Simple Tips for a Robust Immune System

Nobody likes getting sick, but we don’t ever think much about it until we finally feel it coming. Then we find ourselves suddenly stocking up on vitamin C and drinking herbal tea, trying all the home remedy tricks we learned from our grandmothers. However, the best way to fight off illnesses is to prevent them in the first place, by doing simple things each day that boost the immune system.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep each night is so essential for a healthy immune system. Try to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sound sleep each night, which may take some practice to build up to. Studies have shown that lack of sleep significantly weakens the immune system. If you have trouble falling asleep, set up a good nightly routine to relax and prepare for sleep. Put your screens away at least an hour before bed or get some blue light protecting glasses.

Eat Your Antioxidants

Our bodies need the right fuel to fight off infections. Antioxidants clear out free radicals from the body, which can otherwise cause inflammation and weaken the immune system. Vitamins A, C, and E are rich in antioxidants and can help regulate the immune response. Make sure you’re eating your vegetables and fruits to get these essential micronutrients, and if you can’t get enough through your diet, consider taking a high-quality multivitamin.

Stop Stressing

Stress not only affects your mental well-being, but it also takes an enormous toll on your physical health. While acute stress is sometimes useful for those short bursts of adrenaline, most of us are dealing with chronic stress. This wreaks havoc on your body and can lead to adrenal fatigue, chronic low-grade inflammation, and a weakened immune system. If you’re feeling stressed out, try getting to the root of the problem and fixing that. Take some time to relax and unwind after a stressful day so that your body can recover.

Exercise, But Not Too Intensely

Exercise is so vital for overall health, but it specifically benefits the immune system by promoting helping to circulate your immune cells throughout the body.  It also lowers inflammation and reduces stress levels, which is key for a robust immune system. However, some studies have found that overly intense exercise, especially without enough recovery time, can have adverse effects on your immune health. So, exercise, but give your body enough time to recover as well.

Practice Good Hygiene

While it is essential to have a strong immune system that can fight off infections, the best way to protect yourself is to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face if you haven’t. If you’re out and aren’t able to wash your hands, use sanitizer or a hand wipe.

This is an interesting time we’re living in, and boosting the immune system is at the top of everyone’s priority list. Along with these daily tasks, eating as many plants as possible will give you the strong immune system you’re longing for. Load up on veggies, drink copious amounts of fresh water, and lessen the load of environmental toxins.  Make time for things that make you happy, nourish your relationships, and make sure you feel connected. There are so many things that come together to create a robust immune system.

How To Reset Your Sleep Schedule

For a well-rested you

If you’re honest with yourself, how’s your sleep schedule going right now? Let’s see if this scenario sounds familiar — you only slept for 6 hours last night, so tonight, you’ll aim to hop in bed an hour earlier. Yet, you still feel tired in the morning. When the weekend comes, you sleep in, but you’re still tired. It’s like you can never feel rested, no matter how much sleep you get. I’ve been there, and I know how frustrating that can feel.

Lack of sleep accounts for so many unpleasant things, such as a lower immune system, extreme fatigue, irritability, etc. I know you don’t want to experience these things, just as much as I don’t want to experience them. There are a few things we can tweak to give ourselves the space to experience better sleep, and I want to share with you some ways that have helped me.

– Cool it with the eating
Aim to put the fork down 2-4 hours before you hit the hay. This will give your body ample time to digest, so that when you get in bed, your body can rest, too.

– Turn out those lights
I’m sure you turn your bedroom lights out when you go to bed, but you can also strive to ditch the blue lights from your devices, as well. Try to put the devices down at least 30 minutes before you tuck yourself in — it’s incredible the difference you’ll feel, and it’s especially helpful with slowing your mind down in the process.

– Make it colder
There’s a reason you sleep better in a colder room. Your blood flows to your skin and away from your core. This lowers your core temperature and allows you to fall asleep with ease. What’s better than snuggling up under your favorite blanket to drift off to sleep?

– Use your bedroom as intended
Don’t bring your movies into the bedroom, piles of work, or your iPad to scan Pinterest. Use your bedroom for sleep, and your body will begin to associate it with sleep, making it easier for you to slip off into dreamland.

– Go to bed earlier each day
Most of us stay up too late. Correct this habit by going to bed sooner and earlier each night until you get to your desired bedtime. You’ll wake up feeling much more refreshed, and the baby step method will be easier than attempting a complete overhaul of habits overnight.

– Step into the light
Another surprising fact about sleep is that if you get moving with some exercise and expose yourself to real daylight in the morning, it can help to reset your circadian rhythm. Try it for a week, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you’re sleeping at night. Even a brisk walk around the block will do — start with whatever you can swing, and grow from there.

Consistency is critical for resetting your sleep schedule. Start adjusting your bedtime and your habits step by step, and you’ll soon find deeper, more meaningful sleep within your reach and more energy to enjoy your mornings.

Do you sleep with your phone by your bed or in another room?

The best practice is to sleep with it in another room, but if you need to use it for an alarm, turn it on airplane mode right before you drift off to sleep.

Your alarm will still work, but your phone will stop emitting radio waves and wifi signals.  Having this long break from everything your phone emits every single night will add up to a large sum of hours these signals are not bombarding you. You’ll even sleep more soundly!

Sometimes we can get into the rut of going to bed when we feel we are supposed to, or on the flip side, staying up too late in a late-bedtime-binge. I typically fall on the latter, myself.

But what if we tuned into our bodies and noticed what it’s asking for?

What time do you feel like you could cozy up in bed and drift right off to sleep? We often ignore cues and stay on our routine instead.

This week, try listening to your internal cues when it comes to bedtime and take notice of what changes you may need to make moving forward.

 

 

 

Ways to Simplify Your Life for Less Stress

Stress is often like a runaway boulder gathering snow. It starts off small, perhaps with one or two nagging things and then… it snowballs into the kind of thing that can run you over full-steam. Let’s face it — you’re not going to ever feel relaxed if you’re running yourself ragged, panicking over deadlines, projects, social gatherings, housework, or whatever is tugging on your mind.

You might not be able to prevent stressful situations, but you can work on simplifying your life for less stress. Here’s how to make that a reality and breathe a little easier every night.

– Simplify
There is much clarity to be found when you clean out the clutter, whether it’s the physical or mental kind of clutter (or both!). Find ways each day to  make your routine simpler by lightening your load. You can even use a visualization technique. Picture a balloon filled with your stress. Picture yourself releasing the balloon and watch it waft away.

– Reclaim your livelihood
Why are you here? It’s undoubtedly not to work yourself to death. Instead, look inside yourself and remember what inspires you. Aim for that thing that ignites your passion.

– Go to sleep
I’m not talking a full-on hibernation here, but we do think that embracing your well-being through rest is critical to conquering stress. Use an essential oil diffuser with lavender and get yourself to bed earlier. You’ll find that with proper sleep, you’ll be less harried and intimidated by the things that tend to set off your stress bells.

– Get comfortable
When stress comes on, one of the best ways to chase it away is to surround yourself with the things that make you comfortable on a physical and mental level. Do things that fill your cup like reading a good book that’s not related to work, taking a hot bath while listening to your favorite songs, taking a walk around the lake on a beautiful day…whatever it is, find those things that make you comfortable with yourself and do them. Stress will naturally ebb away when you do.

With all the noise around us, either in our own heads or trying to recall what you wrote on the grocery list that you left on the counter, or outer noise from others, you have to tune back into yourself. Meditation is fantastic for this. Try to set aside the same time each day for your meditations. Listening to healing frequencies while you do so will help your mind let go of the noise, allowing you to tune into your innermost self.

Take the time to simplify your life for less stress, and you’ll find that when stressful things pop up, you’re better equipped to walk through those days without overwhelm.

Highly Effective Ways to Lower Stress Naturally

Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

1. Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.

3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!

4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.

6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.

Daylight Savings Time is coming up on Sunday, November 3rd.

You’ve likely already noticed the sun setting earlier, shrinking the daylight hours day by day.

One way you can ease your body into this seasonal change is to go to bed 30 minutes – 1 hour earlier than usual for the week or two leading up to November 3rd.

Try taking a magnesium supplement (like the Natural Calm drink) before bed to help relax your body throughout this change.  Strive for relaxing night-time routines to help your body learn its new routine.

Allow yourself to explore how rest and rejuvenation can nourish you this season.

 

 

 

What’s your average number of hours you sleep per night?

Everyone is diverse and has different needs, but it seems the average recommendation for a good nights sleep is between 7-9 hours.

Here’s how to get to a sleep schedule and stick to it:

  • Begin a sleep schedule if you don’t already have one.
  • Adopt a bedtime routine that helps to relax you.
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol that may disrupt your sleep.
  • Ditch the electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

 

 

 

 

Do you prefer sleeping with white noise or silence?

Deep and restful sleep is so crucial for your wellbeing, and I love hearing all the unique tricks everyone uses to sleep well.  Some love still and silence, while others sleep better with a sound machine or a noisy fan.  What’s your preference?

Personally, I sleep best with silence.