All Natural Ways to Feel Better During Cold / Flu Season!

by - November 30, 2018

There’s something magical about winter- snow on the ground, icicles dripping elegantly from window sills and stepping in from the cold, crisp air and getting bundled up inside. Not to mention you have the run up to Christmas, where everyone is always in a better mood, jolly music is playing everywhere and you can’t turn a corner without seeing a spectacular display of twinkly lights. However, as wonderful as all of that is, there’s also a downside to this time of year. With more people spending time indoors and within close proximity of each other, it’s a breeding ground for illnesses and most of us will experience at least one cold or flu. If you're really unlucky, you might even pick up a sickness bug or other contagious illness. It’s no fun whatsoever, so if you want to avoid this as much as possible (who wouldn’t!) here are some of the ways you can go about it.

Eat well
Eating well provides your body with all of the nutrition it needs to thrive. This can boost your immune system allowing you to ward off illnesses naturally. The festive season is right around the corner, and most of us will be indulging a little, but it’s not to say your healthy eating plan needs to go right out of the window. Sure, have a piece of cake or some Christmas chocolates, but be sure to get your fruits and veggies in too. A smoothie for breakfast, some salad with your lunch, some fruit as snacks and some vegetables on your evening meal will all add up towards giving you the five a day that you need. It can be helpful to plan your meals, that way you can create a shopping list and shop to that. You know what you’re having each day, so it doesn’t get to 5pm and you realise you don’t know what you’re making. It’s these situations you’ll be inclined to order in an expensive and unhealthy takeout. You can plan meals that contain plenty of healthy ingredients, so you know you’re getting the good stuff into your diet.

Go easy on the alcohol
One way most of us tend to indulge at this time of year is with alcohol. The champagne is flowing in celebration, and there are lots of parties and get togethers where alcohol is served. Of course, have a drink if you want to- you could even have a few! But do keep tabs on what you’re consuming. We all know alcohol is bad for the body long term, but even in the short term it can leave you dehydrated, looking rough and generally feeling unwell. The next day after a drinking session, you’re more likely to crave unhealthy, high sugar high fat foods too. Do things in moderation, you could set yourself a limit on the number of drinks you’re having, spacing them out with soft drinks. Or you could have a sensible friend let you know when you’ve had enough, if you know you’re not good at judging things yourself! You’ll want to enjoy the occasion, but you also don’t want to waste the next day feeling unwell. Find the right balance!

Wash your hands
Over the colder months when more people are spending time inside, illnesses are easily passed around. You don’t even need to touch an infected person to get ill, germs can survive for some time on supermarket trolley handles, door handles and other items you probably touch on a daily basis when you’re out shopping. Antibacterial hand gel that you can keep in your pocket is handy when you’re out and about until you can get to a sink. Wash well with soap and warm water and dry your hands thoroughly. This simple practice can massively reduce your chances of getting ill. Another thing to be aware of is touching your face during the day, you will be doing this without even realising. Research has shown that most people touch their face three to four times an hour, and every time you do, you increase the risk of viruses and germs spreading to your nose and mouth. We stroke our chins, rub our noses and cover our mouths as a part of normal human behaviour. Whether it’s due to anxiety and self soothing, boredom or a simple scratch- it’s so common we hardly notice that we (or others) are doing so. But it’s something to be aware of, and a good reason for keeping your hands clean.

Try natural remedies
If you do happen to fall ill with a common illness, try not to panic. Resting up and taking care of yourself at home is often enough to help things pass, and you’ll be back to feeling like yourself again usually within a week. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, and treat the symptoms using over the counter medicines so you don’t feel quite as rotton while your body fights off the infection. You could experiment with herbs for healing, these are often incredibly powerful but can be overlooked. Unlike antibiotics and other man made medicines, they won’t cause any unpleasant side effects and are actually good for your body. If it’s a stomach flu you’ve come down with, ginger and peppermint are both great options. Use lavender to help you relax and boost mood- something we all need to do when we’re under the weather.

Sometimes, getting ill is unavoidable- most people get around two to four colds a year as there’s just so many of these germs around. But following the precautions above can help to keep your body strong and protect it in many cases. No one wants to spend days of their life feeling unwell and weak, and so it makes sense to do what you can to prevent it.

How do you protect your health during ‘sickness season’?

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