(Photograph by Hilary Walker.)
Some sort of nasty head cold/general yuck has taken hold of the D office with a vengeance. We’re a coughing, sneezing mess around here friends. It’s not a good scene.
It’s especially not a good scene if you’ve got littles underfoot, as my preferred method of nursing a cold/flu/stomach virus is “taking to my bed,” and it’s common knowledge that “taking to your bed” is not really a viable option for moms.
So in the spirit of staying well, I asked Dr. Kate Naumes to share her best tips for avoiding getting sick in the first place. Here’s what she had to say…
The common cold is an acute, viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are many viruses which can cause the symptoms of the common cold. Infants and children are affected more often and tend to experience more prolonged symptoms than adults. So, what can you do to improve immunity and potentially ward off colds & the flu?
The key to prevention is consistency! Once a child or mom is sick with the cold or flu, there is only so much you can do to shorten the duration or decrease the intensity of symptoms. Consistency of good self-care is paramount to prevent frequent recurrences of the cold. So what is good self-care? Exercise, nutrition, sleep, community support, and stress management. Here are some of my tips for achieving each of these to help prevent seasonal illness.
- Moms: Take a 30-minute relaxing walk outside daily.
- Kids: Play outside.
- Kids and parents: Have a dance party at home, go on a family nature walk, or pull together an all ages flag football game on thanksgiving instead of sitting and watching football on TV.
- Aim to breastfeed your children for the first full year of life. This can be challenging for many women, however there are healthy, holistic steps you can take throughout pregnancy and postpartum to maximize the quality and duration of nursing.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of filtered tap water.
- Enjoy plenty of organic winter fruits and lightly steamed or cooked green leafy vegetables.
- Sleep more in the winter; the long nights are telling us something.
- Get eight hours of sleep on a regular basis. Kids need even more sleep. All that regular exercise you and your family are receiving will help you sleep better too — an added bonus.
Supportive Community and Stress Management
Happy people get sick less often. To that end, relax with close friends, share a healthy meal, take your toddler to the park and introduce yourself to a parent that you think you might like… Next week, I’ll discuss ways to reduce and manage day-to-day stress. Stay tuned.
Moms are overworked, overstressed, and under-rested, and that combination is a sure-fire way leave your body depleted! See my past post for tips on how to help determine which supplements are best for your individual needs.
Dr. Kate Naumes, ND runs a Holistic Wellness practice in uptown. When she’s not doing her best to get nine hours of uninterrupted shut eye every night, she’s counseling her clients about creative and tangible ways to increase their sleep in the pursuit of optimal wellbeing. She also provides pre-conception and infertility counseling, newborn and pediatric wellness care, as well as ongoing well-woman and menopause support. Learn more at naumesnd.com.