5 Ways to Keep a Cold at Bay

Now that weather is cooling down and your body is working harder to stay warm, you might find yourself battling a cold. When you feel the "ick" descending here are 5 fast fixes to put you on the road to feeling better.

(1) Calm down

Stress is a killer, and if you've been working on a project at work or chasing around little ones who won't let you have a break, it's time to take three. Three deep breaths that is. While you inhale, say to yourself "INHALE" and while you exhale, say to yourself "EXHALE." Be in the moment for those three deep breaths and notice what's going on in your body. Are you jittery from too much adrenaline or caffeine? Are you feeling thirsty? Hungry? Is your head buzzing and/or focus is difficult? Assess where you are right now (without judgement), then...

(2) Drink fresh lemon water

Vitamin C is your friend, and so is alkalizing that acidic bloodstream of yours. Slice a fresh lemon in half and squeeze it into 8-10 oz. of water and drink up. Lemon water cleanses out yucky toxins from your innards, too, especially if you drink it upon waking. Make it your new morning habit, and if you can't quite handle half a lemon's juice, start with a wedge and work your way up.

(3) Scrap the sugar

Cache the candy bar, pour out the soda pop, and avoid alcohol. While you're on prevention detail, give your body a break from simple sugars that can put you over the edge.

(4) Eat a vegetable

Or three. Nom on carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, or even a fresh salad. (Easy on that sugary salad dressing!) Make sure you're fueling your body with healthy foods that will give your immune system a vibrant boost.

(5) Rest

Be honest with me... are you getting enough sleep? In order for your body to fight off the crud that's creeping into your life, rest up! If eight hours of sleep at night sounds like a far-off fantasy, it's time to reevaluate your nighttime activities. Shut down the screens (TV, cell phone, iPad) and vow to get ready for sleeping 30 minutes before you usually do. Bench the caffeine early in the day (or stick to a low-caff option like green tea) so that your slumber is restful. If you can't catnap during the day, take 15 to close your eyes and do this simple meditation as you count to ten: Inhale (silently say one), exhale (silently say two), Inhale (silently say three) and so on until you get to ten. Once you've counted to ten, start over at one and breathe/count to ten again. Lose your place? Start at the number one no matter what breath you're on.

Keep up these healthy habits not only when you suffer the first sniffle or feel a tickle in your throat, but every day as part of a strong self-care/wellness practice. They're simple, cheap, and pack a punch when building an already depressed immune system. Plus, they'll make you feel mentally strong and remind you to stress less.

Stay well!