Boosting Your Winter Immune System

Is it the flu? Omicron? Strep? It is more important than ever that we keep ourselves healthy. Here are a few reminders to boost our immune systems this winter so we can fight off those pesky viruses.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is one of the easiest and most important ways of keeping our immune system thriving. Your body rejuvenates in your sleep, giving your immune system the time it needs to recover from a day of fighting off infections. You should aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night to ensure that your body is functioning at its very best. Getting enough sleep is also important for maintaining your mental health, an important part of your physical health. 

Drink Water!

Staying hydrated is another easy way to keep yourself operating at 100%. The human body is made mostly of water – and requires it to function. Staying hydrated also helps the body to flush out toxins and improves the ability to concentrate. So, drink up!

Load Up On Nutrients

Eating nutrient rich food is not only delicious, but also incredibly beneficial for your immune system. Now is the time to eat seasonal vegetables, load up on the stews, and eat all the warm and cozy comfort foods we can get our hands on. Eating foods rich in vitamin C are also amazing for the immune system, such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, and maitake mushrooms. If you’re looking for a natural sweetener, try out some local honey! Honey is perfect for soothing a sore throat, as it contains antimicrobial properties and is full of minerals.

If you’re worried that your diet just isn’t cutting it, don’t be afraid to add in some supplements. Taking a multivitamin is recommended by most doctors these days, and they’re easy to find in any drugstore (for my ladies, make sure you get a vitamin with iron and calcium!). You can also throw in a vitamin C supplement to keep your immune system running on all cylinders.

Keep Things Clean

I can’t say this enough: wash your hands! There were tons of articles going around at the beginning of the pandemic on the importance of washing your hands (and also how to properly do it – 30 seconds, guys, at least 30 seconds), and I think it’s important that we don’t stop talking about it. Everything we touch is covered in germs. And then when we touch our face, eyes, or nose, those germs can make their way into our bodies and get us sick. So, let’s make things a little easier on the immune system by keeping our hands clean. A travel size is super convenient to keep in your purse for on the go sanitizing.

While keeping our hands clean is important, we also need to keep in mind the items that we use on a daily basis. For example: our cell phones. Our phones are the perfect petri dish for germs; we touch them all the time, and they don’t often get cleaned. After washing your hands, take a disinfectant wipe to that screen and give it a good rub down. If you’re feeling fancy, you can invest in a UV phone sanitizing case like this one from Amazon. 

Keep other surfaces in your home clean with disinfecting wipes. Pay close attention to things that get touched and used on a regular basis – door knobs, kitchen appliances, sink faucets, etc. Giving everything a once over with the Lysol will not only make it sparkling clean, but also give you some peace of mind. 

Take Care of Your Mental Health

While physical health may be our primary focus this time of year, it is also important to devote some time to our current wellness routines. Staying consistent with our mental health maintenance is an important step in maintaining physical health; we’re telling our bodies it is business as usual, no need for alarm. So stick with your exercising, your journaling, and your self-care – a healthy mind will help create a healthy body. 

It is crucial to stay healthy this time of year – there is almost nothing worse than being sick in the winter. Keeping up with our healthy habits will help us to stay in our best immune shape, and give us the energy we need to take on all that this season has to offer.

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. By Jen Oliak.