When you are living on your own and have to make the rent money, you cannot afford to get sick. The chilly winds of winter – especially this years’ unexpected “Polar Vortices” – can really wear on the body and immune system! This winter, make sure you are providing your body with that extra “oomph!” that may keep you from getting sick, or heal your body quicker if you are already feeling down.
1. Get enough rest! Avoid strenuous activities. Make the time to take a nap if you are feeling sleepy or run-down. Sleeping helps our bodies repair and revitalize. You may not realize it, but strong winds and cold temperatures make your body work extra hard to maintain your strength and warmth. Make sure you sleep enough so that your body can rebuild itself and repair the small damages caused throughout the day.
2. Try tea and water instead of other beverages. Make sure you have enough water – as always! Make sure you have enough water-based fluids in general. However, instead of juice, soda, or alcohol, try tea! Depending on what plants are in the tea, it may have medicinal properties that help keep you at your 110%. Tea is soothing to your mouth, throat, and stomach. Echinacea tea is a great immune booster when you feel like you are getting over a sickness. Other helpful medicines to add to your tea are: honey, ginger, cinnamon, peppers, cloves, lemon, and basil. You can make these teas at home, or buy them at a store.
3. Eat plenty of garlic. Garlic is known to be an all-around healing plant. No matter what problems may arise in your body, garlic can usually help. Eat fresh garlic cloves, or capsules of the oil (if you do not enjoy the strong taste and smell of garlic). It is especially helpful to consume before bedtime.
4. Eat easily digestible foods. Your body is working overtime, so try to eat foods like smoothies, soup, slow-roasted stews, etc. A steak is harder for your body to digest than vegetables. The more time and energy your body spends on digestion, the less it can offer to healing. However, you need good nutrition to fuel your body to heal, so do eat plenty!
5. Stay away from booze and smoking. It lowers your immune system, dehydrates you, and increases mucous.
6. If your cold is paired with congestion, try hot peppers. Peppers in your soup or tea will open your air ways.
7. Eat vitamins B, C, and D! Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamin C that will help your body replenish itself. You can also find vitamin C tablets with rose hips that will provide you with a great boost! Vitamin D and B help your body function at full capacity.
8. If you are coughing, try Elderberry or Slippery Elm syrup. It is a wonderful alternative to the average drugstore cough medicine. Paired with honey, elderberry will soothe your throat and it’s natural nutrients will strengthen your weak throat. You can make Elderberry or Slippery Elm syrup at home, or buy it at a store.
9. For an additional soothing of your breathing and coughing issues, heat up a bowl of water. Add eucalyptus oil, citrus oil, and rosemary oil. Breathe in the steam. Dab a face-cloth into the water and lay it on your face (while you lay down) for as long as you like.
Feel good and take care of yourself this winter!