The cold season has officially sprung! And unfortunately for us, this season comes with runny noses, clogged chests and a lot of coughing, that I’m sure you and your family could do without. It can result in high medical fees and time away from the office to take care of the family, causing strain on the household. Colds and winter bugs spread around the family like wildfire. It does, however, help to take preventative measures and equip you and your family to stay healthy and happy this winter.
Here are five measures I will be taking to protect my family this winter season:
1. Starting Smart
Begin the day with a nutritious meal. Take care of all your nutritional requirements early in the day to boost your system and help the body fight against unhealthy toxins. Eat foodstuffs that contain sufficient vitamins and minerals that will serve the body. Immune boosting snacks, are on my mommy list for keeping my family at their best. Anything with Vitamin C is a must have! Oranges, naartjies, dried fruit, nuts are just some of the things they enjoy.
2. Sleep Tight
Getting enough quality rest each night is one important factor to keep your immune system healthy and strong. To name a few benefits, maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern helps the body repair itself and helps us function better during the day. Should you find that you struggle to sleep, try implementing small adjustments like avoiding caffeine before bed, stay away from your phone 30mins before sleeping, avoid heavy meals after 8pm. I find tucking my son in 15 mins prior, to read him a bedtime story helps him settle down and relax. My family and I are early birds, we sleep and wake up early, so we try to limit activity in the evenings. All families are unique, find out what works for yours.
3. Keep Warm
Generally, every year at the beginning of autumn, I budget for what I call ‘Family Winter Essentials’ that I stock up for my family and I. These include essentials like vests, long johns, socks, warm pajamas and warm stockings for mommy. You can get quality items from Woolworths or Cotton On. Make sure you fill those gas cylinders for your gas heaters. And for some who are lucky to have a fireplace, make sure your firewood is well stocked at home. For safety reasons, consider switching the heater or setting up the fire in advance to warm the spaces, then switch off and enjoy the warmth with the family. Be extra vigilant and careful with your little ones.
4. Keep Active
Keep the family active by choosing family outings that are active and equally fun, for example, Bounce. Physical activity or exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. A minimum of 30mins a day can allow you to enjoy benefits.
5. Keep a handle on Hygiene
Most doctors advise that families vaccinate annually and that it lowers the chances of catching the flu. Other than vaccinating, encourage your kids to practice hygienic practices to help protect themselves against germs. I’ve gone as far as planting sanitizers, hand washes, and wipes in most spaces of the household; the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and the car. Your child’s bestie has the sniffles? Now is not a good time for a sleepover. Protect your little ones but also keep them home when ill to avoid them infecting other little kids. It’s also important to be conscious about your own health and how you feel and quickly self-medicate at the slightest hint. Common and early signs that we often ignore are fatigue, weakness, aching muscles, and headaches … listen to your body and take action instantly!
Share ideas on how you are protecting your family this cold season in the comments below.