses altogether.
Hopefully, as you finish the last few sentences of this blog, you walk away with an acute awareness of what your typical regimen looks like during the changing of seasons, and what you need to do to take the best care of yourself. Or, maybe you don't have one, and hopefully this blog helps you change that!
#1: Get your flu shot
Let me preface this point: We are not saying "if you don't get a flu shot you are putting everyone at risk, and you WILL get sick." However, the CDC and anyone that works with the general public is highly encouraged by their place of business, and even possibly provided a free flu shot, in order to keep them and those they work with/ family members they will inevitably be around during the holidays, safe. The flu, like many other viruses, evolve with each passing year, and having the most recent and updated version of the shot CAN assist your immune system in fighting off the potential assailant. If anyone needs help locating places that administer the flu vaccine, I have included a button with the link. If not, then lets move on!
#2 Double down on your self care routine
This time a year is always one where we are most susceptible to illness. So it is imperative that we make a conscious effort to stay in rhythm with our wellness routines. When it comes to your exersise regimen, your nutrition, and the many other self-care routines that help you manage and cope with your day-to-day stressors, consistency is key. Our bodies by nature, love regular rhythms. Think of it this way. Your body is in a constant state of cause an effect just to keep everything running smoothly. Your heart pumps blood throughout your body, which causes each of your organs to react and do the job they are programmed to do. For example, your brain receives oxygen and send electrical currents to remind your lungs to fill up with air or blink to keep your eyes moist. When our bodies, and mind are put through irregular rhythms, and we change up too many things/ are inconsistent with our wellness patterns, it starts to wear us down.
#3 Make sleep a priority
I know, I know. I don't really have to tell you how important sleep is, but it is definitely worth re-emphasizing just how critical some serious "Z's" are to a solid immune system. Numerous studies have been conducted to show the number of restorative powers our bodies go through during our sleep cycles, and the proof is in the pudding. More often than not when you sleep better, you also ensure you eat better (remember what we said earlier about rhythms). There is nothing worse than a run-down body that is sleep deprived and malnourished. Step one is in how you practice your good sleep hygiene: a device-free wind down. Maybe read a page or two of your favorite book, drink some hot tea, meditate for 5-10 minutes or just start mentally closing doors in your mind till you fall asleep.
#4 Add immune boosting foods
I know with the chaos that is "the holiday season", it creates some difficulty in adding in additional super fruits and veggies into your current meal plans. However, the benefits out weigh the inconvenience of searching the best super foods, or what are the best veggies and fruits for boosting immune systems. Sticking to seasonal foods is typically a great rule of thumb when trying to figure out what the best produce to pick up at the grocery store, OR farmers market if you are lucky to have one during the harsher months.
If you think about it, Mother Earth is very clever and provides us with all the foods we need for proper nourishment through out the seasons. When buying produce, I would focus more on the foods that have roots and are also grown underground. These rooted veggies will contain more grounding qualities to help root more than jut your immune system during this chaotic fall and winter.
A few of my faves are: sweet potatoes, ginger, squash, and carrots. Foods that are high in oils like eggs, olives, ghee, seeds, fish, whole grains, and nuts will help bring more moisture to your system to combat the dryness in the skin, and lubricate those stiff joints. Stews and home made soups are also a huge favorite during the season since they are typically full of root vegetables, and have a liquid broth.
I would also recommend focusing on other produce items that are high in vitamin C. Things like bell peppers, citrus fruits. I also buy a couple of extra things of honey for my hot teas and biscuits in the morning. It helps coat a sore throat from the dryness, and has antimicrobial properties!
There are so many more things that I am not able to fit all into this one blog but these are some of my staples that I try to live by every season to help keep me healthy and get through the winter in one piece. I would love to see some additional ideas that y'all have! Maybe yall have some more spin offs of what you do to help keep your family healthy during the holiday seasons! Please feel free to check out out recipe section, where we will have some great recipes for you to try!