Ever wonder why some people get sick or sicker every winter? Stress, attitude, habits, and our immune system are all factors. So if you or a family member seem to get flattened by a tummy bug, nasty cold, chest cough, or raging flu, every winter, then here are a few basic common sense tips to healthy this year.
Wash Your Hands. This really cannot be stated enough, so it’s at the top of my list. After you’ve touched anything that may have been contaminated by a sick person ( ie; doctor’s office, pharmacy, public restrooms, or really any public place) be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. At home, add germ-killing essential oils like Tea Tree Oil to your soap to increase its effectiveness.
Tea tree, also known as Melaleuca, has a multitude of benefits. It’s been used for acne, bacterial infections, cold sores, congestion, and respiratory tract infections, fungal infections, bad breath, head lice, MRSA, psoriasis, insect bites, sunburns, cancer and more. It can also be used as an insect repellant, natural deodorant, toenail fungus and ringworm, anti-microbial laundry freshener, household cleaner, and a plethora of other uses.
Tea tree oil can be used topically on your skin when diluted with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, in a 1:1 ratio. Aromatically, you can diffuse tea tree oil and allow it to permeate through your home. You can inhale tea tree oil by sniffing it right from the bottle. Not for internal use!
Avoid Touching Your Face. Think this doesn’t apply to you? According to studies, adults touch their faces on average about once every 4 minutes. That’s approximately 400 times per day, assuming you sleep for 8 hours. Eye-rubbing, nose-wiping, lip-touching, and even nail-biting give germs a free ride directly into your mucous membranes and respiratory system. So be aware of this habit.
Keep Surfaces Clean. Viruses like influenza can survive for up to 8 hours on surfaces outside of the human body, so be sure to clean diligently during the cold and flu season. Disinfectant wipes are great in a pinch, especially when you don’t have access to other cleaning tools. ( if at work or in public places). Alternatively, you may make your own sanitizing spray. It’s quick and easy. Simply add 30 drops of an anti-microbial essential oil like Eucalyptus, to an 8-ounce spray bottle filled almost to the top with clean water. Remember to shake before each use.
Eucalyptus is great for colds & flu, as a hand cleaner, for sinus problems and allergies, as an odor remover, an air freshener, treating wounds, and for asthma and bronchitis.
Keep Moving. While it’s a little harder to find the motivation to exercise when it’s brutally cold outside, remember that keeping active during winter is essential to support your health and wellbeing. Sunshine helps you beat the winter blues, it’s the best source of Vit D, and it’s warming. Sunshine also makes strong bones and keeps your immune system strong. It can also help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Get your sunshine!
Boost Immunity. Supplements containing herbs and nutrients such as Echinacea, zinc, and Vitamin C will help support a healthy immune function. A few essential oils like lemon, lavender, and peppermint will also help you weather the winter.
Lemon is one of the best cleansers and detoxers. It helps to drain lymph, remove toxins, and purify our skin. Benefits include immune support, cleansing and purifying, improves digestion, cough relief, calms stomachs, relieves nausea, and so much more.
Stay Hydrated. Don’t forget to keep drinking lots of water. As the weather cools down and our thirst decreases, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. You still need to aim for about 2 liters a day of water during winter as it’s essential for our body to function. If you struggle with good ole plain water, try adding some fresh lemon or orange slices to your water pitcher.
Following these few simple suggestions make keep the flu and a nasty cold away this winter. Keep healthy!