What to do when the Autumn Chill Takes you by Surprise
As she leaves us with devastation in her wake, it appears, at least for the Sunshine Coast, that Cyclone Debbie has also prompted a quick, cool change in the weather. Granted, twenty-three degrees Celsius is not the coldest it could be, it is though, a quick and significant change from the ‘30 something’ degree days we’ve been copping for months and months and months and months.
It’s often the case that the colder months jump out from the shadows where they’ve been lurking all Summer and take us by surprise and despite the fact that they always come around at the same time of year, there is an inevitable mad scramble at the shops of Mums and Dads in the kids’ section, buying warmer clothes, warmer bedding, beanies and gloves. Then, of course, there is the change in our menus which, in my house, causes us all to rejoice, because it means more soup, more broth, an open fire and more doona time.
Along with all the cosiness, the warmth and the hearty meals however, comes new strains of flus, more colds, coughs, runny noses, chills and an increase of viruses.
There are several ways we can protect ourselves from getting caught up in the cycle of sickness. Here are just a few;
It can be hard to find the motivation to keep fit when it’s cold outside, but staying active is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. If the cold weather is a deterrent for you, try moving your exercises indoors.
GET SOME SLEEP
When we sleep well our immune systems perform well and are able to fight off nasties. Between 7 and 9 hours is the optimum amount of sleep for adults. It can be hard to do at times, particularly when we are busy, but do your body a favour and help it help itself by catching some zees.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
To avoid catching or spreading germs wash or sanitise your hands regularly and try not to get too close to people who are unwell. If someone is sick in your household, be sure to keep all surfaces, toys, remotes and door handles clean to help avoid a full family epidemic.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
When it cools down, we can tend to crave liquids less. However, our body’s need for hydration does not decrease, so it’s important to drink as much water as you normally would in the warmer months. The recommended water intake for adults is 8 glasses of water per day.
Stress can detrimentally affect our health in a number of ways. It can be hard to avoid, but it’s ability to weaken the immune system means the more stressed we are, the more susceptible we are to picking up bugs. Meditation, yoga, reading a good book or taking a short walk are great ways to clear the mind and help destress the body.
DRINK BONE BROTH EVERY DAY
The nutrients in bone broth ‘feed’ and ‘boost’ our gut flora - helping us to combat infection. Bone broth helps the immune system work to its full potential, which means it can better protect us from the bugs and viruses that come hand in hand with cooler weather. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, can improve digestion and can help seal a leaky gut, so is also a great remedy if you are already under the weather. As the saying goes ‘a brothee a day keeps those nasties at bay’…
(I may have just made that up, but it has a good ring to it, right?)
So, if you want to make the most of the cooler weather and avoid the nasty side of it that usually comes in the form of snot, fevers and coughs, take special care of yourself and your family.
It’s often hard to dodge every infected, snotty bullet, but take the above points into account and you’ll be off to a good start.