by Violet Green
Did you succumb to “coldmaggedon” this winter season?
Well lucky you!
Many of the rest of us were not so fortunate. When we had cold and flu season last year in San Diego, I remember there were lots of colds and sniffles and even some serious cases of whooping cough. This year’s version seems more like a stuffy head cold with some sore throat and chest congestion. It tends to last for a couple of weeks and then lingers for a couple more.
I hope you’ve got sick time to use to rest and recuperate before going back to your daily routine. Your friends and colleagues will thank you for staying away.
While you’re home resting, try to drink warm teas and broths to soothe your throat and nourish your body. The extra fluids will help you flush out the gunk too.
I’m convinced that our collective immunity is down this season. In addition to all of the pressure of everyday life, we’ve been under stress for many months leading up to the election and, for most of us, that stress just increased after November 8. Good self-care is the best weapon against oppression.
When you take good care of your physical body, you’ll find that you have more energy, can think more clearly, and can plan for whatever comes your way – whether it’s a nutritious snack while you run around town doing errands, or a political march to stand up for human rights.
You might ask, what does good self-care look like? It varies from person to person. For me, it means remembering that going to bed “early” leads to easier waking in the morning.
The three-year-old in me wants to stay up all night just in case I miss out on something exciting. The adult me crawls into bed in time to get a solid eight hours of sleep and wonders why I always fight it so much. My bed is my sanctuary because I made it that way.
When I was in college, sleep was a luxury. I might get three or four hours some nights, but none other nights. I went to school full-time and worked full-time to support my daily living.
After graduation, I vowed to make my bed and bedroom a place of luxury and quiet. I bought my first real bed, put amazingly soft sheets on it, and invested in beautiful, light-blocking curtains. So, as long as I can turn off my brain, I’ve got the ultimate setting for deep, restful sleep. Now, I know that enough sleep translates to alarm-free waking in the morning, patience throughout my day, and sustained energy to make it to the end of the day.
My self-care routine also includes whole food nutrition, plenty of water, and exercise to keep my body moving and flexible. We all feel overwhelmed at times with trying to be better about our nutrition and exercise, so try to think of self-care as you would helping a friend in need.
What’s one small step that you can make today? Have a cup of tea instead of coffee? Drink a glass of water at lunch instead of soda? Or, maybe you’ll walk around the park with a friend instead of sitting together in a coffee shop. Could you replace one of your salty, crunchy snacks with raw celery sticks or carrots? It’s really just one small step at a time.
What will your self-care step be today?