I’m curled up in bed while I write this, surrounded by tissues and hot tea. My inspiration for this post comes from my own neglect of these practices lately, so it’s time to write about it and then practice what I preach.
This Fall, sickness has hit me pretty hard. Here are some things I should’ve been doing and am really encouraging you to do to stave off illness as much as possible.
1) Hot water and lemon. I always have a mug of warm lemon water that I carry around my home with me throughout my day. It’s comforting and refreshing but also aids in blood purification, serves as a powerful antibacterial, and aids your immune system. (For more information on the health benefits of drinking warm lemon water, click here and here.)
2) Sleep. And lots of it. Make it a priority at all times but especially during the fall and winter months. “When you’re sleep deprived, you often feel “worn down” — and that’s a clue that your body is vulnerable to infection. “Not getting enough sleep makes you more vulnerable to picking up illnesses and not being able to fight them off,” says Donna Arand, PhD, DABSM, clinical director of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. “What’s going on is your immune system is degraded.” The less sleep you get, the weaker your immune system is, leaving it less able to fight off colds, flu, and other infections.” (Read more on The Healing Power of Sleep here.)
3) Bone broth. The benefits of drinking bone broth are never-ending, including healthy gut and digestion, muscle repair and growth, a balanced nervous system, and a strong immune system to name a few. It is very simple to make at home, or you can find a good local source. When I don’t have time to make it, I buy it from our local butcher at Heritage Meats. Try sipping it from a mug or just use it as a base for all your favourite soup recipes as often as possible. (More on bone broth, and a recipe for it here.)
4) Lay off the sugar. It very quickly suppresses your immune system, and it doesn’t take much to do it. Better yet, do a Whole30. (There are a ton of articles out there on the topic (google ‘sugar and the immune system’) but I really enjoy this article by Mark’s Daily Apple.)
5) Avoid stress. Of course, not all stress is avoidable. Sometimes life throws us curveballs that we have to accept. However, I have so many friends who complain about their stress level, and most of it is just STUFF. They’ve taken on too many chores, too many activities for their kids, too many service projects (yes, that is possible), and they are burning out. Stress directly stifles your immune response. We all want to do it all, but pace yourself and choose the things that are most important to you this season. (Take my word for it, or read more here.)
Stay tuned for a collection of some tried and tested home remedies for the common illnesses that go around during the fall and winter months! Stay well, friends.