Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Coping with cooties

Something Delicious: Home remedies to help keep you from getting sick

One of the things that really gets me down is being sick, and not just full-blown bouts of the flu, either: for years, it felt like I was always either getting a cold, stuck in a cold or recovering from one.  It puts a real damper on your professional, social and creative life when you don't feel like you can ever make plans with one hundred percent accuracy because - newsflash! - you'll probably feel icky once they come around.

I started getting more physically active a few years ago, and that helped a little, but I was still missing out more than I would have liked.  My life wasn't getting any simpler, either, I was getting busier all the time, especially once I hung out my shingle as a writing coach.  Getting sick sucked before: now, as I was trying to build my reputation as a reliable and energetic professional, it was a major drawback.

This is still a work-in-progress for me, but I'm happy to say that the last six months have found me the healthiest I've been in years, thanks to a few changes I made in my life, and I can't wait to share them with you!  These aren't medically endorsed (not directly to me, anyway), it's just a few things that worked for me and hopefully will help you out, too.

NETI POTS


I will be the first to admit that these seem terrifying to the uninitiated, but after numerous recommendations from friends and a trusted naturopath, and in the midst of yet another sinus headache, I decided to give it a go.  I bought it on sale at the drugstore for about $15 (Canadian), and that included the pot and 50 packets of the saline solution.  Not giving myself time to back out, I tried it as soon as I got home, and oh BOY!  I was one of the lucky ones who positioned it (and myself) properly the first time 'round, so it did what it was supposed to (I'll spare you any more details and just point you to YouTube if you're not sure exactly how it works).  A few minutes later, my sinus headache had eased and the relief lasted for hours!

I've since used it on an almost daily basis, sometimes twice a day when my sinuses are giving me grief, and it definitely seems to have lessened both the quantity and severity of any sinus issues I have.  I used it routinely when I had the beginnings of a cold, and it only lasted a few days as opposed to the normal "I'll disappear in a couple of weeks ... maybe."

Quick tips: remember to breathe through your mouth; go slowly; don't blow your nose too hard afterwards; and BOIL YOUR WATER first (and remember to let it cool).

ROOIBOS TEA


I'm not sure how I first heard about rooibos tea ... I think I tried it a few years back when it started getting more popular and wasn't a fan.  I've since realized that it tastes vastly different depending where you buy it from, so I decided to try a blend from David's Tea, specifically their cinnamon rooibos chai.  It's naturally caffeine-free (which is what I was looking for, as I was having trouble sleeping) and I heard rumours it helped with allergies.  I started drinking a few cups of it a day, simply because I liked the taste so much, and it not only helped me cut down drastically on my caffeine intake but (and maybe this was a placebo effect, but I doubt it) my sinus problems also improved!


f.lux


Did I mention I was having trouble sleeping?  I spend a fair amount of time at the computer, between my day job, coaching, writing, gaming and other miscellaneous activities.  Some of those activities are, obviously, not mandatory but they give me a lot of enjoyment, and I balance them out well with other things in my life, so I decided to see if anyone had come up with a way to make the light emanating from the screen less harmful to my sleep patterns.  Enter f.lux!  Their website explains it better than I can, but basically, it alters the light coming from your screen at night (sunset --> sunrise) to filter out those nasty bright tones that leave you bleary at the end of the day.  If you do any image editing work, there is an option to temporarily disable it to make sure you see colours properly, and then you can turn it right back on again.  About a day after I installed f.lux on my computer, I started dropping off to sleep easier and having deeper, more restful sleeps.  That is not a coincidence.

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That's it!  Three relatively small changes, but they've worked wonders as a team.  I rarely take allergy meds anymore, and only the occasional cold+sinus tablet when things are really bad.  I have more energy for creative endeavours and for my life in general.  Hurray!  I'm still not quite where I want to be, health-wise, but I've got a few other changes I'm working on incorporating into my life, so we'll see how that goes: I'll let you know a few months from now!

In the meantime, I'd love to know if you use any or all of these and how they've worked for you, or if you're thinking of giving them a try.  If you have any questions, let me know, and I'll do my best to answer you from my own experience!
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Looking for something more along the lines of taking care of your mind, body and soul as a whole? My Self-Care board on Pinterest has some amazing suggestions.  No time to look through them all?  I don't blame you!  Start with this post or this one

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