Around this time every single year, one of the people in my family ends up with a cold- just a harmless little cold with the sniffles. It’s also the time of year when I start hearing strangers cough at the grocery store and see all the snot monsters at daycare wiping their noses on their sleeves. Germs are EVERYWHERE. So, how do you help your family stay healthy this winter? I’ll be honest; I don’t know the answer. But what I do know is that there are five things our family starts to do every single fall, and we’ve evaded the nasty puke bugs and the flu every single year.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Five Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter
Wash Your Hands
This is hands down the secret to our success. I become a hand washing fiend from about October- March. Let me be clear though; you do NOT need antibacterial soap to keep your hand’s germ-free.
The majority of having clean hands comes from the scrubbing process and the chemicals found in soap plus the rinsing of the water.
You do need to wash your hands for about 20 seconds — or long enough to sing Happy Birthday a couple of times. Be sure to get under your nails as well.
Never heard of elderberry? That’s ok. Consuming elderberries is an easy way to stay healthy this winter. You can usually find it in syrup or gummy form; but, the syrup is sticky. So after much trial and error, our family has tried the gummies. They’re much more straightforward to consume, and the kids think they taste great. Win!
Elderberries have shown antibacterial and antiviral properties and are well known to be supportive agents against common cold and flu like symptoms and have been used for centuries. You can read more on the science behind elderberries from the US National Library of Medicine.
Zicam, Airborne, and EmergenC are all very similar; they’re remedies you start taking at the onset of symptoms to help shorten the duration of symptoms and decrease the intensity of symptoms. What does that mean? Well, these drugs will not cure your illness. But they can make it more bearable (especially when your husband comes down with the Man Flu).
Last year we even allowed my preschooler to try the emergenC, and it seemed to prevent her little bout of the sniffles from getting worse.
Hear me when I say this, Mom, you need your sleep. You’re giggling, aren’t you? It’s ok. We all know that Mom’s don’t get nearly enough sleep in general. Seriously though, one of the best ways to stay healthy this winter is to get enough sleep. Rest gives our body the energy it needs to fight off the germs that make us sick. So. Get your 8 hours of sleep.
Now you probably think I’ve lost my marbles. Sleep AND exercise when you’re surviving on cold coffee and dry shampoo?! I get it. I do. I rarely exercise. I can’t seem to fit it into my schedule as often as I’d like to, but, in the winter, I make a point to add at least 20 minutes a few times a week into my routine- even if it’s just a quick walk around the neighborhood. Why? Because exercise keeps your immune system functioning well.
Do you have any tricks for keeping the nasties away during the winter? I’d love to hear them!
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