Healthy days and the holidays!

If you’re anything like myself and my co-workers you are surrounded by sneezing, coughing, and congested people right now. It’s that time of the year when everyone gets sick, why is that?

I wanted to share with you a few of the reasons everyone is more susceptible to the common cold and flu during the holidays, and how to make it thru to New Years happy and healthy.

The first thing I want to talk about is SUGAR. Unfortunately I’m going to tell you to watch what you eat over the holidays!  Now I know this can be challenging with so many holiday parties. The reason we get sick so easily over the holidays is our immune system is weakened due to an increase in the amount of sugar we eat. In Chinese medicine the spleen takes what we eat and drink and turns it into usable energy-this energy then creates our immune system and protects us from viruses and bacteria.

Well the spleen doesn’t like sugar, when we start eating more sugar, the spleen gets weaker and in turn our immune system gets weaker, and we get sick!  So pick a few days over the holidays where you let yourself cheat and have sugar, this includes alcohol and breads. Then maintain a healthy diet the rest of the time. Increase the amount of cooked veggies you eat, including soups and stews. The spleen loves some cooked veggies!

Another reason we are more prone to getting sick is that our schedules and routine change. We go out more for holidays parties and stop our daily routines of exercise, stretching, cooking and getting a good nights rest. Your body replenishes itself at night, building more Qi and Blood which fuel your immune system. Do your best to maintain your exercise schedule and get those 7 to 8 hours of sleep! Supplements to take to help you rest at night are Calm and

Holy Basil (New Chapter brand is my favorite). Take these at night so your body rests well and you wake up feeling energized to keep up your daily health practices. Also if you regularly see a health practitioner, keep your appointments throughout the holidays. This can be difficult as our schedules get busier, but this if important to maintain a healthy immune system.

Lets talk about STRESS baby, yes stress can make you more susceptible to getting sick.

Stress effects us in many ways, one of those being weakening our immune system. This has to do with our Liver being effected by stress, stress interferes with the Liver’s job of moving Qi smoothly throughout our body. This means our Qi gets stuck and can’t create or maintain our immune system. Holiday season is a particularly stressful time, we travel more, eat more, and take care of ourselves less. Start a daily stress management practice now.  Even 10 minutes a day of meditation/deep breathing or a 20 minute relaxing walk (with no phone) will help your body and mind de-stress and give your Liver some assistance. This will also benefit your digestion, and no one likes to be bloated over the holidays..right ladies!

Get oiled up!  Essential oils are effective, smell fantastic and are easy to use. Best ones to use are Clove, Eucalyptus, Wild Orange, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Lavender.   Use a few drops on your palms as a hand sanitizer. And my favorite rub a mix of the oils on your neck to create a delicious smelling body protector, just rub them in to create some friction and off you go.

Don’t forget the greatest gift is our health, Enjoy a happy healthy holiday season!