Disclaimer: This article is intended to be a general post about maintaining health and wellness and is not published by a medical professional. Please see your medical provider if you have symptoms of concern or require treatment.
At 7am, we want to support our community to be their healthiest and happiest selves. Holistic health is not just limited to non-toxic nail care and personal care products, but maintaining our immunity during the dreaded cold and flu season…
Feeling that runny nose or tickle in the back of your throat? We have a few tips to stay on top of our health and put ourselves in the best position possible this winter.
Sleep is not only beneficial for our health, but proper sleep hygiene is a foundational pillar of our wellbeing. Getting in the recommended 7-8 hours should not be considered a luxury, but rather, a NECESSITY.
Sleep has been proven to reduce your risk of chronic disease such as diabetes by regulating our hunger hormones and preventing overconsumption of calories and carbohydrates during the day. Adequate sleep also allows our brains to “clean house” so to speak, thereby boosting our immunity and improving cognitive function & mood. Think of sleep as the time were our bodies are able to cleanse, digest food, and repair damaged cells - sounds pretty important right??
Setting yourself up for a good night's sleep does not need to be a long, drawn-out process of massage oils, baths, elixirs, and a 12-step skincare routine. Let’s focus on the basics and work from there. As with anything “wellness-related”, aim for consistency over perfection.
First things first - get natural light in the morning - Sunlight is crucial for regulating our circadian rhythm and regulating our hormones which can get disrupted with late nights and lots of bluelight. In Chicago where the sunny days are pretty limited in the winter, even the light through the clouds can help to balance us and blue light glasses are wondering for filtering the brightness of our screens. Talk to your provider if you are curious about your Vitamin D levels and want to supplement.
Be consistent with your sleep schedule - Waking up and going to sleep at the same times every day helps support your circadian rhythm.
Reduce blue light - Bright light suppresses melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. If you can’t get away from screens, especially with lots of us working remotely, try blue light glasses and turn down the brightness of those devices to reduce eye strain.
Now, let’s break down some additional tools we can have in our pockets to boost our immunity!
Avoid eating large meals, alcohol, and caffeine before bedtime and replace with another habit such as tea with ginger and lemon to aid digestion.
Set your thermostat in the 60s. Cool temperatures are best for sleep quality.
Implement grounding rituals like reading, journaling, or calling a friend.
Try progressive muscle relaxation (Epsom salt bath, massage, body scan).
Try hanging eucalyptus leaves in the shower and allowing the steam to open your sinuses.
Ashwagandha is definitely gaining popularity in media (you might see it included in everything from smoothies to coffee to granola), but this Ayervedic herb is more than a fad - it promotes muscle relaxation, recovery, and balance within the body.
Chamomile contains a variety of flavonoids which have calming and sedative activity in some but not in all studies may reduce anxiety.
Set aside time for yourself! This can be a 15 minute walk, five minute journal, or even a full Netflix binge…sometimes we just need to hit the reset button before we can give to others.
We hope these tips help ward off the cold and flu symptoms this winter and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!