Winter Immunity Tips to Help Dodge the “Trifecta”Dec 15, 2022
This winter is shaping up to be a challenging one in terms of staying well. As we navigate the desire for “normalization” after almost three years of living through a pandemic, many are choosing to socialize more. Spending time with friends and loved ones is integral to our mental well-being. But how to do that and stay healthy in current times?
The answer is specific to your mental and physical health needs and challenges, and those of your close community. But there are several things you can do to lessen the chance of coming down with the flu, COVID, RSV (the current “trifecta”) or a pesky cold, or any of the other viruses that are traveling around looking to set up “housekeeping” in your body:
Continue to mask in public places. I know, everyone is tired of wearing masks, but they work, both for preventing COVID and for other infections. Pre-COVID, mask-wearing was “normal” in many other countries. One of the side-effects of the pandemic is that mask-wearing has become normalized in the US (albeit politicized). So why not continue to wear your mask in airports, on planes, at the movies and concerts, and in other high-density situations? And any other situation where you feel you want to.
Don’t touch your face. This is a wellness habit that we have mentioned time and again, but it bears repeating, as it is really hard to not touch your face. While COVID is primarily spread via “shared air” many other viruses are spread through touch. Someone coughs in their hand and then touches a door knob. You come along and touch that doorknob and then rub your eye or nose. That virus says “thank you” for providing entrance into a hospitable environment to grow and flourish - and make you sick. NOTE: wearing a mask and not touching your face be at odds with each other, since putting a mask on can involve touching your face. My approach is to first hand sanitize, then place the mask on (and then hand sanitize again if it’s a repeat-use mask).
Get plenty of rest. A well-rested body is a strong body, and better able to ward off infections. A tired body is more vulnerable to infections. So get plenty of rest! Yes, life is busy. It’s always busy. But especially during the winter, prioritize your good health by getting plenty of rest. What is enough sleep? Do you wake feeling rested, rejuvenated, and ready to start your day? You got enough sleep. Sleep is not so much a number as a state of being.
Stress less. A relaxed body is a strong body, and better able to ward off infections. A stressed body is more vulnerable to infections. So make it a priority to stress less. Stress is, for the most part, a choice, one that you mostly make out of unconscious habit. You can choose to stress less by repeatedly and consciously interrupting your stress response. How to interrupt is different for different people, but instinctually you know what it is for you: music, breathing, movement, singing, talking to your dog, etc. Stressing less doesn’t have to be fancy, but you do have to make it a daily priority.
And please be considerate to others and stay home if you are sick. If you must be out and about when sick, wear a mask.
Kirstin Lindquist, L.Ac.
PS Did you know Energy Matters offers several on-demand classes, all of which can help you learn to stress less? Check out our library and give yourself a gift that truly will keep on giving!