Last year I missed Christmas. Flat on my back in bed with a spiking fever, I lay miserable as the rest of my family went over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house. As an adult, missing Christmas isn’t the worst thing ever but when you’re a kid missing Christmas is totally and completely a deal breaker!
So,this year I have only one item on my Christmas list. My simple request doesn’t even use up that much space on a piece of paper. In fact, it’s only one word.
It’s not like I’m asking for Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men. I’d just like my entire family to be healthy for the holidays. Somehow though, the grasp of health is fleeting. Windows shut tight against the frigid air, classrooms full of green noses, and treats galore, all add up to the perfect environment for germs to flourish.
I am determined though. The germs have no chance against my arsenal of tricks this year!
Beyond washing our hands constantly and covering sneezes what more can we do? Here are 8 Ways to Win the War on Germs:
1. Keep your fingers out of your eyes
I was never so sick as when I taught kindergarten. Cute a those little sweeties were, they were positively germ habitats. After the worst ear infection of my life (which included permanent hearing loss in one ear) I learned that touching your eyes with your fingers is like having a sick kid sneeze in your eyeball (which my kids have done to be more than once). There’s no doubt, you’re gonna get sick. Your mouth at least has some acids which have a chance of killing off the little beasties, and, as an adult, it’s not too hard to keep your fingers out of your nose (although, I’ve seen many a fellow driver with a finger shoved firmly up a nostril), but your eyes are a nice moist environment that would love to take every bleeping germ and give it a comfy safe haven to expand and explore. If you have itchy eyes blink, let your eyes water, use the inside of your shirt if you must but DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES WITH YOUR FINGERS! (sorry for shouting but it’s that important)
2. Avoid touching public doors, handles, shopping carts, etc. when possible.
Keep in mind that cold viruses can live outside of the body for up to 6 hours! So if the last person to use that grocery cart had a cold, wiped his nose with a tissue and then held that same tissue whilst holding the handle of the shopping cart, guess what happens when you come along? This is one of the few times I’ll use one of those antibacterial wipes provided by the store. Shopping carts are germ factories!
3. Just say No….to Sugar
When you start to crave sugar and processed carbohydrates watch out! It’s often a clue that you’re on the verge of getting sick. Germs subsist and regenerate rapidly when fed sugar. So if your body is fighting off a bug and you suddenly crave sugar or donuts or ice cream, help a brother out and have an orange instead. It’s just those nasty bugs trying to trick you into supporting the enemy.
4. Do More Laundry
Yeah, I know. Who has time for more laundry? Here’s the dealio. If you have a little one- you know, one of those small creatures that likes to roll around on the floor, pick his nose and share it with a friend, then you’ll be amazed by how much it helps with the germ population to have him change clothes when he gets home from preschool. Then, he’s not sharing those germ laden clothes with the carpet, you, and every doorknob in the house. Trust me, it’s worth it.
5. Take a Breath of Fresh Air
Anytime I open a window in the winter I hear my mom “I’m not paying to heat the outdoors!” However, with our fancy new-fangled houses and windows, we’ve shut ourselves in so efficiently that fresh air is not able to circulate. It’s the same old air going round and round in our houses. That’s why it’s important to crack a window or two every day, and if you can manage, sleep with the window cracked. It lets fresh air in, and you’ll be less likely to pass that virus around from one family member to the next.
6. Sleep with an onion by your bed
Onions always tend to rot in my pantry but they last beautifully in a bowl by my bed. Click here to learn why I sleep with onions.
7. Take extra Vitamin C
Since Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin it can’t be replenished within the body. It has to be “sourced.” Vitamin C helps support the body’s immune system. That’s why it’s important to eat foods (kiwi,citrus, bell peppers) rich in vitamin C whenever possible, but especially during cold and flu season. If you prefer to take a supplement, here is a non-synthetic powdered form that I use and recommend.
8. Learn to love Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is very high in vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is fat soluble, so it’s important to take it either suspended in oil, or when you eat something that has a little fat in it. Milk is fortified with vitamin D, which is fabulous because it also aids in the absorption of calcium, however, if you live in North America it’s very difficult to get enough vitamin D during the winter and milk alone won’t do it. Having low levels of vitamin D can lead to major problems like multiple sclerosis, but being deficient also weakens the immune system. If you can’t talk Santa into a trip to Hawaii for Christmas then you’ll have to supplement. I personally take 3000 IU/day and give my kids 1000 IU/day (not including the raw milk we drink and cod liver oil we take). Click here for Vitamin D drops I use. Click here for the Cod Liver Oil I recommend.
By the way, just in case the picture up top wasn’t clear, that’s someone sneezing. Show it to your kids and remind them why it’s so important to use your elbow when you sneeze (we call this using your “cough couch” in our house. It’s also a “cough container, cough corner, cough center.”)
May Health and Happiness be yours this Christmas Season!
If you’d like more ideas to help your family stay healthy check out last years article on germ warfare.