Ahh… January and February. Time to cozy up by the fire and watch the snow fly. Time to sip hot chocolate and do everything possible to avoid going out in the cold.
But what’s that I hear? A cough. A sniffle. A sneeze. A small child complaining of a tummy ache moments before emptying contents of said stomach.
Um, when is it going to be spring?
Okay, I get it. Winter months, especially January and February, bring a lot of sickness. If your child(ren) go to public school (or daycare or really, any place there are other kids) it’s likely to be even worse.
So what can we as moms do to help keep our families healthy? While these tips won’t guarantee perfect health, they are definitely going to help!
5 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter
(1) Eat a Healthy Diet
Food is the healthy family’s number one medicine. A health conscious mom will limit the amounts of processed foods she feeds her family. Processed foods and sugars aren’t easy for our bodies to process, thus using up our body’s precious resources (which would otherwise be fighting off germs!).
Commercially raised meats are full of GMOs, antibiotics, hormones and who knows what all else. As well, it’s no longer mandatory that grocery store meats contain country of origin labels. Buying your meat from a local farmer is the best way to get quality meat for a good price.
One thing that makes it hard to eat healthy is when you work outside the home.
I did for years, and my husband still does. He manages though, to take a considerably healthy lunch everyday. Here are some healthy lunch ideas to get you started. Healthy snacks are also important, especially with little ones.
Many fall foods are still available, and these in particular will keep your body strong.
(2) Keep Your Home Fresh
By fresh, I mean opening windows and letting clean air in.
Yes, I said it. Opening windows. And I am referring to doing this in the cold winter months.
Did you know the pollution levels inside your home are often worse than those along interstate highways? Everything from painted walls and furniture, to carpeting and bedding offgasses. As well many homes use air fresheners, and other chemicals to clean/kill germs.
All these chemicals are trapped within the home and do great damage to our immune systems. Our winter temperatures typically run below freezing, so when we get 40 degree days, especially 40 degree days with sunshine, I like to open our windows for a few minutes. Just opening windows for 10-20 minutes will really help clear things up.
Too cold to open windows? Here are a couple of other things that will help keep your home fresh.
- Use this “recipe” on your carpets, to kill germs and give the house an immediate clean smell.
- Make your own cleaning wipes without chemicals to clean/disinfect surfaces in your home.
- Finally, find an essential oil diffuser and diffuse oils like Lemon and Lavender, or blends like Thieves to clear the air.
Another way to keep your home fresh is using essential oils while you shower. Try using these shower bombs for a spa like shower that leaves the bathroom smelling great as well!
(3) Proper Immune Support
Food is the first step to staying healthy, but even the best we can do often leaves us lacking different vitamins and minerals. Last winter I was working full-time with a baby and quite frankly, Vitamin C was my lifesaver!
Around our house, echinacea is the first thing we grab when we start feeling a little “off”. Nettle tea is another thing we like to drink lots of. A good probiotic is also important as it keeps your gut working properly. I’ve used this probiotic in the past with great results.
Getting the right support to toddlers can be tricky. However I’ve started making gummy vitamins and they are amazing! Take your pick from Elderberry gummies or Vitamin C gummies (or both!). My toddler loves these and I’m sure yours will as well!
Get rid of your chemical cleaners and personal care products. I could go into huge detail here, but will try to keep it simple. Currently there are over 10,000 different chemicals being used in our cleaning and personal care products. These chemicals are not regulated in any way for safety and hundreds of new ones are added each year.
If you aren’t sure where to start, these super easy DIY tutorials are good places to start:
- Bathroom Cleaning Wipes
- Homemade Hand Soap
- Homemade Carpet Deodorizer
- Citrus-infused Vinegar Cleaner
- All-purpose Cleaner (no vinegar)
Once you’ve removed the chemicals from your home, it would be wise to help your body remove toxins that have built up within.
Three years ago I did a juice fast. The idea was for it to help me lose weight, but it did far more than that and improved my health so well overall that I would love to do another one sometime.
I also recommend detox baths. For my mom who cannot do regular cleanses ever because they make her ill, this method works and is very gentle.
I have liver issues when pregnant and most types of detoxing while pregnant is highly discouraged because it poses an even greater risk to the baby. However detox baths are safe and gentle. I also do them with my son.
(5) And if you get sick anyway…
Sometimes it just happens. Our bodies will fight like warriors and then all of a sudden lose a battle and we find ourselves sick. Rather than reaching for an over the counter drug, or calling the doctor for an antibiotic, listen to your body first.
If you or your child’s illness isn’t life threatening, you will be better off treating the sickness at home with natural remedies.
One of the most common complaints with a typical illness is that of a headache. Just deeply breathing certain essential oils can really help. Peppermint is one of the best and I actually keep a small vial of some in my purse for “emergencies!”
In the end, if you do get sick, try the old fashioned method of getting lots of rest and plenty of water. Hubby is much better at getting rest than I am, and it’s little surprise that when he gets sick, he also gets better nearly twice as quickly as I do.
Sickness happens to the healthiest of us, but we are already into January. So eat healthy, support your immune system, remove toxins and get rest. You can also spend that resting time counting down the days until spring!
What simple methods do you use to stay healthy in the winter? Share your expertise in the comments below!
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