I’m just grateful that it was not the flu! So many people have been seriously ill and even dying this flu season that I could very well have put myself into a bad situation.
I’m afraid that I’m going down that road again of writing a confessional blog… I did not follow my own advice and I ended up with a nasty cold.
So where did I go wrong? What do I normally do that I did not do this time? Here are the 5 self-imposed rules I usually follow to stay healthy during cold and flu season:
- Neti, Neti, Neti! More than a decade ago I found myself sniffling through a yoga class. The teacher asked me if I use a neti pot. I had recently been introduced to the neti pot nasal cleansing system, but it looked so uncomfortable to me that my response was, “ugh, no!” And I went sniffling along my merry way. Not long after that, I was visiting a really good friend and noticed that she had a neti pot in her bathroom. I asked her about it and she told me that she uses it on a regular basis. She was getting sinus infections quite often before she started using it, but after using regularly she saw a significant decrease in them!
So, I decided to try it out! I’ll admit, at first it was really weird. But, I read an article in a yoga magazine about how to do it correctly and soon got the hang of it. I have been a neti enthusiast ever since! Not only does it cut down on sinus infections (upper respiratory infections), but it also helps to alleviate my allergy symptoms. And this is very important since I moved to Charleston, SC! I scored 100% on my allergy test here – ACK!!!
Earlier this year I stopped using my neti pot. I didn’t do this on purpose. I just got really busy and I kept forgetting to put salt in my shower – that’s where I keep my neti pot. And sure enough, I got sick! (The neti cleansing includes using a dash of salt in the pot of warm – not hot – water). Now I’m back to regular neti use and so far-so good.
- Less Work, More Yoga! At that same time I was burning the candle at both ends getting my new Well-Life Coaching for Teens and Tweens program ready. I was working 10 to12 hour days on top of taking care of my kids and house. That, coupled with the fact that I was canceling yoga classes because of the post-holiday lack of attendance, and not filling in with my own practice, caused a serious dip in my immune system strength.
There has been a lot of research, both epidemiological and physiological, showing how yoga and meditation strengthen the immune system.
And of course, even more research has shown that overwork and overtiring the body also compromises the immune system.
The moral of our story here is that overwork and lack of immune boosting yoga and meditation wear the body down and make it susceptible to illness.
- Wash Your Hands! I know that we all know this. But, here’s what I did and I’m pretty sure this was the icing on the virus cake. I went to of all things a health and wellness fair. I was networking and meeting lots of new people in the health and wellness field here in Charleston. As part of this, as is our American custom, I was shaking lots of hands. I would normally go to the restroom and wash my hands before getting back in the car to go home. But, we were running late… so I skipped it. NOT A GOOD IDEA!
Within 48 hours I was feeling that slight stinging sensation in my sinuses that precedes an upper respiratory infection. Within 72 hours I was completely sick! I had to cancel a workshop I was putting on and went to bed for 2 days.
- Get a Flu Shot! I know, this is very controversial. All I can say is that through my own personal experience and looking at the research findings I believe that it is better to err on the side of caution and get the shot. Again, I was really busy working and just did not take the time to get the shot this year. It is geared at colds and flus, so it may have saved me from this cold.
Now, if you are an anti-flu shot person, that’s okay. I understand your point of view. I think the other tips will help prevent cold and flu just as much as the shot. That said, if you are one of those people who thinks that the shot gave you a cold or the flu, that is just not the case. The viruses in the shots are “inactivated.” In other words, they cannot make you sick. There are reasons you can get sick after receiving the shot: You were exposed right before or right after your shot or you unfortunately contracted a virus that was not included in the vaccine mix for the present year.
So do as I say! Not as I do! – hee hee
I hope that you all stay healthy and peaceful this cold and flu season!
As always, I am grateful for your comments and shares!
And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook & Instagram for lots of inspiration and information!
In Love and Gratitude,
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t-you’re right.” -Henry Ford
When I started my journey to becoming financially fit, just a little over a decade ago, I had no idea where I was headed. I knew I needed to make some serious changes in my relationship with money because I was nowhere close to where I wanted to be, where I dreamed of being all my life. I knew I had the drive, I knew what I wanted my financial future to look like, but I didn’t know why I just couldn’t seem to get ahead and reach my goals of being financially free.
So what was stopping me? My money mindset!
Now some of you may be thinking, what in the world is money mindset and why should I care? I get it, I had no idea what it was until I started searching for a way to dig my way out of the $25,000 of debt I had got myself into because I wasn’t aware of the somewhat toxic relationship I had with money. I was living paycheck to paycheck and I wasn’t paying attention to where I was spending my money. I knew how much money I had in my bank account and when it was gone, it was gone. By the last few days of the month I’d be eating ramen noodles and driving around on the fumes in my gas tank hoping I’d have enough to make it to the bank to cash my check on payday. I was MISERABLE!
While growing up, Disney movies and Nickelodeon were keen influences on my way of life.
One of my favorites still rings true today
Disney’s version of “The Jungle Book.” Its catchy song “Bear Necessities” has given me a few “ah-ha!” moments while replaying it in my head.
“Look for the bare necessities, The simple bare necessities. Forget about your worry and your strife, I mean the bare necessities, That’s why a bear can rest at ease. The simple bare necessities of life.”
Yes! The simple bare necessities of life and the ability to live with little and be grateful for what you have now — this is what I often find myself inspiring students with, and for good reason.
After a devastating house fire in 2011, my husband and I were left with nothing but the clothes on our back. We were graciously sent donations from our fantastic Beaufort community, and I learned quickly what it was like to live with bare necessities. Food, clothing and a hotel room for shelter were what we had. This experience quickly shifted our definition of what was necessary and what was important.
People, not things, were most important now. (more…)
“I took a trip to the mountains to destress from a emotional week. Just me and my camera on a 3 hour trip on a foggy and rainy morning. I needed to get away and breathe. Life gets crazy and sometimes overwhelming but it’s okay – we just need to breathe.” ~ J’Waye Covington, Photographer
In last week’s blog I talked about the things in life we have fear of that we don’t actually need to fear. I call these Paper Tigers. This week, I am talking about things that ARE valid fears. For example, a hot burner on a stove. A healthy fear of being burned keeps us from touching the burner.
Yes, that’s a softball example; we are justified in avoiding things that can physically harm us. And there is probably not much internal stress involved when we do have fear of many of those things.
I believe there are two other categories into which we can place fear. The first is the category that encompasses those things for which we should have legitimate fear, but that we need to face (as opposed to avoiding like the hot burner). Let’s call this category “Real Fears.”
The second is the category of those things that have some risk. These things are different from the Paper Tigers. Paper Tigers, once we examine them closely, actually cause no risk. What I am talking about placing into this category are things that fall somewhere in between Real Fears and Paper Tigers. Let’s call this category “Risk Factors.”
Here’s a quick overview:
Paper Tigers: Things that seem scary to us in life, but actually will not cause us any harm. For more on Paper Tigers head on over here.
Real Fears: Things that we really do need to be wary of because they could cause us harm, but that we can face either by using caution – e.g. avoiding the hot burner – or, by using bravery and/ or mindfulness.
Risk Factors: Things that we are wary of because they contain an element of risk, but that are not necessarily harmful. These are things that we either are not sure about or that we know there is some risk of harm, but the risk is minimal.
What are some examples of Real Fears other than the potential of physical harm? Transition and loss are two examples of things that fall into this category. Big changes can definitely encompass an element of fear. Whether it’s a long-distance move, a divorce, being laid-off from a job or empty nesting, transitions can be scary.
Loss also causes fear. When a spouse or other family member dies or leaves, when a house or business is foreclosed or shut down, the loss can be devastating. These are the things that we justifiably fear, but that we also need to dig down deep to find our courage to face and get through.
These types of transition and/or loss can rock people’s worlds. I know because I’ve lost a business and a home as a result of the economic crash as well as friends to cancer. I’ve transitioned out of a career for which I studied and went to school for many, many years. I moved from my beloved home town over 3000 miles to the other side of the country. And, I’ve lived with people with serious mental illness.
All of these things were terribly fear-invoking. They were so fear invoking at times that I felt nearly paralyzed. HOWEVER… I lived through the challenges. I learned from them. AND I found joy in life again.
“Suffering is one of the many possible responses to pain.”
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
The practice of mindfulness allows, even encourages, the acceptance of feelings of sorrow. In the practice of mindfulness acceptance of negative feelings, whether physical or emotional, is actually a way of preventing ongoing suffering.
I started my meditation this morning with my mind inevitably flitting from one thing to the next. As is human nature, I was in my cognitive brain and thinking about one thing and another: The post I just put out on social media with my cat enjoying his mindful moment in the flower pot to a recent conversation I was having with a friend about being let down by other people.
And that’s when it happened – the rapid descent into sorrow and frustration. (more…)