Cough. Sneeze. Sniffle. Sniffle. I think I’m getting a cold, I need hot tea!
It’s that wonderful time of year when kids (and parents!) are all getting sick. It’s probably the cold weather. The busy schedules. The late bedtimes and mixed up routines. And, all the sugar from holiday treats.
Those nasty cold bugs start circulating, and it gets harder and harder to fight them off. As a mom of three, I dread those four little words: “I don’t feel well.” Or even worse, the fussy baby who can’t say what’s bothering her.
My big kid is almost nine, which means I’ve had a few years of cold season to figure out a cold busting routine that works for us. I’ve built up some tricks and techniques that help keep the sniffles away this time of year—not only for my kids, but for me too.
It’s all about the zzzz’s. All those parties and family dinners and late nights mean your kids will likely be missing their bedtimes, falling asleep on the go, and having their routines up-ended. Be sure to off-set those late night holiday parties with early to bed nights—for you and your kids! Book some time in your schedule to do nothing, and stick to it.
Consider a family movie marathon or quiet afternoon ‘rest hour’ where everyone takes the down time they need. The more sleep you can get during this crazy time of year, the better chance you have of beating off bugs!
(Hint: Give your down-time a boost and try listening to a guided meditation.
2. Eat well.
It may seem obvious, but it is so easily ignored. I find winter a really hard time of year to eat well. Pickings are slim when it comes to fresh produce, and I’m so much more tempted to eat comfort foods like cookies and cake and crackers and cheese.
I have to make a much more conscious effort to incorporate fruits and veggies in my diet. But, I know a healthy diet goes a long way toward boosting immunity, so I do my best to feed myself and my kids well throughout the winter.
(Hint: Give yourself a week–or month–off from cooking and have Healthy Meals delivered to your door!)
3. Take your vitamins.
I know not everyone believes in vitamins, but I find they really work well for my kids. My 9-year-old takes a multivitamin and vitamin D every day, and takes vitamin C when she’s fighting something.
I like the Nature’s Plus brand, it’s worked well for us, and I believe it really helps! I also add Deep Immune astragalus drops to my daughter’s water when she’s getting sick. She also gets lots of vitamins from the foods she eats.
(Hint: To get my daughter to take her vitamin and eat healthy foods, I talk about all the positive results she can expect: i.e. grow taller, dance better, run faster, and stay healthy so she can play more! That’s all it takes to get her on board.)
Stress can get in the way of a healthy holiday season. And while it’s supposed to be all about family and fun this time of year, stress can certainly creep in. We’re all just so busy!
This one is mostly for the parents, although kids can feel stress too, and can be impacted by it. (When I’m feeling anxious or stressed out my daughter tends to misbehave, she picks up on my energy and mirrors it back in a way that just adds to my stress.)
So, how do you avoid stress? Make sure you get all of your obligations taken care of early so you can take some time to actually enjoy the holidays. Make yourself a priority, no matter what. And remember that this is a season of love, joy, and peace…don’t take all the little stuff so seriously.
(Hint: Having trouble getting calm? Essential oils can be incredibly calming in the face of anxious times. My favorite oils come from a line called doTERRA. I especially love lavender massaged into my neck and shoulders or splashed into a warm bath.)
5. Be grateful.
This is a really good time of year to remember what you’re grateful for. It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping, the spending, the cooking, and the entertaining, but try to take time to feel the feelings associated with the holiday, appreciate the people surrounding you, and breathe in the love.
Try writing a list before bed of everything you’re grateful for. It can be little things like five minutes to yourself in the morning before your kids wake up, or big things, like the love and support of your family. Just the act of writing the list will start to shift your mood.
Happiness has been shown to boost immunity, so the better you’re feeling about things in your life, the happier you’ll be, and the more likely you’ll be to stay healthy during this chaotic season.
(Hint: Another way to boost your mood is to do something nice and unexpected for someone in need. Buy a gift or two and donate them to a local toy drive, do some baking for a friend who doesn’t have family around over the holidays, volunteer in your community or at a local soup kitchen, or call someone who could use your support and lend an ear.
The more I’m able to help others, the better I feel about myself.