If you ask me what I’m grateful for, near the very top of my list is my family’s health. I mean that in the deeper sense that we are all healthy overall, but also in the fact that we all seem to have decent immune systems that tend to fight off most bugs. I can count on less than one hand the times Hailey has gotten sick in her three years and now that I’ve thrown that out there, I’m sure karma will be here to smack me in the face at any moment.
Before that happens though, here are some of the habits we stick to to help keep our immune systems strong, our house clean and sickness out of our lives as much as we can.
1. Eat real food. Veggies, proteins, healthy fats, bone broth and kombucha are the typical. This time of year there is no shortage of sweet treats around and while I’ll never say don’t indulge (I did take the sampler platter of pie at Thanksgiving), I am an advocate for the good-for-you foods to outweigh the less-than-good-for-you foods. Sugar causes inflammation in the body which can weaken the immune system, so I make sure to eat the foods that strengthen it as much as possible.
2. Wash hands. Groundbreaking suggestion, huh? But really, we wash our hands a lot around here. After the bathroom (obviously), before each meal, when we walk in the door. I talk out of both sides of my mouth when it comes to hand sanitizer. Overall, I’m not a fan. I think as a nation we are unnecessarily over-sanitized and it’s doing more harm than good (plus, it doesn’t kill the norovirus which is my #1 germ fear). However, I do keep a small bottle in my purse (hypocrite much?) in case we find ourselves in really germy situations (gas station bathrooms). However, 90% of the time I stick with good ol soap and water.
3. Take vitamins. I do not think vitamins are a substitute for eating healthy food, but I do think they help fill in the gaps and I ‘d like to give my immune system all the tools it could possibly need to stay strong. I’ve also been keeping this Shaklee Immunity on hand for David. I don’t take it while breastfeeding, but David has liked it for before flights or if he starts to feel a tickle in his throat. It fizzes into water like a more natural Airborne.
4. Drink a lot. Wine, yes, for heart health and sanity around the holidays of course, but also water and tea. I’m a big fan of tea for it’s cup-of-warmth feel, but also for it’s immune building properties. I keep Throat Coat and apple cider vinegar on hand at all times (in case a sore throat strikes) and have enjoyed the stomach soothing tea as an evening option.
5. Take off shoes. This is a relatively new development in my household and though I’m not a stickler about it, I find I’m really liking the idea of leaving shoes at the door, especially since Kaitlyn is crawling all over the place now. With David in hospitals and Hailey in preschool, I’m good with limiting the amount of shoes on our floors. Most days I even strip Hailey out of her clothes after school and put on a new outfit to keep preschool germs out of her bed.
Hailey knows this rule now and even made sure Minnie Mouse abides by it. I got a good giggle when I found this!
6. Keep things clean. I wouldn’t identify myself as a clean freak, but I do make sure I wipe down the hot-spot areas: countertops, door handles, light switches.
7. Sleep. Easier said than done with little ones in the house, right? Still, I try and do everything possible to prioritize sleep. Sometimes that means going to bed embarrassingly early or putting my to-do list on hold while I snag a cat nap while the girls are down. It makes a night and day difference in my ability to feel healthy and strong… and my grumpiness level.
What measures do you take to try and stay healthy during germ season?
I think exercise is also a great suggestion- plus it helps manage holiday stress!