How to Beat the Cold & Flu Season

Let me start out by saying that there is no such thing as cold and flu season.  Sure, it may feel like that this time of year.  You hear of more people getting sick but it’s not like all the microbes that contribute to colds and flu are off somewhere vacationing during the other times of the year.  There are just things that we typically do or don’t do during the winter months that can make us more susceptible to “catching” a cold of the flu.

I want to share with you those things that may make you more susceptible to sickness and some proactive ways that you can beat the cold and flu during this season.

Things that Weaken your Immune System

Increased Stress: 

During the holidays our stress levels can increase because of the increase in time commitments and social gatherings.  Expectations to give great gifts to those we love and the possibility of incurring debt to do that.  As all this stress accumulates it will affect your ability to fight of illness.

Increased Consumption of Sweet Treats:

Did you know that sugar suppresses your immune system making it easier for you to get sick?

Decrease in Sleep: 

You might want to think twice about staying up late to complete your holiday preparations.  Lack of sleep or irregular sleep habits can negatively affect our immune system.

How to Strengthen Your Immune System

Combat Stress:

Don’t over commit yourself, delegate holiday preparation responsibilities and establish a gift giving budget and stick to it.Use

Moderation: 

There will most definitely be treats during the holidays.  You don’t have to taste all of them though.  Make a list ahead of time of 2 or 3 of your most favorite holiday treats and then commit to only those.  Better yet recreate a favorite recipe using more natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.

Give to Yourself:

Stop seeing sleep as an obstacle and start seeing it as a wonderful gift.  Adequate sleep will help you be more productive throughout the day, then you can accomplish all those holiday projects.

Bonus Tips to Increase your Immunity to Beat the Cold & Flu

Dry Skin Brushing

Our lymphatic system, which lies just below the skin’s surface, helps to move waste, including bacteria and viruses, out of our body. Our lymphatic system doesn’t have an automatic pump. One of the main ways to get our lymph going is by physically moving but we can also use dry brushing of our skin to stimulate this process and move out the waste. Think of it as giving your immune system a hand when it needs it most.  Learn How to do dry skin brushing.

Fermented Foods

One of the most effective ways to keep a balance between health promoting bacteria and disease causing bacteria is by eating fermented foods.  These foods are high in probiotics which promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut and when that happens your immune system becomes stronger.  Learn how to make your own fermented sauerkraut.

 

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Gratitude

A growing body of research is confirming that an ounce of gratitude is worth a pound of cure.

“The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” said Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis and a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude.  Among other benefits, Emmons said, “It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep.”  Learn more about how gratitude affects your health.

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