We’ve just entered the new year, and with that, we’re in the thick of cold and flu season. Over the last couple of years, we’ve learned more and more about how to keep our body’s in peak immune function and even some of the warning signs our bodies are lacking vitamins. Armed with all the knowledge you’ve gained since early 2020, there are still things you need to keep in your family toolkit to make sure you all stay healthy during cold and flu season. Let’s take a look at some of the most important.
Sure, the snowy weather is fun to play in for a few hours and is still a great way to get a little Vitamin D in, even if the sun isn’t shining as brightly as it does during the summer months. But, with snowy and cold weather, we all tend to stay indoors. Make sure you and your family are staying active anyway. Whether you want to invest in some in-home gym equipment, utilize apps that keep you motivated, or have family dance parties, it’s important to stay moving while staying cozy. On days where it’s not quite so blustery outside, get the whole family together to go on walks.
Eat The Right Foods
We tend to indulge in plenty of sweet treats and heavy meals during the holidays, not to mention alcohol for the adults. Take time as the new year settles in and protect your immunity by eating healthy, whole foods. While it’s a good idea for your health to try eating plant-based food as often as possible, make an effort to eat less processed foods wherever you can. As mothers, we can feel stretched-thin many times, leading us to grab quick, convenient foods, but they’re not the best for our health and immunity. Consider carving out a couple of hours one day a week to prepare healthy lunches, dinners, and snacks, so the whole family stays on board with eating the right foods.
Supplement When Necessary
On top of maintaining an active lifestyle and eating nutrient-dense foods, it’s a good idea to supplement all the positive efforts you’re making too. If your children aren’t already taking a multivitamin, now is the best time to start. If you have especially young children, kids chewable vitamins are an easy way to get them on board. For the adults in the house, multivitamins are great, and everyone, no matter their age, can benefit from probiotics. They even make liquid probiotic drops for infants!
Catch Those Z’s
Sleep is a great restorer when it comes to our health. Especially if someone does come down with a cold or a case of flu, they need to get as much rest as possible. You can also give your body a better chance of fighting off germs and viruses by ensuring everyone in your household is getting at least eight hours of sleep. Young children need even more sleep than that, so make sure you’ve got the appropriate bedtime routines in place and set them up for success when it comes to beneficial, restorative sleep. As mothers, we can put our sleep on the backburner by staying up worrying about work, family issues, or anything else – please don’t do this. Neglecting your sleep can lead to burning out, and then you’re no good to anyone, let alone yourself.
Manage Stress Levels
Speaking of burning the candle at both ends as parents, managing your stress levels is an effective way to protect yourself during the winter cold and flu season. Choose activities to manage your stress like simple meditation, breathwork, or yoga. If you feel like you can’t control your stress on your own, find time to meet with a therapist once or twice a month. Everyone can benefit from therapy, even those of us that think we all have it figured out. Unchecked stress can lead to a whole host of physical and emotional health issues, so keeping it in check is a must during the time of year where we’re all susceptible to minor illnesses.
This year, we’re all on high alert when it comes to every sneeze and sniffle, but remember, there are plenty of viruses circulating all the time. Instead of being filled with fear, it’s better to arm yourself with the things you can control, like the tips mentioned earlier. By implementing these behaviors in your household, you and your family are better protected from colds and touches of flu than if you don’t. Here’s to your health and a happy new year!