It is the season! Sore throats, stubborn coughs, runny noses, fever, chills, aches and pains, rapid pulse, stuffy head, and more. If you are not a fan of inclement weather, it’s no wonder you don’t like winter. Cold temperatures tend to slow traffic and our immune system. I have collected a list of tips that can help you sidestep the sickness this season.
1. Get enough rest. The average amount of sleep a person needs is eight hours. Some people try hard to obtain even six hours, and yet some desperately need 10. Find the optimal amount of rest wherein you wake without feeling tired and aim for that every night. A quiet, dark bedroom will aid in restful slumber.
2. Drink enough water. Believe it or not, the standard recommendation for drinking water is based on one man’s 1921 account of his bodily secretions over the course of a day. (See: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/howmany-glasses-of-water-shouldwe-drink-a-day/) The amount of water a person needs depends on gender, weight, pregnancy, activity level, climate, etc. Generally, the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization recommend 8-11 cups/day of water for women, and 10-15 cups/day for men. Keep in mind, however, that we obtain water from various sources, including food and metabolic water (water our bodies make). This translates to 4-7 cups/day for women and 6-11 cups/day for men, as long as there is moderate activity in moderate temperatures.
3. Follow a plant-based diet. There are many incredible benefits to following a plant-based diet and I have not found or experienced a single drawback. In a later entry, I will discuss powerful plant foods that can help boost the immune system and keep your body operating at full performance. During this time especially, it is important to avoid all dairy products as they are mucous forming and detrimental to one’s health in many ways. Additionally, one important thing to consider is that, according to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD (Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University), there has never been a more significant carcinogen discovered than casein, the protein of which dairy is made. Cancer is a sickness to avoid indeed!
4. Wash your hands. The first thing I do when I walk into the house every time is head straight for the bathroom and I wash my hands. This is a great habit to develop. Actually, whenever I have the chance, I prefer to wash my hands before and after a visit to the lavatory since germs can invade the body in multiple ways. Another tip I would like to provide is one habit that I prefer to use year round: When dining from a buffet, I prefer to approach the bar with the plate in my dominant hand and serve with my other hand. When I place my plate at the table, I often will go and wash my hands. However, if I go back for seconds, I usually won’t go back to wash my hands, but I’ve developed the habit of eating with my dominant hand, not the one that has touched the utensils everyone else has touched.
5. Avoid contact with contaminated surfaces when possible & keep your environment clean. When drying your hands, you can use the paper towel to open the door and then toss it into the trash when finished. I have seen many people use their elbows or pocketed hands to open doors and do other things. I have done quite a few strange looking things in order to avoid picking up germs. Every little bit helps! If you are sharing a home with someone who is sick, the use of masks or gloves can help to avoid spreading germs, and you can wipe doorknobs and other surfaces with sanitizing wipes. Another tip I would like to extend to women is this: Avoid placing your handbag on tables or counters at home, since they likely have been placed on numerous surfaces that have been contaminated with germs. It is best to keep your handbag on the floor at home and off of counters, tables, and floors in public.
6. Don’t touch your head. Until you have the chance to wash your hands, don’t touch your face. This applies to your mouth, eyes, and nose, but we also must extend this to your ears. Try not to touch any opening to your body without first washing your hands.
7. Keep your distance and don’t shake hands. Avoid getting too close to people who are sick and avoid shaking hands. You can kindly explain that your body is sensitive and you’d prefer to stay well but extend your regards from a distance.
8. Avoid using hand sanitizer & antibacterial soap. This is my own preference, as I believe that both products weaken our immunity to various harmful bacteria and kill off our good bacteria. In my opinion, using antibacterial anything is more damaging than not washing our hands at all. Just good old fashioned regular soap and warm water often do the trick, and you can scrub for the amount of time it takes to recite the alphabet.
9. Consider avoiding the flu shot. Here is where I make my disclaimer. I am not a medical professional and this goes against medical industry advice. However, considering the years of research that I have conducted, there can be very harmful substances in a lot of shots/vaccines that one would be smart to consider. I am one of many who have not had the flu in the numerous years since we have chosen to abstain from taking the shot. These shots also apparently can be harmful to the young and the elderly. The choice is yours. What I do know is that, without fail, I always contracted the flu between one and two weeks of getting the shot. In my opinion, it is better to make behavioral and dietary changes to make the most of our immune systems.
10. Stay home. Perhaps this should be number one, since it is extremely important. It is understandable how you must feel if you don’t get paid when you are sick at home or you’ve used up your sick days, and whatever else. However, it is absolutely without consideration to go to work or other places when you are sick. There are many people with weak immune systems and others whose bodies are very sensitive and cannot take medicine. Perhaps they have used all of their sick days as well. The bottom line is that no one enjoys being sick. Be considerate of yourself and others and stay home until you are well.
If you have other tips, please feel free to comment below.
In happiness and in health,
Danica De La Mora