It’s that time of year where the seasons change, our immune system is run down from all the summer fun that we’ve stretched into autumn and every second person starts getting a cold.
(Not to mention the cold snap that is about to hit Melbourne tomorrow with a severity that hasn’t been seen in 40 years!)
Now I put the word ‘getting’ in italics because this is also the time where people start to BLAME others for catching a cold and I want to call B.S on that behaviour! No-one gives you a cold except yourself. Others may ‘host’ the virus and unknowingly assist in the spread of it but if you haven’t taken care of your health and your immune system consistently (like every day of the year, not just during the winter season) then you ultimately choose to put yourself at risk and enjoy a cold.
As humans we must take more responsibility for the state of our own health and become proactive rather than reactive. People with a strong and health immune system may still host a cold although their symptoms and severity will be reduced.
So you can take action now and reduce the severity, or you can wait until you have a cold and suffer with it longer.
What is a cold?
A cold begins when a virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat. Your immune system – the body’s defence against germs – sends out white blood cells to attack this invader. Unless you’ve had a run in with that exact strain of the virus before, the initial attack fails and your body sends in reinforcements. Your notes and throat get inflamed and make a lot of mucus. With so much of your energy directed at fighting the cold virus, you’re left feeling tired and miserable. Your body doesn’t have enough fuel in the tank to deal with fighting the invaders and dealing with the kinds of busy, stressful lifestyles we live in.
What you can do now for prevention
Ultimately a balanced healthy lifestyle should be your focus each day. Things such as:
- Regular sleep routine
- Healthy balanced meals
- leafy greens are great for the immune system
- meeting your vitamin and mineral requirements
- Lots of water
- Regular exercise
- Mindfulness practices
- Emotional awareness
What you can do if you have the first signs of a cold
When a cold strikes, you may have symptoms like:
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Mucus draining from your nose into your throat
More severe symptoms, such as high fever or muscle aches, may be a sign that you have the flu rather than a cold.
Immediate action you can take:
- If you are at work, GO HOME. Nothing at work is as important as your health, and respecting the health of others. Just because you are getting sick doesn’t mean it is a gift for you to share. You also will NEVER get a hero’s badge for pushing on at the expense of your future health.
- Increase your Vitamin C intake through orange and red fruits/veg and leafy greens or a supplement.
- Increase your zinc intake through seeds or a supplement.
- Increase garlic and/or horseradish which is really grate for sinusitis issues
- Olive leaf extract is high in antioxidants and boosts your immune system
- Sweat it out – allow the body the opportunity to heal. Don’t go to the gym to sweat it out, just relax at home, nestled on the couch or in bed with a warm blanket and chill the F out for a while.
- Eat easy to digest foods such as soups and bone broth. You want the body to invest all its energy in healing, not in breaking down a large steak.
- Bed rest – your cortisol levels will rise during this time as the body focuses on healing so actively help the body reduce those levels by resting.
Your highest priority in life is to take care of your body, so when it’s in a state of dis-ease, like when it’s fighting off a cold, your responsibility is to actively support the healing process.
If you listen to your body and the signs it sends you, you will know how to take care of your body. Medications can do more harm than good so heal naturally for long term health.
Be the leader in your workplace and make YOU priority #1. (and if you need a sick note I’ll write you one J)