Teachers and nurses have it rough as far as immunity goes. The sheer amount of humans that we interact with on a daily basis makes us more vulnerable to all kinds of nasties. Here are six quick tips for staying well throughout the winter.
- Hydrate: Drink plenty of water on a daily basis. I make it my goal to guzzle down a gallon a day, but I am also strategic about it-I do the bulk of my water drinking after the school day, so I’m not running to the bathroom all day. I do start my day with at least 40 oz of warm water with one lemon squeezed in it.
- Wash your hands frequently: Wash your hands before you eat your lunch. Wash your hands as soon as you get home. Use hand sanitizer in a pinch, but nothing replaces good, old-fashioned suds.
- Model and require responsible nose-blowing and sneezing: Don’t let students just sneeze all over the place. Show them how to make sure they direct all those germs into a tissue or, in a pinch, their elbows. I also bring over hand sanitizer after they’ve blown their noses to drive home a point.
- Prioritize healing, anti-inflammatory ingredients in your diet: I try to consume some lemon juice, ginger, and garlic somewhere in my meals on a daily basis, as well as a good amount of green veggies. I love the taste of garlic, but I’m also convinced that placing 4-5 (or more, to be honest) cloves in almost everything I cook keeps hubby and I feeling our best. I also try to avoid dairy as much as possible, because I know that it breaks down one’s immunity.
- Utilize natural healing methods when you do start feeling down: As soon as I feel a sniffle coming on, I make a big pot of homemade chicken soup with organic chicken thighs, low sodium chicken broth, a LOT of garlic, grated ginger, turmeric, celery, onions, and carrots. I drink two bowls of this, drink plenty of lemon water, and get a full night’s sleep. This usually does the trick for me.
- Get sufficient sleep: You are more susceptible to the nasties when you don’t get enough sleep, so make it a priority. Leave the grading alone, sis, and go to sleep-you’ll catch up eventually. No amount of unit planning or anything else is worth sacrificing your sleep. Try to plan out your day more efficiently so that you’re not left staring glumly at a stack of papers at 10 p.m. (definitely preaching to myself here).
How do you ensure that you stay well during these cold months? What tips and tricks do you have to share?