Post by contributor Jessica Young of Simply Healthy Home
Phew! Can you believe we are headed into the winter season already? It feels like we just started fall but time seems to be flying by way too fast.
We are in the trenches of school work right now, trying to get it all done….work, field trips, activities, dental appointments, all while trying to avoid germs.
Yes, we are ushering in the ‘germ season’ as I call it at this house.
Over the years though, I have learned many tricks and tips how to keep germs away and even lessen the severity of illnesses.
I know that natural remedies can get overwhelming which is why I like to keep it simple. If it is isn’t simple, let’s face it, it’s easy to skip it. However, it much better to take a few minutes to pick up a few of these healthy habits to avoid being down for the count with the cold or flu.
Having young kids, I sympathize with adding more things to an already busy routine, which is why I make it a family habit.
Teaching kids at young ages to be healthy will be lessons that they will always carry with them.
My kids often remind me, “Hey, we didn’t wash our hands yet!”
They don’t want to get sick and they understand the WHY behind what we do.
Here are my tried and true, SIMPLE steps to help keep the germs way!
Seven simple steps to help keep the germs away:
1.) Wash your hands
I know, I know, we hear this all the time but it really is the best first defense against germs. This is especially important with small kids who touch EVERYTHING. (Ick!)
What I can also tell you is that it is good to wash your hands BEFORE you go somewhere and after. This helps reduce spreading your germs as well.
We use homemade soap infused with essential oils because it will naturally kill germs without harming your immune system.
2.) Diffuse essential oils
I honestly feel that this step has made a huge difference in the amount of colds we’ve gotten. Before we go anywhere that we will becoming in contact with people (or dirty waiting room toys), I diffuse oils that will help build the immune system. I love lavender and tea tree oils for this. (If you have older kids, peppermint and eucalyptus are great as well.)
Here’s a great (and pretty!) diffuser with great reviews on amazon.
I also diffuse when we get home. This helps clean the air and will fight anything we may have picked up. If you have kids bring home coats and backpacks, diffuse where they also will be around. That way you are killing anything that might have been carried in.
3.) Drink water
Drinking water is something that is important year round, not just in the summer. While it is easy to get dehydrated in the summer, during the winter months our lymphatic systems can become stagnate because of lack of activity.
Keep things moving by drinking water. This will help stimulate your immune system during an illness because it helps your body flush the germs.
4.) Keep your gut happy
A happy gut is a healthy body. The main part of your immune system is in your gut, so keeping it supplied with good bacteria will help make a stronger body. There are a few ways to do this but a good probiotic and/or fermented foods in your diet will help populate the good bacteria in your body.
There is a reason why some animals hibernate in the winter. Your body needs rest! That means getting to bed on time and getting in a full night’s sleep. This gives your body time to replenish, repair, and fight those germs off.
This is super important for kids that are growing. Their bodies absolutely need the time to rest!
6.) Eat a healthy diet
Keeping the junk food away will help keep the germs away. Build healthy bodies with healthy foods. You can make it fun by adding a variety of colorful veggies and fruit, which will help supply the minerals and vitamins your body needs to fight germs.
Winter is a time of supplements for our family. I like to make sure we are getting enough of what we need during times of illness. This comes in the form of cod liver oil, collagen/gelatin, food sources of vitamin C and grassfed beef liver (Did you know you can get a capsule or powder of this?).
I add those super foods to smoothies with some berries, steamed greens and coconut water every day to make sure we are starting off on the right foot. That way I know we have nourished bodies.
Keeping our children’s bodies healthy is a good foundation for them to stay healthy and be successful!
- 20 Ways to Stay Healthy While on the Road
- How to Stop a Cold Virus in its Tracks (My 24-Hour Protocol)
Abigail C Smas
I love being outside in the winter and dressing appropriately is key. I used to walk my dogs through the woods around the lake, a distance of a couple of miles. We went in every weather except high wind, ice covered trails, and temps below 10 degrees or so. I found that at first I would freeze, but then get overheated, so it was important I layer – of course! Now there are all kinds of specially constructed clothing and fabrics, but you don’t have to have anything more than what you’ve already got in your closet.
I’d wear a tank undershirt, turtleneck tucked into the sweatpants, hooded sweatshirt that zips.
A knit hat under the sweatshirt hood, a scarf over my face, a thinner outer coat that would accommodate the underlayers, also with a hood over the hat and the sweatshirt – and numerous deep pockets.
Long johns, sweat pants tucked into boots, snow pants or some kind of nylon, water resistant, over the outside of your boots.
Thin sox under thick sox, the outer sox over the bottoms of your sweat pants.
Thinner knit gloves, your turtleneck sleeves tucked in. Waterproof mittens over.
As you get warmer, start “unwrapping.”
Eventually I might have gloves, mittens, and hat in my pockets. My coat and hoodie would be unzipped, scarf unwrapped and hanging loose.
You can manipulate these alternatives to regulate your comfort, even tying the arms of the winter coat around your waist.
You’re a total pro!! Thanks for sharing the breakdown of how you do it. Dressing properly for the weather is so huge for how much you’re able to enjoy it. 🙂
This is a great list! I’m pretty sure the biggest reason most people get sick by Christmas is that they start junking out with sweets on Thanksgiving and don’t stop. Healthy eating has made a huge difference for our family.
Totally! Ours too. 🙂
Cool fresh air and sunshine! I’m determined to find warmer better and more comfortable outerwear for all of our family members to encourage even the wimpiest among us (me) to go outside more this fall and winter!
Dressing properly is totally key to enjoying cold weather. Where do you live? I’m in Canada, and it gets super cold in the winter!
We live in New England, and we still haven’t worked out the best outerwear combination to keep warm and not be too puffy to move around freely outside. Any brands of clothing that work well for you?
I like my long johns that I got from a company called MEC (I think it’s Canadian, but you would have similar stores in the U.S. Maybe like LL Bean?). They’re thin but warm. Hubby has a “long john” shirt as well. And I like my TNA parka – it keeps me perfectly warm even in totally freezing winter, but it’s not exactly thin. It does keep me warmer and more mobile than a bajillion sweaters when my coat isn’t warm enough though. So I definitely prefer it. And for my feet – I have tall, fur-lined ugg boots with a zipper, and they are amazingly warm! 🙂
Thank you that was very helpful. I am in the beginning process of trying to keeping my family healthy by doing it all natural. I would like to know what capsules/powder do you use.