By Guest Blogger Tricia Sheehan, Certified Health Coach

We all know that we tend to get sick more often between October and February…. But do we know WHY?  Is it the cooler temperatures? Spending more time inside spreading germs between each other?

Here are the real reasons we tend to get sick in the winter months….. Several of these will surprise you!

  1. Lack of sun exposure and the Vitamin D we get from the sun
  1. Increased intake of sugar and alcohol
  1. More stress
  1. Not drinking enough clean water (happens more natural in the hot summertime but is still so important year-round!)

So what’s a parent to do?  There are so many ways to keep yourself and your kids healthy (and at school!)  this winter season….. and not have it be a months-long flu season at your house.  HEALTH creates resistance to illness and the secret is to care for your health BEFORE you are sick!  Here’s how:

  • Up your Vitamin D. This can be spending 20 minutes outside if it’s warm enough for the sun to hit your skin or you can supplement with Vitamin D.  Ask your doctor about the right dose for you.
  • Get more sleep. Your body is in restore and refresh mode while you are sleeping and without adequate rest, all functions in the body will be compromised including your immune system.
  • Use high quality essential oils. They are Mother Nature’s gift to us!  Oils can be used aromatically or topically to boost the immune system and to help your body manage symptoms.  Look for Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Rosemary and Eucalyptus essential oils which smell amazing and work synergistically to boost your immunity.
  • Eat probiotic-rich foods like fermented veggies, Kombucha or Natto. You can also take a high quality probiotic supplement.  Did you know that your immune system is built in your gut, which needs these “good” bacteria?
  • Clean up your diet. Think of your body like a car…. Even if the maintenance is good, if you give it bad gas you WILL have problems.  Your body also needs good inputs to do its job and keep you healthy.  Look for whole, organic, unprocessed foods free of artificial colors, flavorings and dyes.  Amp up your clean filtered water, veggies, fruits, protein, bone broth and fiber while cutting back on sugar, alcohol and caffeine.  When you feel better, you’ll see how well worth it that was!
  • Add antiviral herbs to your diet – many come in tea form making this very simple to do. Look for Echinacea, elderberry, cat’s claw, licorice root, ginger, garlic and oregano.
  • Manage your stress. This time of year is inevitably busy but where you can, limit your activities so you have more free time for relaxing hobbies, massage, meditation, and more sleep.  Over-scheduled kids are also more likely to get sick so consider cutting back on their activities as well so they have plenty of down time.

Remember, there are 4 seasons in a year and “flu” is not one of them.  This year can be a healthier one for you and your family!  If you need more guidance, seek the services of a health coach or empower yourself with information about natural solutions and remedies.