Natural Ways to Stay Healthy
With school starting all over the country and this unseasonably cool summer, sick season isn’t far off. I’m already beefing up my arsenal of natural preventatives and remedies for when the inevitable happens, although to be honest, we really don’t get sick that much — much less often now than we did when the kids were younger and we weren’t treating our bodies so well.
There’s always all sorts of hype in the news about the flu, and everywhere you go you see advertisements for the flu shot, so it’s easy to get all stressy about sick season. But there are SO many natural ways to boost your immune system and help your body fight of the nasty germs you will encounter everywhere you go. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.
First things first, turn off the news. Seriously, y’all, is there anything positive to be had on the news anymore? I never watch the news, but I’m always seeing updates from the news stations in my Twitter stream, and you’d think the world is coming to an end if that’s all you knew. Watching the news can stress you out, and stress is not good for your health, so I’m not even joking when I say, turn it off and focus on the here and now — YOUR here and now. Live in the moment and count your blessings. I’m making a concerted effort to do that by keeping a gratitude journal. It seems kind of hokey at first, but I’m starting to really enjoy that little exercise.
Beyond that, I honestly believe that sleep is the best defense against all sorts of illnesses — temporary viruses as well as the bigger scaries. And I mean good quality sleep on a regular schedule. I get a good 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I go to bed around 9 and sleep till 5:30 or 6:00. I know, I’m a Grannie. I got in the habit of getting up early when I wanted to fit in my runs before my husband left for work. The earlier bedtime just sort of developed out of necessity. I often go to bed with my youngest daughter and leave my husband and the older kids to their own devices. You can find whatever schedule works for you, but I know I need my sleep or I’m a beast, so I make it a high priority. The rest of the family has just gotten used to it. After all, if Momma ain’t happy . . . you know the rest!!!
As far as supplements go, we don’t take a ton, but I try to remember to take vitamin D3 and cod liver oil — both are super important, especially in North America where we don’t get adequate sunlight or enough fish. I also plan to add Vitamin C to our daily supplement regimen this year.
Sugar and processed foods deplete the immune system so we try to limit them, although I get lazy at times. The older my kids get, the harder it is to keep them away from the junk. I do my best, and I guess that’s all I can do. Here are my best tips for getting kids to eat healthy food.
Of course eating lots fruits and veggies, organic as much as possible, and sticking to real food helps maintain healthy, strong bodies. I can’t wait to get back to making chicken broth weekly — nutrients from correctly prepared bone broths boost the immune system. It’s not just an old wives’ tale. Chicken soup is truly medicinal.
We all know how important it is to make sure the kids wash their hands immediately after school to cut down on the germs being brought home. It seems like teachers these days are much more proactive about having the kids wash their hands before snacks and meals during their school day, for which I am thankful.
And don’t forget the exercise. I have felt so much better all around since I’ve been running regularly. Getting the kids outside after school is really important. It’s so tempting to make them get their homework done and music practice in before playtime, but I try to shove them outside on nice days so they can get the benefits of fresh air and exercise. They can do their homework after the sun goes down.
When it comes to medicine, I usually don’t administer it to my kids unless they really need it. I’m one of those mean moms who will let their bodies fight a fever without Tylenol unless it’s dangerously high.
I’d love to hear your tips for staying healthy during sick season.