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8 Simple Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System This Holiday Season

It's getting cooler in Katy and the holidays will be here before we know it! This can be a time when our immune systems are put to the test. With full schedules of events and gatherings come increased stress levels, increased sugar intake and exposure to germs. It's important to take proactive steps to boost your immune system naturally. We're all about keeping things simple, so here are a few simple things (along with tips on how we easily incorporate them) you can do daily. Here's to enjoying your holiday season without the sniffles!

1. Prioritize Sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for a strong immune system. During the holidays, it's easy to get caught up in late-night parties and festivities, but try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. It's ideal to aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate. However, If this amount of sleep isn't realistic for you, then do your best to keep a consistent bed time and wake time. We've found it helpful to incorporate a consistent bed time routine to prepare your body for sleep. Dimming the lights, avoiding screens, drinking herbal calming tea (This is our favorite tea company!!) and taking a few minutes to journal can be great to ease your mind so you can be off to dream land in no time!

2. Eat a Balanced Diet: We all know that nourishing your body with a variety of nutrient-rich foods is essential for a robust immune system. But being consistent when you're busy can be a challenge. Create a weekly meal plan so that you can grocery shop once a week and include recipes with immune-boosting foods such as citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, garlic, ginger, and turmeric as much as possible. Another helpful tip is to follow the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and enjoy those holiday treats 20% of the time. Let the actual holiday be your cheat day and then go right back to a healthy meal plan the next day, Meal kits and grocery delivery services are great to help save time and money especially during busy seasons. We love Butcher Box that brings quality meat and seafood to our doorstep each month.

3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is often overlooked but plays a vital role in supporting your immune system. Proper hydration helps flush out toxins, aids in digestion, and ensures optimal functioning of your body's systems. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and limit your intake of sugary beverages. We love to keep a large bottle of filtered water on hand at all times so we don't have a choice but to hydrate continually. Here's our favorite bottle that's basically become an additional appendage.

4. Manage Stress: The holiday season can be stressful, and chronic stress can weaken your immune system. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in activities you enjoy even if it's only 5 - 10 minutes per day. One thing that helps us is setting strong boundaries around time. Consider that saying yes to one activity means that you are saying no to others. Make sure the things you say yes to align with your top priorities and values and don't over-schedule you or your family. Schedule nonnegotiable rest time so that you can show up well to the things that are worth your time.

5. Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity not only helps maintain a healthy weight, but also boosts your immune system. Exercise increases blood circulation, improves lymphatic flow, and promotes the release of endorphins, which reduce stress and enhance your overall well-being.

Not into traditional vigorous workouts? We've found that choosing movement you enjoy is crucial to staying consistent and starting small is better than not starting at all! Keep trying new activities until you find the thing that excites you and makes you want to move!

Psst!! There are a few easy ways to get some of the same benefits of a good workout on your rest days! Get a lymphatic massage from Lymphlo, take a hot bath with epsom salts or sit in an infrared sauna!

6. Get Plenty of Vitamin D: We live in a warm climate, so you may actually be getting outside more than most at this time of year, but typically the amount of sunlight you get is not enough to provide adequate amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D rich foods include spinach, kale, okra, white beans, wild caught salmon and some mushrooms. If you would like to get your vitamin levels tested to know exactly what you need, visit the NHN directory to find a holistic practitioner that can help you with proper supplements and nutrition! We recommend a functional medicine practitioner or a chiropractor with a functional nutrition background.

7. Practice Good Hygiene: This is a bit of a given, but here's your reminder that frequent hand-washing is essential to prevent the spread of germs. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as these are common entry points for viruses and bacteria. This is our favorite nontoxic hand sanitizer for those times when you don't have convenient access to a sink!

8. Limit Alcohol Consumption: While it's tempting to indulge in alcoholic beverages during holiday celebrations, excessive alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system. Alcohol disrupts your sleep patterns, dehydrates your body, and impairs your body's ability to fight off infections. Enjoy alcohol in moderation or opt for healthier alternatives like herbal teas or mocktails....did we just come up with an idea for a healthy mocktail recipe blog?? Yup!! Excuse us while we consult one of our functional nutritionists! Stay tuned!

Hot tip! Speaking of drinks, we love using elderberry syrup in place of plain maple syrup for a quick and easy immune....and flavor boost! Here's our favorite local place to get high quality elderberry syrup. (We don't trust the ones at the store due to the additives and questionable potency.)

By incorporating these natural immune-boosting habits into your daily routine, you can help strengthen your body's defenses and stay healthy so you can enjoy the holiday season. Remember, prevention is key, so prioritize your well-being and enjoy the festivities with peace of mind.


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