With the weather change and the end of the year quickly approaching, it’s time to start taking measures to stay healthy throughout this winter as we battle flu season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Staying home if you’re sick is still very important as to curb the potential spread of viruses and bacteria. If you do venture out this winter, getting a flu shot, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and carrying around hand sanitizer are all key to staying well. On top of the basics that we're all being constantly reminded of, we’ve rounded up a few more simple ways for you to stay healthy throughout these colder months.
Wash Your Hands!
I know - it's common sense, right? But washing your hands frequently and for the recommended amount of time (at least 20 seconds) can make a huge difference. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you’re on the go. Another important tip is to try and avoid touching your face during flu season. This is a bad habit almost everyone has and unfortunately, it’s one of the easiest ways to spread bacteria to areas that are entry points to the rest of your immune system. It's been said that the average human touches their faces an average of 23 times per hour. With each touch, there is potential to come in contact with mucous membranes and boom - sick! This is one of the main reasons why hand washing is so important.
Reducing stress is easier said than done, but with a little practice and a few techniques you can learn to channel your inner calm. Essential oils are a great way to promote relaxation through aromatherapy—a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Scents like lavender and sandalwood are known for their calming abilities. Another way to help reduce stress is through natural remedies that promote the ability to unwind and feel calm. This can include sprays, topicals, or consumables. Popular stress relieving ingredients include lemon balm and Ashwagandha. Self-care plays an important role in both your physical and mental health. Don’t forget to embrace this low-key winter, relax and take some time for yourself!
Get Enough Sleep
Research shows that your T-cells are reduced when you are sleep-deprived. Lower amounts of T-cells mean lower immunity, which can make it easier for a cold or flu virus to infiltrate your immune system. Lower amounts of T-cells also make it difficult for your body to fight off these infections. The CDC recommends a minimum of 7 hours of sleep for adults. If you have trouble sleeping or getting enough sleep, consider meditation and/or exercise to help you catch some Zzz's. Try to avoid blue-light-emitting electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and computers before bed. Blue light is shown to reduce the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm. There are also helpful sleep promoting supplements like melatonin (in tablet form) or Valerian Root, that can help you fall and stay asleep without unwanted side effects.
Up Your Immunity Game
Before the cold and flu season get into full swing, we recommend purchasing those staple medications and remedies as early as possible. Products like throat sprays, vapor rub, nasal sprays and more are going to come in handy as the weather gets colder. Honey is also a great pantry staple that has many health benefits and restorative properties. Add honey to your teas or take a spoonful to help suppress coughs and soothe sore throats. Should you find yourself with a headache or migraine, wearable ice packs are another item to have in your at-home first aid arsenal. You’ll experience instant and long-lasting cooling therapy for head and neck tension, stress relief and more.
Tell us about what works best for you and share any tips on how you stay healthy below!