This time of year, during these long and cold winter months, it seems like everyone is sick in one way or another. This is why I had to write my 5 tips to manage winter allergies.
Our Madilyn is now in 2nd grade and Juliana is now in preschool so I often wonder if they are bringing home germs. Also, my hubby, Brian, is in a doctor's office all day so I am sure he is bringing home a fair share of bugs. For years, my husband would get this cough for WEEKS in the winter and we were always trying to figure out what was the cause. He was miserable. Yes, I thought it was a "man cold!" The. Worst. Now, I are wondering if it is allergies. WINTER allergies.
I have never really thought about winter allergies. When I think about allergies, I think about springtime - fresh flowers, cut grass, dust and loads and loads of pollen. I have dealt with allergies my entire life. One thing I am confident about - the better I eat, exercise, drink loads of water, take care of myself, well, my allergy symptoms are not as bad.
My understanding is that a common winter cold lasts for about a week. If symptoms are hanging on for weeks on end, well, it's probably allergies.
Below are my 5 tips to manage winter allergies:
1. Probiotics. In fact, don't run and get an antibiotic as soon as you don't feel well. Antibiotics are only effective if a bacterial infection is present. Yes, antibiotics have their place and I am so grateful that they are available for those who really need them. However, they are way overused in our society. Three reasons I don't take them unless absolutely necessary - 1. Antibiotics don't kill viral infections. 2. antibiotics don't just kill bad bacteria, they kill good bacteria that we need and 3. overuse builds up resistance. Load up on probiotic rich foods and/or a high quality supplement. Especially, get your probiotics in if you are taking an antibiotic. Probiotics don't have to be in capsule form. You can eat probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, etc. Get creative! My favorite capsuled probiotics is Garden of Eden brand. You can find at most vitamin shops and grocery stores. Click here because Amazon even sells them and they can show up on your doorstep!
2. Loads of hot tea. High quality tea (I LOVE this kind) with lemon, local honey and ginger. A couple slices of fresh ginger root in your tea can soothe a cough or scratchy throat. Local honey helps the immune system. I also gargle with honey and lemon water with a little salt when I feel really phlegmy. Lemon is thought to reduce phlegm. A steaming mug of hot tea not only contains allergy fighting goodness, it also provides lots of steam that goes up your nose while you drink it! Nasal moisture is key.
3. Minimize allergens. Now, that my hubby's symptoms are getting better and the Christmas tree (we really think he may be allergic to real Christmas trees!) is out of the house, I am wondering if that could have been a culprit. Ugh. Maybe we will have to get a fake tree next year. NO! I don't think I can do it. I am also trying to be extra diligent with cleaning our bedding, blankets, giving the dog extra baths, etc.
4. Quality air. Moisture in the air is key. Running a couple humidifiers in your home may help. However, make sure you check your humidifiers often for mold. You definately don't want mold spores in the air! Also, I am in LOVE with Young Living essential oils. I particularly love Thieves which I use in the diffuser daily.
5. Take care of yourself. Try to get more sleep. Eat the best you can (like Pumpkin Cinnamon Pancakes, and Kale and Feta Pasta!) and try to get out of the house when you can. Try to move everyday. Cold weather is no excuse. Put on your warm, snow clothes and get outside - take a winter walk, make a snowman with your kids, and shovel the sidewalk. Exercise and be a good example for your kids!
Now, if only I can get my hubby to try all of these suggestions. Right?!?!
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