Are you looking forward to summer as much as I am? I mean I realize we have to get to Spring first, but I have my sights set on summer when I can wear shorts and tank tops and walk around in flip flops or jog in the hot, hot sun. I like summer for the abundance of Vitamin D and the lack of “sick” germs that get passed around. I realize it’s still several months away, though, so for now I will stay bundled up in 3 layers and battle to keep my family healthy. I have to say that I’m pleased with how well we have all gotten through the winter months, or cold and flu season, so far. None of us gets a flu shot and I prefer to focus on giving our immune systems a boost through a healthy diet more than anything else. While I do my very best to prevent any and all germs from invading our home, they sometimes manage to creep in, so I have a few tricks to minimize their affect on the entire family.
Change the bathroom hand towel often – In a perfect world we would all have our bathrooms, or at least I would since I’m the only girl, but we don’t so I’m diligent about changing the hand towel often and literally every day when someone in the family has a cold.
Wash pillowcases frequently – I strip all bedding and put them through the washing machine once a week, but when one of us is a bit under-the-weather I wash pillowcases even more often. I figure it will keep the germs to a minimum, plus for me personally, if I feel a bit blah it is nice to at least have a fresh pillowcase on my bed.
Homemade Germ Spray – I always make my own room freshener spray, but this time of year I change it up a little bit. The spray usually includes water and a favorite essential oil depending on the mood I am, but during the winter months I always do a combination of water, Tea Tree Oil, and Eucalyptus Essential Oil. The Tea Tree Oil is good for killing germs and bacteria and the Eucalyptus Oil is great for warding off or fighting colds.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil in the Shower – Another reason I love Eucalyptus Essential Oil is because of the benefit it offers in fighting coughs and congestion. When someone in my family is a bit stuffy or blah between their head and chest, I like to shake a few drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil in the shower with them. The oil combined with the hot steam of a shower is not only soothing, but it helps to calm a cough and clear up some of the congestion.
Open a Window – I realize that opening a window during the winter months here in New England isn’t the most practical idea, but when there are germs in my home I sometimes feel like I can send them out the window if I just open it up a bit for a short amount of time. Breathing in the fresh air just feels good when there is *ick* in the house. I also try to keep the heat turned down as much as we can stand it since germs and bacteria love warmth.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement – There is simply no way to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months where I live, so I take a supplement and I also make sure Cody, Nick, and Paul take one, too. There are certainly different recommendations for how much Vitamin D to take, but the one consistent thing that I hear is how beneficial Vitamin D is to strengthening our immune systems, which is the number one reason we all take it every single day.
What do you do to keep your family healthy during cold and flu season? Do you have a trick to ward off the germs if they invade your home?