I am not a doctor; I don’t pretend to be one. This post is meant to get you to think about your own health. Please consult your own doctor if you are sick!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of my links I will receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Townsend House!
I am sick. Not terribly sick, just a cough, thankfully, however, it is enough to make me start thinking about my winter medicine cabinet, and how I really should be utilizing these tips most of the year!
There are definitely several items that I like to keep on hand in the winter to help me to stay as healthy as possible throughout germ season.
I try to keep my medicine cabinet pretty medicine free, if I am being honest. Of course we have all of the regular medicines if we really need them, but I try to keep things as natural as possible.
Apple cider vinegar is antimicrobial and can kill some bacteria. This makes it perfect to take in the winter months. Two tablespoons mixed with some water morning and night is a great way to keep your body healthy! Yes, vinegar is an acid, but raw apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect on your body (which is partly why it is so good for you!). It also helps to break up mucous in the body, which is important when you have any type of cold.
The next item I love to have on hand is raw honey. You can use a brand like this one, but I really think that local is the way to go on this one. Honey is wonderful for sore throats. My older two will often get a spoonful of honey when they have any sort of sore throat; it gives them a little relief. Local raw honey is also perfect during allergy season, since you are essentially consuming the pollen you are allergic to, it helps you to build up immunity to it – not a guarantee, but definitely a help!
Raw garlic is next on my list. Now, I know that a lot of people do not like garlic, I am not one of those people, and neither is my family. If you do not like raw garlic, you can certainly buy garlic capsules, but raw is the way to go (you may be picking up on a theme here!). Garlic has a whole host of health benefits, you can read more about them here. Garlic contains allicin which can help reduce the length of time you have cold symptoms.
Next on my list is tea. This one is hands down my favorite. But, there are so many other varieties, and for so many other different ailments, you really can’t go wrong with tea – in my opinion!
These are my top four health aids for winter – and actually for any time of year. However, I have three more bonus tips for you!
The first is sleep – getting enough sleep will do wonders for your health. If you are burning the candle at both ends, your body will not be equipped to fight off germs in the winter. I know with the holidays coming up, everyone is so busy (me included!), but getting enough sleep will help you to stay healthy.
Obviously there are going to be days you are not able to get enough sleep, this is OK! Just try to make sure you turn in a bit earlier the next night.
Next, cut out sugar.
Please don’t shoot the messenger! I know how crazy it sounds decrease sugar at this time of year. In fact, most people ramp up the amount of sugar they eat between Halloween and the New Year. There are so many delicious treats available!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but germs feed on sugar. If your body is trying to deal with an onslaught of sugar and fight germs, you are in an uphill battle. I’m not saying “do not enjoy the treats of the season,” but I am saying “do so in moderation.” Nothing is inherently bad for you, in my opinion, but if you have pie for breakfast, candy from the jar at work for lunch, and fudge for dinner, you may be in for an unhealthy season.
My final tip is incredibly important, and incredibly difficult to manage.
Try not to stress!
I know this is a hard one. But, stress is a leading factor in so many different illnesses, not just getting a cold. Stress weakens your immune system, making it difficult to fight off any type of virus.
Obviously the holidays are a high stress time. There are many different engagements that people have. Travel, family visits, deadlines at work, and it is hard to know how to get it all done without a little bit of stress.
My (non-medical) advice would be to take some time to relax, and center you. You can check out my series 31 Days of Self-Care to find some tips to de-stress and take some time for yourself.
While the holidays are a busy time of year, that doesn’t mean that you should constantly be go go going until January when you crash and burn! If we try to take some time for relaxation, to de-stress at the end of an exceptionally busy day, to know that this party is not going to make or break our relationships; it is meant to be a time of celebration.
What tips do you have to stay healthy during the holiday season?