It’s that time of the year again! It seems like everyone and their mother is sick with something. We don’t have to hypothesize whether it’s due to the weather fluctuations during this month or the fact everyone is finally back into the swing of things after the holidays…we know it’s flu season, and it’s here whether we like it or not. Isn’t it funny how Mother Nature tends to work that way? I’ve been incredibly lucky this season and haven’t felt under the weather in months, but not all of us can be that fortuitous. I’ll share a couple of tricks in my arsenal to keep the seasonal sickness at bay!
I’m not here to promote any products (and no, I’m not being endorsed in any way), though I think one of the main reasons I’ve been able to stay so healthy for so long is partly due to elderberry supplements. Not to be confused with popular cocktail flavoring elderflower, elderberry supplements contain flavonoids and aid in fighting inflammation while boosting the immune system. I won’t go into the numerous studies of elderberry, but it’s worth taking a look at on your own. It might be the placebo effect, though, but since I started taking elderberry supplements 6 months ago, I haven’t gotten sick once. That’s even on top of traveling often on planes, working one on one with my private clients who have gotten sick at one point or another, and the stress I’ve been feeling from working on the Bodypeace app!! My favorite variation also combines zinc, which is another cold-fighting ingredient, and can be found in the natural supplement aisle at Whole Foods for about $3. As always, check with your doctor before introducing any new supplements into your regimen.
I don’t know how this happens, but I always tend to be the sickest when I’m, consequently, the most stressed. If I’m experiencing poor sleep, if I’m not eating the best, if I’m slacking on my exercise, it’s only a matter of time before I start to feel under the weather. If you regularly experience the same thing, give yourself some much needed self-care to keep your stress, and your health, in check. My last blog post is dedicated to keeping yourself centered whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, and I believe the tips I mention in it have prevented me from succumbing to a cold or the flu this winter. That could be a couple moments daily of focused breathing, scheduling an hour-long massage to decompress, or going to bed an hour earlier on days that have completely left you winded. We all experience and cope with stress differently; identify what adds stress to your life, and dedicate time each day to counteract it.
I also notice that I tend to get sick more often the times when I’m not as physically active and/or I’m filling my body with junk instead of choosing to eat healthy. When we workout, we produce feel-good endorphins, which in turn signal to the body that everything is A-okay! When we eat nutrient-dense foods, we’re providing our body with the essential foundation it needs to run effectively. Once we start to neglect either of those two areas, we risk experiencing some of that residual stress mentioned above, and we don’t feel our best. If this becomes a pattern, our immune systems become more and more compromised, and before we know it we’re sick. I’ve found that keeping a consistent routine and writing down my exercise and nutrition goals has proved to be the best way to stay on track. Mind you, we could become sick even if we’re eating right and getting plenty of exercise. These two suggestions are just the baseline of how we should function in order to avoid catching that nasty, winter bug.
If you have any additional tips on what you do to prevent catching the common cold or the flu this time of year, I’d love to hear them! Short of becoming a hermit without any outside contact, there’s really no sure-fire way to prevent from getting sick. These practices are helping me so far and I hope they help you too!! Until next time, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.