BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
The busiest time of year is upon us. When we pile our already full work plates with social engagements, gift giving, card sending, cooking, visits from extended family, and traveling we come up with one word- BUSY. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and frazzled. Many of us rely on adrenaline to “power through” the season. Good habits tend to get pushed aside to make way for the ever-growing “to-do” list. Some of the ways that we forsake our health when things get busy are:
Increasing consumption of caffeine and sugar.
Skimping on sleep.
Setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others.
Pushing off exercise until the New Year.
Denying ourselves pleasure until we finish our long-list of tasks.
If this is starting to sound like I’m following you around with a video camera, then read on for my list of Holiday Self-Care Tips. By recognizing self-defeating patterns, you can make small adjustments that will help to support and maintain your health.
Dr. Purcell’s 7 Holiday Self-Care Tips
1. Eat more Fiber.
Eating vegetables at every meal helps keep the immune system strong and healthy. Yes, immune function begins in the digestive system. Fiber helps us excrete toxins and prevents fermentation of sugars that lead to microbial overgrowth. Great sources of fiber include dark leafy greens, fruits (particularly raspberries), squashes, and flax seeds.
2. Take your vitamins.
This is not the time of year to shortchange yourself. Your energetic demand is higher than ever. Some of my favorites are Vitamin C, Zinc, Multi-Vitamin, B-complex. These will help boost your immune system, naturally increase energy, and help you manage stress.
3. Wash your hands frequently.
Use plain old soap and water. Antibacterial soaps are not what they promised and there is a recall underway to remove them from the market entirely. (Read the whole article here)
4. Get good rest.
Sleep more not less. During sleep our bodies repair and restore. Sleep also rebuilds the immune system. This is not the time of year to shortchange on sleep when daily demands are exceptionally high.
5. Build a healthy medicine chest.
This is important to have some natural immune boosters in your medicine cabinet to take at the onset of illness. Mother nature’s medicine chest is filled with potent cold and flu fighters. Natural immune boosters shorten the duration of and severity of illness. Having the items in the house allows for quick access and gives cold fighting a better chance. (Log in or create a free account for access to my online medicinary. Once logged in, you will find my different immune support protocols and supplement product links)
6. Stay balanced.
Some of my favorite ways to bust stress include exercise and meditation. For the busy minded person exercise offers a mental-health break that boosts mood and energy levels. The more compressed you feel the more you need to consider exercise or daily meditation. Commit to some type of activity at least 3 x/week. It can be as small as a 10-minute walk or guided meditation. (Have a smart phone? Download the FREE Insight Timer Meditation App. Each day meditations are posted in various categories at varying lengths. If you are a newbie to meditation, choose a guided meditation that is less than 10 minutes.)
7. Do a saline nasal flush.
This is a preventative measure to keep your nasal passages germ free. You can use a nasal flush bottle or a Nettie pot purchased at the local drugstore. Use warm water and the powder packet that comes with the bottle. The packet is made of fine sea salt and baking soda. You can do this in your shower 2-3 x weekly.
Wishing you a Healthy & Happy Holiday Season!
With so much Love,
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