I get sick every winter, and I mean really sick. One bad cold or flu to knock me straight into bed for at least 1-2 weeks usually right before Christmas. I am not new to germs having three teenagers and having owned daycare centres also for the past decade. However it seems that my immune system gets run down and can't fight the germs away, no matter how much I try to avoid germs at all costs and practice hand washing and good germ busting hygiene.
I eat impeccably clean and healthy. I frequent my Naturopathic Doctor's office on a very regular basis. I take immune boosting supplements and homeopathic supports too. But what I don't do is manage my stress well. There I said it. I can be a tightly wound stress case that allows myself to get overworked and run down to sufficiently negate all the other healthy aspects of my life. It is no surprise that this happens right before the holidays when all of us are often overloaded, sleep deprived and perhaps neglecting our self-care routines.
Here is my plan for this fall and winter to stop this insanity that plagues me and runs me down like a Mack truck:
1. Take time for self-care. Be selfish and say NO when you don't wish to or can't do something! And don't allow yourself to feel guilty about it. Say NO and be done with it.
2. Take time to exercise. I literally schedule my workout or my yoga practice right into my Outlook calendar this way it is just as important a priority as my meetings and other obligations at work and at home. My husband is amazing and also helps me to prioritize exercise and yoga into my life.
3. Take time to meditate and do yoga. I set up a meditation/yoga room in my home recently. I found a space that I could put down my yoga mat and I invested in a himalayan salt lamp. It is my zen space and I am so happy I made this little haven for myself to manage stress.
4. Get a good nights sleep! If I skimp on sleep one night I make sure I get my full 7-8 hours the next night. I know how important sleep is in my life and I cannot function effectively without it.
5. Continue to eat well but not beat myself up for having a cheat meal or treat. As clean as I do eat, I also have times where I treat myself to something to make me feel rewarded and nourished. My new fave are almonds covered in dark chocolate and sea salt for my sweet/salty fix. And sweet potato fries, hello!
6. Take time to soak in a hot epsom salt bath with essential oils such as lavender to help me chill out. I am amazed how many people tell me that they don't take to soak in a bath, but I am also to blame for not doing this often enough. It is amazing for sore muscles and aches, but also for your mental health and care.
7. Rinse my nasal passages with an oregano salt spray during the day and/or at night with my neti-rinse to keep germs away. I use the most amazing product that I couldn't live without and I use these nasal sprays and rinses daily to keep the germs out of my nasal passage. Also try to not touch your face, which includes your eyes, nose and mouth!
I hope that these self-care rituals will help me to stay healthy this fall and that you also will get some benefit out of following some of these tips. The holidays are too much fun to miss out on a single second of them!
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