Thank you Epsom Salt Council for sponsoring this post.
Staying healthy during the holiday season can be so challenging. Our family is often on the go this time of the year, juggling activities, holiday parties, Christmas programs, and gatherings with family and friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have something fun and holiday-themed on the calendar, but it can be hard to keep health and wellness at the forefront when there are so many things going on. When the holidays are threatening to take over, it can be a challenge even to stop and read a book, let alone eat a healthy dinner and get enough sleep!
Doing all of those things, though, is essential to getting through this holiday season healthfully and with your sanity intact! No one likes spending Christmas pounding cold medicine. I know this year I’m focusing on punctuating our holiday fun with a hearty dose of elderberry syrup, fresh air, and balanced days. That means for every night we’re out late at a holiday party, we’re going to take a restful nap or cuddle up with some of our favorite books the next day instead of going out. For every sip of hot chocolate, we’re going to enjoy a warm cup of tea. Here are some of my top tips for keeping wellness at the forefront this season, even when the holidays threaten to get you down!
Natural Remedies for Colds and Flu
As I’ve talked about before, it often feels like germ season is a never-ending battle that parents are constantly fighting. I love all-natural, drug-free ways to give germs the one-two punch and keep my children healthy and happy. When it comes to this cold and flu season, as I see the first signs of frost on the ground and my kids begin to wipe their nose with the back of their hands (seriously, get a tissue!), I’m trying a new method for keeping these little cuties on the up and up. The goal is to keep them from having to take traditional medicines that can be full of harmful ingredients their little bodies don’t need anyway. (While I am super appreciative for modern medicine, I like to exhaust all the natural options first.)
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
One of the best ways to keep you and your kids healthy, and fight back when the first signs of the cold or flu strike, is to start downing fluids. It’s so important to stay hydrated this time of the year. Not only is water a top choice for guzzling all year long, you can also enjoy warm, soothing drinks that calm sore throats and help to ease body aches, like hot tea or warm water with lemon. The girls also love when I make them “Mom’s special drink” which is warm water with a splash of apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, and local honey- lots of honey.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting plenty of sleep is key to warding off germs, helping your body to battle them naturally, and to elevating your immune system during the time of the year when you need it to work its best. Make sure your little ones are getting plenty of rest, and take that tip yourself so that you can power through cold and flu season.
Is there such a thing as too much sleep? I don’t think so, especially as a busy parent who is always on-the-go! If you’re anything like me, getting rest can be a challenge no matter what time of the year it is, but during the holidays, it can be even more so. Burning the midnight oil at holiday gatherings or prepping food for parties can lead to a serious afternoon slump the next day. But prioritizing rest is so essential so that you can handle whatever your day throws your way, and so that you can help to keep your immune system strong so that you don’t face the dreaded “S-word” – SICK!
So how can you get enough rest? Try napping when your little ones take a nap, instead of cramming in a bunch of other things while they are sleeping. I will set my alarm for 30 minutes, which means I typically get in a 20-minute power nap by the time I fall asleep. It’s surprisingly invigorating! If I nap for too long, it has the opposite effect.
It’s also important to have a solid bedtime routine, especially during the holidays, and one favorite part of my nighttime routine is taking a warm, relaxing bath with Epsom salt.
Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath
Why Epsom salt?
An all-natural health and wellness product, it’s long been touted by health professionals as a remedy for everything from high blood pressure to anti-anxiety to a muscle soother. I like to use it in my baths in the evenings to combat sore, achy muscles from working out, as well as to help relax me. Once I hop out of my Epsom salt bath, I feel ultra-relaxed and ready to get a good night’s sleep.
Some other reasons to try Epsom salt include:
- It’s all-natural – Epsom salt is derived from naturally occurring sulfate and magnesium, so you can feel good about treating your little ones with this all-natural wonder.
- It gives you much-needed magnesium – Magnesium is an essential nutrient for your entire families’ health and well-being. Without enough magnesium in your diet, you could suffer from heart disease, hyperactivity, and high blood pressure, among other things.
- It’s also great to use if you’re feeling stressed out or sick over the holidays. Epsom Salt is great to add to your baths because it can help calm and relax your nerves, as well as give your body valuable magnesium that it needs to function. It can also help to boost your immune system. Learn more about this valuable health and wellness supplement on the Epsom Salt Council’s website!
- It’s good for kids, too. Giving your child an Epsom Salt bath (here’s how!) can be a great way to help them relax before bed, sleep better, and stay well during germ season.
6 Reasons to Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath
- To ease sore muscles and reduce pain in joints.
- To fight off cold and flu germs.
- To improve sleep.
- To ease cramps and optimize female hormone function.
- To relax and lower blood pressure.
- To relieve headaches.
Eat Healthful, Balanced Meals
I have a lot of trouble staying away from all of the goodies that seem to be everywhere this time of year! From home-baked goods to rich, hearty family dishes like macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes, eating right can be quite the challenge. I try to focus on planning our meals for the week so that I know we have something chock full of nutrients to nosh on when we’re not out and about at holiday gatherings.
Some of my favorite easy recipes for this time of the year are my Seed & Nutty Broccoli Salad and my Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Dal with Cauliflower Rice. The broccoli salad is an easy and fast lunchtime favorite, especially on days when we’re cramming lunch in between holiday activities. The Butternut Squash dish is a crowd favorite, and it’s made in the crockpot, so I can toss it together in the morning, and we can enjoy it after a day of merrymaking!
Give yourself some leeway at holiday parties and indulge a little; I know I do! It’s the time of year to enjoy the foods you might not usually eat. Then, when you’re back home, make sure you’re packing in the veggies to help boost your vitamin count for the day! Check out more of my favorite recipes so you can plan and get the balance your body craves this season.
Say No Sometimes!
With so many activities going on during the holiday season, and so many friends and family in town that you might not get to see often, you can often feel a lot of pressure to do so many things in one day. No one likes to say no to loved ones, but you also have to juggle priorities and remember that there are only so many hours in a day—I know I have trouble with that one! Try to balance what you feel like you are obligated to do with what you want to do. Focus mainly on the things that you WANT to do, and that will enrich your family’s lives. Say no to the things that don’t feel like something you’re going to be glad you went to.
And it’s not just saying no to going places that don’t fit into your schedule or that won’t bring you joy; you also need to say no to making that extra set of cookies for the bake sale or taking on another kids’ party to plan. I know I fall victim to wanting to say yes and help everyone, but you can’t do it all, and especially this time of the year, you need to pick and choose the things you do wisely. Instead of cooking up another dish for another gathering, focus on sharing holiday traditions with your kids! Check out some of my favorites and start making memories, not another holiday treat.
Have a Personal Day
Last, but certainly not least, take some time for you! Get a massage, go for a run, or add some Epsom salt to your face wash for an instant glow. Get a sitter and have a date night, or sit for 30 minutes alone and read a book. Do whatever you have to do to recharge and get ready for the rest of the holiday season!
I mentioned Epsom salt quite a few times during these tips because while it started off as just my favorite bath additive, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite products to use for so many things. During the holiday season, it’s an excellent tool for de-stressing and fighting back against colds and flu, as well as a beauty treatment to add to your conditioner for added volume or to soak your feet in so they look soft and pretty in your strappy heels at the office party. This all-natural little wonder can be purchased anywhere health and wellness products are sold. Make sure you choose Epsom Salt that has been tested by the FDA and is USP certified. You’ll see this on the label, ensuring that you’re getting the highest quality Epsom salt you can buy.
Stay healthy and stress-free this holiday season with the above tips and by using Epsom salt. Find out more about the benefits of Epsom Salt here! Happy Holidays!