Have you ever attended an event and ended up sitting next a person who can't stop coughing, sneezing, or sniffling? You can feel a cloud of doom hover over you because you know you are most likely getting front row seats to being exposed to some kind of nasty virus or illness.
If we look at food as medicine, the first step when exposed to illness, should be to make sure we are hydrated and eating healthy from that point on. Eating a variety of foods that boost immune function should be at the top of the list, with a glass of water.
Toxins cannot leave the body if the body is dehydrated. Everything becomes sluggish within. Hydrate with some water, electrolyte water, fresh squeezed organic fruit juice, fruit juice popsicles, or coconut water. You can also get creative and sneak these hydrating options in foods and smoothies, such as coconut water or unflavored electrolyte water.
Eat a variety of foods and herbs that boost immunity. Be sure to add in foods that are high in Vitamin C. Some healthy immune boosting options include garlic, onions, black pepper, turmeric, ginger, citrus fruits, vegetables, herbal infused bone broth, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell peppers, kiwi, and whatever may be in season and available near you.
A few extra ways to boost immunity include getting enough sleep, using aromatherapy products, using natural therapies for stress reduction, drinking herbal teas that boost the immune system, stretching, exercising, walking and moving.
When we stretch and move, the lymphatic system can drain and flow to assist in removing unwanted toxins and germs within. This is what we want, a clean, healthy system so that if germs to get in, our bodies can filter them out.
Exercising our bodies exercises our lungs and heart. When we breathe during exercise, our lungs are cleaning out any extra germs that may be trying to house way deep down there. Exercising the lungs strengthens them. Exercising also increases circulation, which means more oxygen is getting to our muscles.
Using aromatherapy for illness can include diffusing essential oils, adding essential oils diluted in a carrier oil in the bath (bath safe e.o.'s only), applying essential oil blends to the affected areas such as chest and back or stomach, spraying hydrosols or adding to bath, etc.
When choosing essential oils to use for illness, it is best to use a combination of essential oils that have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Note the age, health profile, proper dilution ratio, and precautions prior to use aromatically or topically.
Some common antiviral essential oils are eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender. Some common antibacterial essential oils are lemon, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lime. Note that lavender and tea tree are listed in both categories. There are many more but here are some that you may hear more often.
There are many precautions, especially for children, pregnant women, nursing mom's, and those with certain health profiles with essential oils in general, but especially eucalyptus. It is important to note the species you are using, by looking for precautions, using the botanical name.
Always check precautions prior to using essential oils... always. Or feel free to reach out! Be cautious with eucalyptus and use it as directed in correct dilution. It is not to be used with babies and young children. Although it is such a beneficial essential oil, it has been noted to cause breathing problems in babies and children and can possibly induce asthma attacks for those who suffer with asthma.
As always, be sure you are using a "true" essential oil that is from a trusted company. If you have fragrance oils, these will not give you a therapeutic effect to boost immunity.
It takes extra time and thought to prevent illness. It takes a grocery list, weekly snack list, and a meal plan. It takes writing time slots daily on your calendar for self care, but I promise, it is all worth it in the end. Preventing illness saves valuable time, money, and energy.
We do not have time to get sick. Stay healthy, well, and vibrant! And if you are ready to learn more, remember this -Education that promotes healthy habits, lasts a lifetime! Just reach out! Jamie
I bet you have already heard "I don't want to go to school today" and school has just begun! You are not alone! I have heard it too and I know thousands of others in this world are hearing it every morning with us.
So how to we navigate this issue and turn a negative into a positive?
How can we keep our kiddos feeling positive about going to school?
I think as Mom's (parents, teachers, caregivers) we are so incredibly busy trying to keep our work and school life balanced that it is easy to forget the easiest littlest tasks that we can do for our kids or with our kids, that can change not only their outlook for the day, but our own outlook as well. After all, how many times have you told your kiddos some positive advice and then quietly told yourself you should take your own advice!? I know I have done this many many times! But please don't tell my children! :)
Here are five tips to try before school to motivate those cutie kiddos to WANT to go to school, to WANT to learn, and to be excited to experience something new.
1. Healthy Eats - This is so important and so often just passed right up. Feed those learning machines a healthy, warm breakfast so their bodies can absorb the nutrients and hydration it needs to get through the day. This is their energy! When they feel good, they have positive energy.
Just to add a little more food for thought... if kids eat sugary foods for breakfast, they are more apt to have a sugar slide late morning in which their blood sugars will drop too fast and they will not feel great at all. So not only will they not have the nutrients they need to get their energy levels up, they will have even less energy and motivation when their blood sugars aren't balanced.
2. Give them something to look forward to that day - This can be at school or after. Let them see sunshine and know that there are going to be some positive and fun parts of the day to look forward too! For us, this is often seeing friends at school, getting to see teachers they really like, getting to do experiments, after school ice cream parties, going fishing, riding dirt bikes and four wheelers, movie and popcorn night, etc. Whatever it may be, it can be so incredibly simple, just let them know it is part of the day so they can look forward to it and be excited about it. Remind them to do their best work because they have something to look forward to.
3. Confidence - Send those babies off with some reminders of how amazing they are. Let them wear they favorite jam and remind them to keep smiling because their wonderful smiles make others smiles and that starts a trail of happiness.
Send them off with a compliment. Compliments make people happy any time of the day!
4. Positive Affirmations - Tell your kiddo something in the morning that is positive. Google and Alexa are great helpers with this! Also send a note in their lunches that spreads positivity. Tell them to share it with their friends. You can also leave sticky notes around the house, by tooth brushes, on the door, in clothes drawers, etc. If your kiddo isn't up for listening to you say it, they can still read it.
5. Coping Tools - We are people, we are human, we have emotions. As my good friend told me today, "If we didn't feel, we wouldn't be living." We just need the tools to overcome feelings when they get too big.
Always remind your kiddos, when the time is right or on a day they need it, that they have the tools to overcome big feelings. Remind them their favorite ways to cope with certain emotions, like anxiety, nervousness, and fear, and also remind them the tools and how to use them. This may be self talk "I am Brave. I can do this. I got this!." This may be taking a break to deep breathe and refocus. Whatever tool you have tried or provided, that you know helps your child, give them reminders that they can use them.
--> I have to throw this one extra tool in. This is a love or can do without. You get to decide.
Bonus Tip - Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Use - Raise your hand if you are all for it and have felt the benefits! Diffusing e.o.'s in the morning that are well known to boost one's mood is a very effective way to get the ball rolling in the mornings in the right direction.
We often use citrus essential oils to promote a happy and positive mood. Citrus essential oils can also increase energy levels, or one can say maybe the energy level is increased because the mood is increased. Either way you look at it, it has worked for many!
Wearing aromatherapy jewelry is also a fantastic option for taking the e.o's on the go. It is the aroma we smell that sends signals within our brains to tell the body what the next move will be. If the aroma of the diffused e.o. helps bring upon a better mood at home, it will be great to add to a lava stone on a bracelet or to a pad in an aromatherapy necklace.
Nasal inhalers are also a great tool to carry with and easy to use. Nasal inhalers are a preferred option since the aroma is kept within the inhaler, not affecting anyone nearby.
Kids, teens, even us adults, can take a break, deep breathe with the nasal inhaler, refocus, and carry on.
Coffee cheers! You got this! Jamie
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Jamie Michaels, Natural Wellness Educator & Founder of Children's Wellness Tree
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