It’s that time of year, where everybody seems to be coming down with some sort of flu, cold, or stomach bug. With the changing of the seasons, the cooling temperatures, and the return back to school, we are exposed to a lot more people, and therefore a lot more germs. We are also generally exposed to less sun than the summer months, so naturally our Vitamin D levels are decreased which lowers our immunity! As the holiday season approaches we often experience a lot more stress and demand, which can lead to the breakdown of our bodies and the compromise of our health.

Here are some things you can slowly begin to implement to keep yourself from getting sick, as well as some natural forms of healing in case you do catch something! These suggestions are what have worked for me, and are not to be used for extreme, life-threatening issues but instead for things such as colds, sinus based issues, ears, nose & throat, fevers, etc.)

Although healing naturally may take an extra day or two, you are healing yourself for the long term. You will have the natural immunity from your body fighting off the pathogens that it comes into contact with and you will not suffer the consequences that come along with antibiotics.

Here are some simple, easy tips that you can begin implementing today!

1. Diet

Eating a diet high in processed foods is going to create more inflammation in the body. Minimizing these things and making sure to include a lot of leafy greens, colorful fruits, and a variety of vegetables in your diet will up your antioxidant intake and provide your body with essential nutrients. My body begins to crave these things when I am feeling under the weather. Tune in to your cravings, your body will let you know what it is lacking!

2. Herbs

Gaia -my go to brand for herbs. I always have Elderberry and Oil of Oregano on hand! These are great for preventative measures during times of high stress or germ exposure (travel, large events, etc.), and should be used as soon as you feel something coming on! They do a great job of speeding up recovery time and reducing symptoms.

3. Green(veggie!) Juices:
Stick to juicing your vegetables and eating your fruit whole. Fruit is very nutrient dense but also contains a lot of sugar. When you consume fruit whole, you get all the fiber along with it, which slows down the digestion process and prevents a large spike in blood sugar. Juicing separates the fiber, leaving just the juice, which will enter your blood stream quickly and help replenish nutrients quickly. Fresh veggie juices are so healing during these times! Don’t have time for juicing? I highly recommend this greens powder, you just mix it right into your water or add it to smoothies!

4. Up you Vitamin C levels

Vitamin C is crucial to so many processes in our bodies and can be accessed through whole foods or supplementation. Some of my favorite high Vitamin C foods include:

-red bell peppers

-citrus (lemon, limes, grapefruit, oranges)

-cantaloupe

-kiwi

-strawberries

-broccoli

-spinach

During this time of year it can also be very beneficial to supplement your diet with some extra vitamin c. This gives your body a cushion and makes up for any gaps in your diet! I love having these on hand for travel, and I add this to my smoothies!

5. Ginger & Turmeric 

These two powerhouses have amazing anti-inflammatory benefits and can be easily be added to things like soups, teas, smoothies, and stir frys. I love adding them to my veggie juices as well.

6. Load up on fluids

It can be really easy to get dehydrated when sick. If you are running a fever you are losing a lot of moisture through sweat, and if you have a sore throat…the last thing you want to do is swallow! Staying hydrated is so important for your healing though and will speed up your recovery.

I drink herbal teas every day, especially if I am sick. They have so many amazing benefits and are extremely comforting and soothing for the throat. Traditional Medicinals and Pukka are my go to brands!

Sore throat Elixir: Hot water + lemon + 1/2tsp maple syrup + 1/8tsp cayenne pepper (gargle or treat as a tea)

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!!! I swear by this stuff. Gargle it, shoot it, clean with it, it’s my go to for so many purposes, and I always have a bottle or two in my pantry. 

7. Get Steamy

Hot showers & baths are extremely soothing when you are not feeling well, and they help sweat out toxins and clear sinuses. Add some essential oils to your bath, or create your own steam tent!

1. Add 7-10 drops of essential oils to a large bowl

2. Cover with boiling water

3. Place your head over the bowl and cover yourself with a towel

4. Take several deep breaths

You can do this multiple times a day when your sinuses are out of whack. I love it first thing in the morning, and right before bed.

8. Essential Oils

I am obsessed with my oil diffuser and love making my own blends depending on how I am feeling. Essential oils are great for clearing sinuses and promoting relaxation. 

Some of my favorite blends are:

lavender + eucalyptus + orange

peppermint + eucalyptus + tea tree

This is my absolute favorite!!!!

9. Gentle Movement 

With minor illnesses like colds and sinus based issues  I have personally found that incorporating light exercise like walking and stretching helps keep the blood flowing and does wonders for my mental state. This will vary person to person and will depend on your unique condition and symptoms. I do not recommend weight lifting or any high intensity exercise that will add extra stress on your body.   

10. Rest 
As you probably know, sleep is crucial to our health and if you don’t get enough your body and mind will take a major hit. When you sleep your body is able to focus on healing, and without this proper rejuvenation time your immune system weakens and you are more susceptible to catching colds, bacterias, and viruses that you are exposed to. Each person requires a different amount of sleep, I personally get a minimum of 7.5, usually 8 hours a night. When I am sick this increases to at least 10 hours! When you are sick your body is telling you it needs rest, and it’s so important to listen!

Getting sick a few times a year is normal, but by implementing these tips, and paying attention to your body’s signs you will be better prepared and quicker to recover. Stay healthy friends!