To be sick is such an undertaking; physically, mentally and energetically. Of course we all want wellness and when we feel that we do not have it, it becomes our identity. We feel awful, as we can’t find energy to move, our head pounds, our body’s vibrate differently as the immune system works so hard to purge the viral or bacteria infection that has invaded. We would give anything to just feel “normal” again. Living in the northern climate, it is the season of this unfortunate happening, for many. Thus, I wanted to offer my advice and go to Recipe for Getting Well! I see people struggle to find a balance of honoring the illness and making decisions to support that happening while trying to stay paced in our daily routines.
I would first offer that it is important to understand that when the body is sick, it is happening on a deep internal physical level, as well as the releasing of phlegm and/or other ways of evacuation that the system uses to rid itself of invading offenders. The immune system kicks into overdrive and without getting to in depth here, it needs all the energy it can use to be able to fight with gusto! This means eating simple, light meals, and keeping lots of clean and clear liquids flowing. The heavier you get with your food choices, the more energy then goes to the digestive process which slows down healing. The old adage of “Starving a cold” is not so ridiculous, however it can be misperceived. The other misconception, in my book, is that you must eat big meals to fuel your system during these times. SO NOT TRUE. So what do you do? I know what I do, and I know it works for me, and I want to share, as I do think I carry some weight in knowing the body and what is healthy and what is not. You can determine if it works for you, if you choose to try it, or if you are just curious, read on.
- Eat Small, Eat Light, Eat Right. My diet, when not well consists solely of liquid foods, with a protein source and sodium to keep my energy levels and water retention good. We need both, but what we do not need is an overload of carbohydrates as we need to rest, which means that we will not be doing much to burn those calories, and thus, the system will get weighed down as it works to metabolize them. I understand the if you are vomiting, and you can only keep crackers down, you eat crackers, but it is not ideal for the internal environment of healing. The liquids are important to keep the phlegm moving and the immune system moving. It is so important to understand that the immune system does not have a pump, so we must keep it moving, or it will be stagnated and returned health will be slowed. The way to keep it moving, internally is through liquids.
- Rest, Relax, Honor the Body’s need to heal. We must give the body time to heal. I understand that so many have things to do, places to be, people to see, but you will be functioning less than ideal in a state of illness. The other feeling here is that we must honor other peoples health and not risk spreading the germs to everyone we meet on our path. The body that falls ill, fell ill because it was not in an ideal state of immunity. We all get sick, and I try to see it as a time of reset. I think, “OK, I have been going, going, going, and now I have to sit and relax and restore my vitality again”. Not everyone feels this way, but I do believe that we can strengthen our immunity so that we are not as susceptible to falling ill.
- Less Is Best, in accordance with medications. When we are sick, and we take over the counter meds, we are treating the symptoms and pushing down the cause. I know it is horrible, and at times these medications can feel like a god send, but it is not healthy for you to get into a mindset that you need a decongestant to get through your day. Let that stuff drain. That is the only way to get it out. In my personal experience with myself and others, once meds are taken, the time doubles that it would normally take to get back to thriving health. These medications trick the nervous system, which creates a dramatic pause in the natural ability for quick healing.
- Supplements Do Help but Not Necessary! Our bodies know how to heal and want to heal. That is the greatest truth of our physical constitution. The body is actually amazing. I mean, ridiculously amazing! A whole different topic, I could go on and on about. I am so in love with the perfection of this body we house. It is, by far, the most amazing creation, ever! Back to supplements for the body, there are a few key ones during time of weakened immunity. Basic formula is Vitamin C, Zinc, and Garlic supplements. These are my go to. Everyone is different, but these three are my “Booya” remedy! I envelop that with tea, homemade soup, oranges and apples and allow the natural process of healing to happen.
- Positive Affirmations. It may sound silly, but it is so true! Remind yourself of your body’s perfection. Program yourself for great health. Some of my favorites are as follows: I am in perfect health. My body is in perfect health. I am healing. I am grateful for a healthy body that knows how to heal. I choose health. I also remind myself that there can be a gift in getting sick, which is, MY BODY AND MIND NEED REST. It can be seen as a time of silent retreat and restorative action to be taken . This is mindfulness in action. No-one likes being sick, but we can reframe it not to be so defeating, but remind us that we should be placing our health as the highest priority in life. I mean, honestly, what else is more important? NOTHING!
My five stages of treating the seasons menacing visitors are as stated above.
I have a couple “go to recipes” that I would suggest, and if you are interested, let me know and I will add them to a comment here. I can tell you this, even with the WORST case of flu I have ever experienced, I am back in action no more than three days later.
In a world of extroverted active hustle and bustle during the wintery season, seek some good ole comfort in caring for yourself; body, mind and spirit.
Happy Holidays to you and yours. May your season be health filled, love infused and solace seeking!