Written by Mindy Priddy
1. the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.
2. an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.
What does wellness mean to you? Do you think of the physical aspects like being healthy, eating well, and staying active? Or do you think about your mind and mental health? Wellness certainly encompasses all of these aspects and much more.
We are about halfway through this year’s flu season and it has been a harsh one to say the least. The virus has been spreading like crazy across the entire country and I am sure you know of someone, or even yourself, that has been affected.
To take care of #1 (YOU, duh!), I have put together a brief list of suggestions and preventative steps that should help keep you physically well this flu season. My inner germ-freak is so excited to share with you.
- First and foremost, wash your hands with warm, soapy water or use hand sanitizer! This simple act can help keep bacteria and viruses from spreading. It is important to do this at times other than just after using the restroom. For instance, after you have used the debit or credit keypad at the grocery store, after checking out that new book at the book shop, or after touching door handles while you are out running errands. But you also want to make sure you wash or sanitize after sneezing, blowing your nose, or covering your cough. These are crucial moments because if you already feel crappy, your first thought probably doesn’t drift to exerting more effect.
- If handwashing or sanitizing isn’t something you typically do, it might take some mindfulness to work this practice into your normal everyday routine, but it will be well worth it in the end.
- Hydrate! Water would be the best option, but if you don’t enjoy the taste, Gatorade, or infused water works too (try lemon and cucumber). If you stay hydrated, your body will be able to stand a better chance against germs. It also helps flush out mucus if you have been feeling a little stuffy or congested. Because lemon is a natural expectorant, it doesn’t hurt to add a few slices in hot water. Grab your favorite mug and you are ready to conquer!
- Some good ol’ rest and relaxation. Taking time for yourself is extremely important whether it be for mental rejuvenation or for physical renewal. When you are exposed to germs and viruses, your immune system goes into overdrive to help protect you from them. It has to work even harder if you are constantly going out, working long hours, and not giving yourself a break to catch up and slow down. Try to listen to your body if you start feeling weak or fatigued. Lay around and read a few chapters in your favorite book, watch the movie you’ve been itching to see, or take a long, hot bath. Taking a night or two off could save you from a week or two of being sick and from an even worse doctor’s bill.
- Indulge in the good stuff. And when I say good stuff, I mean fruits and vegetables! It’s the same old tune you have heard your whole life, I get it. But there is a reason for it. These guys are filled with vitamins and minerals that nourish your body and help in maintaining a healthy life. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are loaded with vitamins and minerals and can be your best friend if you start feeling sickly. Proteins are important too, so don’t forget to add a scoop of quinoa!
The takeaway here? Listen to YOUR body. It usually has quite a bit to say if you take the time for yourself. All of these are merely suggestions (as I am no medical professional) that work for me and I hope that they can work for you as well. At the end of the day though, you gotta do what makes you feel your best physically, mentally, and emotionally. These are the roots of what it means to be well. So, get out there and grow!