For some of us, the kids just went back to school. For others, it’ll be just a few more weeks. In about a month, we’ll start to see runny noses, scratchy throats and an on-slot of coughs.
Even if you don’t have kids in school, you’re exposed the back-to-school crud too anywhere you go in the community where those families hang out most (grocery store, church, their hair salon).
August is the time where we should be focused on ‘priming’ our immune system. 3 months from now we’ll be headed into the holidays, can you believe it?
Here are some of our family’s top habits.
1. Drink 1/2 my body weight in oz of lemon water at room temp and add in 10 drops of trace minerals. This helps my elimination pathways gently cleanse each day. I get bored easily so I like to spice up what I’m drinking out of – water bottles like this (I’m a HUGE fan of blues/teals)
2. Get outside. I like to walk barefoot in my yard and garden/weed without gloves to come in contact with as many microorganisms as possible. I also avoid sunscreen and sunglasses as much as possible to fully maximize my vitamin D exposure. When I’ve had enough, you’ll find me in a cotton visor or ball cap, 99% of that time. I love this one – plain, simple and great for those of us who are super sweaty!
3. Deep breathing
4 counts in, hold for 7, out for 8. You can do this in your car, at the grocery store or even at your desk at work. I created this video to demonstrate 3 year ago – an oldie but goodie.
4. Diffuse complementary essential oils
Stress (mind + body) is the root cause of inflammation. Coupled with deep breathing next to the diffuser, these essential oils have a tremendous positive impact.
5. Lift weights, plank or do push-ups
At times, my ‘workouts’ are dynamic and have to fit my on-the-go lifestyle. Any movement counts. For example, I choose to carry the 50lb bags/boxes of elderberries for my ‘weights’ vs using a dolly. I’ll carry 48lbs of honey through a farmer’s market and really concentrate on the way in which I bend to pick up the boxes and how I’m firing my glutes & core when I walk back to the car.
Planking is just plain fun to do and I can squeeze in a couple of push-ups every now and again (modified, of course – bad wrists). Fun fact: In ’16-’17, I had my entire office planking. I’d send a text, we’d gather in one of the shared offices and plank on the floor, in our skirts and all. Then, we’d do a 2-minute wall sit. Not sure the Chief Marketing Officer was a fan but we had fun none-the-less.
6. Take supplements
While eating clean is admirable, the fact of the matter is that our soil isn’t all that it was once cracked up to be. So, I choose to supplement. I admit I slack in the summer, and now is a great time to get more consistent. Here’s what I currently use.
7. Sleep 7-10hrs
We don’t hold the belief that kids need to be up and at ’em. We let them SLEEP. We believe that they’re sleeping because their bodies need it, not because they have a teenage vendetta or are lazy.
Sleep is critically important to our emotional and physical wellbeing, both of which have a direct impact on our immune system. And while I’d LOVE to sleep past 4:30a, I make sure I’m in bed plenty early to net enough hours. Here are some of my favorite sleep tools:
Acupressure Mat | Eye Mask | Room Darkening Curtains | ElderTea
8. Avoid sugar
Sugar is more addictive than cocaine (study 1 and study 2). As we head into the upcoming months that are ladened with overindulgence (Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas), it’s important to build up that stamina to lessen, or completely ditch, all foods that contain processed sugar now, rather than later.
Sugar alternatives: Date Syrup | Monk Fruit | Black Strap Molasses | Raw Honey | Maple Syrup
Raw honey & maple syrup can be found at your local farmers’ market. We take a farmer-first approach in our family but linking to online sources above for those who don’t have access.
9. Remove toxic, or overly negative people
It’s rare that you hear about this as a health benefit but emotional health drives our physical ailments. Distancing yourself from others’ drama creates healthy boundaries and protects your body from unnecessary inflammation.
I regularly go through an online and in-person detox practice, choosing where to invest my energy. Even if they are family. Even if they are at your school. Even if you’re in a leadership position and *have* to see them frequently – it can be done.
It’s the back half of 2022 and we’re coming upon another politically-driven emotional roller-coaster. Dedicate your energy to people and things, carefully.
10. Ditch all the chemical cleaners, body care products & room fresheners
What we breathe in goes directly to our bloodstream. Choose vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. Create your own essential oil blend to add to lotions, wear as a perfume, and make a room spray or carpet deodorizer.
Establishing healthy habits should be a priority right now to prime the immune system for what’s to come. What we do today will have an impact, good or bad, 90 days from now.
How else are you priming your immune system? What healthy habits does your family participate in this time of year to get ready for the Fall?