Many people I know, with & without small kids at home, expect to get sick several times a year. Every Autumn I watch my own Facebook newsfeed report the complete take-down of households all over the country as hundreds of people I know succumb to the stomach flu. Facebook also tells me how many of my friends and acquaintances are dealing with colds, flus, & sick kids.
If you’re like most of the folks I know, you probably keep getting sick year after year. Do you dread it when you find out there’s a stomach bug going around & start washing your hands over 100 times per day?
Here are 6 reasons why you keep getting sick (and what to do about it) –
1) You’re not getting enough time outdoors.
Being outside is crucial for our health. It makes all of our organs function properly, including our brains – which determine our chemistry on many levels. Even when it’s Winter, we need to dress warmly and enjoy time outside during daylight hours. Walks in fresh air, skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, hiking & playing with the kids outside are crucial for our health. What to do about it? Spend more time outside!
2) You aren’t getting enough minerals & nutrients – especially magnesium.
Magnesium is a building block of energy. We need it to handle stress & we use it up handling stress. That means when it’s very cold outside we’re using it up, or when we are tending to any of our daily tasks. What to do about it? Epsom or sea salt baths are a great way to replenish magnesium stores in the body – we absorb it into our bloodstream through the skin. You can also use this magnesium oil externally on sore muscles, or in general.
3) You’re not getting enough Vitamin D.
Yes, you need sunlight to get Vitamin D, but that’s not all. If you live in a place that is cold, dark and cloudy in the winter, you likely need to supplement with Vitamin D. What to do about it? Take a daily Vitamin D supplement in the winter (there’s one for KIDS too). Cod Liver Oil is also essential for great health, as is fatty fish. Eat plenty of saturated fat from healthy, naturally raised animals, including pastured chickens, grass-fed beef & foraged pork.
4) You’re not getting enough sleep.
Whether it is anxiety, insomnia, or just a fondness for other night-time activities, our bodies need 8-10 hours per night of uninterrupted sleep on average. Sleep is crucial for hormonal health, mental health, liver health, and immunity. If your adrenals are functioning well, you won’t be able to fight off anything. If you’ve got a newborn, you may have to keep your expectations lowered temporarily, & make naps and rest-periods work for you. If you’re still losing sleep over your 3 year old it’s time to give your immune system a boost and get some solid shut-eye. What to do about it? Get some shut eye. If you lie awake at night, try some salt and honey under your tongue to reset your adrenals at bedtime.
5) Your diet doesn’t contain enough nutrient-dense foods.
You should be eating sauerkraut & other fermented/ probiotic foods every day. You should be eating meats cooked with the bone in and making soup out of the bones. You should be soaking your grains, limited refined white sugar, and limited overly processed white flours & products to about 20% of your diet. What to do about it? Start slowly by simply making one or two healthy choices per day. You will cover huge terrain in no time with a steady pace and continued willingness. A probiotic supplement is highly recommended for nearly everyone, even kids – at the very least for a three-month period to re-colonize your digestive tract with the healthy, good guys.
6) Your stress is getting the best of you.
If all of these other items are in place and you’re still getting sick all of the time, your stress is getting the best of you. The energy it takes to keep those internal emotions at bay is taking a toll on your body. You may not even realized you are stressed. What to do about it? Make a list of stressors. Cross out the ones you can do nothing about. Find ways to navigate your life to reduce the ones you can change, and if all else fails, work on managing your emotions. Panic, anxiety, and frustration are all a normal part of being human. Go to the batting cages, start journaling, stretch, or meditate. Whatever works for YOU is what is best for your body.
This post is linked to Thank Your Body Thursday.
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