Sickness is running rampant this time of year. Colds and multiple strains of the flu are just the most well-known. Take your health into your own hands by taking preventative measures.
Step 1: Keep Your Hands Clean!
Washing your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, is the most effective in reducing the spread of germs and bacteria.
Keep hand sanitizer with you for when soap and water aren’t available. Make sure to find sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. If your hands tend to get dried out, be sure to get sanitizer with vitamin E added.
Try this DIY spray: In a 2 ounce spray bottle, combine 2 Tablespoons of witch hazel with aloe or Vodka (!), a few drops of Vitamin E to keep hands from drying out, 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil blends, and top off with distilled water.
Prefer a gel sanitizer? Try ½ c Aloe, 1 tsp witch hazel, 1 tsp vitamin E, and ½ tsp glycerin along with your favorite essential oils.
Step 2: Get Your Beauty Rest!
Who got 7-9 hours of sleep last night? When you fail to get enough sleep, the number of infection-fighting antibodies (called cytokines)
are reduced AND if you do get sick, a lack of sleep can prolong your illness!
If life prevents you from getting adequate sleep, take up to two 30-minute-or-less naps to try to “catch up” and help ward off illness and reduce stress.
Step 3: Eat well!
During these times of sickness floating around, make sure your diet is loaded with vegetables and fruits. Loading up on foods that contain vitamin B, vitamin C, and B6 will help ward off viruses.
Vitamin C is readily found in bell peppers and citrus fruit. Poultry is a great source of B6. Other immune boosting foods include garlic, yogurt, broccoli, and green tea. Build your immune system with a smoothie with these immune-boosting foods: berries, oranges, spinach, honey, and yogurt.
Step 4: What If It’s Too Late?
If you already feel symptoms coming on, all is not lost! Elderberry has been used for centuries to increase the immune system and fight upper respiratory tract symptoms. Sambucol is one brand that has been directly studied and been proven to reduce the duration of symptoms from 6 days down to 2 in many cases! Sambucol is not preventative, but if you’re not feeling great, it may be worth a shot. As always, check with your doctor first!