It's been said many a time, but prevention is sooo much better than cure. When it comes to avoiding winter colds then you need to set yourself up to win now rather than trying to drink your bodyweight in lemon and honey drinks once it's kicked in. If you want to avoid shuffling into bed feeling like you've been hit by a truck and spending your hard earned coffee money on Kleenex tissues then try out the tips below.
I don't know who first said it's the best medicine, but I'm pretty sure they knew their shit. Physiologically, laughter relaxes you, decreases stress, releases endorphins and even burns a few calories. Take this as permission to spend your lunchbox youtube-ing Ricky Gervais videos or whatever cracks you up - it's all for your health and wellbeing.
Lean into lazy.
Not all the way, obviously. But I guarantee there's something on your plate that you can get rid of, some task that's sucking up valuable energy or something you can delegate to someone else. The bottom line is that rushing = stress = a really sad immune system that can't put up a fight when your coworker coughs on your face as they're reaching over and grabbing a cup from the communal sink. The most important thing you could probably do to avoid getting sick is eliminating as much stress as possible. But how to start? Look at your schedule and pick one thing you could eliminate which would give you time for something more beneficial - like a sauna, a rejuvenating yoga class or just some extra sleep. Don't freak out - remember if you miss it you can always add it back in next week, but I'm guessing your body will thank you for the extra downtime.
Feed your body.
Your body is performing a ridiculous number of jobs in any given moment to keep everything functioning in tip top shape. In order to do that, you need to give it the good stuff so that it can actually perform all those chemical reactions that help your heart beat, your digestion work and your hair look shiny. When we talk about colds most people know that Vitamin C is the ultimate warrior, but most people don't know that we need to get a daily intake of this because our bodies don't store it. That means loading up on lots of capsicums, citrus fruit and dark leafy greens. However, if the vitamins and minerals aren't in the soil then they aren't in your veges either, so it's worth springing for organic, loving up your local farmer and finding out if they're supplementing their soils. Zinc, another crusader that builds our immune system and is responsible for over 300 different bodily reactions integral to digestion, is now lacking in most soils worldwide (according to Dr. Libby). For this reason, supplementation can give you a lot of extra support even if, at best, you're going organic or at the very worst...not eating vegetables at all.
(You can check out the supplements I take for immune support here and here)
Align with the seasons.
Winter is a time for slowing down and rejuvenating. As much as we often like to pretend otherwise, we are connected to nature and its rhythms and seasons as much as anything else on earth. To quote The Byrds "To everything there is a season", and our bodies need a bit more rest in winter. It's also important to realise that your body will also probably operate better on food that is in season - grounding root vegetables and less cooling fruit, for example. You might feel better subbing out your green juice or smoothie in the morning for a porridge or eggs or miso soup. Making a bone broth soup can be another way to support your body to stay warm and get lots of nutrients at this time of year. I use Sarah Wilson's (of 'I Quit Sugar') and it's amazing (here's a link if you're keen to try it). The food that supports you best should be easy to find - it's seasonal, local and therefore should be cheaper - which is always a bonus.
So there you have it. Have fun, do less, up your vitamin and mineral intake and eat what's on show at your local farmer's market.