Daylight hours may be increasing, but the thick, heavy winter air is still lingering. In some areas, the temperature is continuing to drop, while other areas are seeing glimpses of the sun’s rays. Although the temperature may vary from place to place, the cold still remains. When the cold quality increases externally, our bodies can also accumulate cold internally. After several months into the cold season, our immune system can begin to feel the toll. If you’ve already been feeling like you are on the verge between healthy and healthy-ish, perhaps a little tingle in your throat, a little slower and sluggish than normal, feeling little congested, it’s time to consider an immunity boost.
Taking the time at this point in the season to give extra attention to your diet and lifestyle choices can prevent you from moving into the I’m sick zone. Whether you need to refuel depleted energy or just get through winter healthy, these simple eight tips can be quite impactful in supporting your journey to spring. Rooted in Ayurveda’s time-tested science, they support and acknowledge our body and minds inherent intelligence to recalibrate. Through the support of our daily choices. When applied regularly they can boost our immune system. Promoting stability within us, even when unstable weather patterns kick-in.
8 Ways to Support Your Immune System
REGENERATE & REFUEL | give into the slow, sluggish feeling and allow yourself a full 8-hours. Sleep in, take a nap or spend an entire day resting if that’s what you feel you need. When we sleep our body is able to regenerate, refuel, detoxify, metabolize and recalibrate on an energetic and physical level. In letting go and dedicating a day to rest gives the mind-body time to revive itself. Sometimes a day of sleep is all you need to shift from the yellow zone back to the green zone.
SUPPORT YOUR LYMPHS | ensure you are getting plenty of liquids throughout the day via brothy soups, herbal teas, simple warm water, bone broth to help flush out your system. Hot beverages will not only bring internal warmth to counter internal cold, but it helps foster movement, generate circulation and cleanse the lymphatic system, whilst giving your digestive system a little boost. Hydration can also prevent constipation, which comprises the immune system. In keeping hydrated the body also has the moisture it needs to flush out waste.
FOSTER DETOXIFICATION | enjoy fruits and vegetables of the season. From squashes, root vegetables, bitter greens to hydrating citrus. Fiber-rich foods have a gentle cleansing action while being nutrient rich. They also keep you regular, which is key in supporting the immune system.
BOOST DIGESTION | counterbalance the cold, slow, sluggish feelings by adding a few spices to your beverages and meals. Spices are activating, so they help boost the digestive fire and prevent gas and bloating. Increasing circulation and promoting internal heat to counterbalance the cold quality. A little ginger, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, and even a dash of cayenne have many anti-properties and can melt away congesting mucus. Thus, supporting the lymphatic system. Spice it up!
PROMOTE CIRCULATION | treat yourself to any oily self-massage or with a massage therapist. Opt for warming oils like warming sesame. Invigorating the skin, prevents stagnation in the lymphatic system and flushes out accumulated congestion. Which tends to accumulate over the course of the cold season. A massage is also helpful in alleviating stress. The less stress the more energy we have towards supporting immunity versus depleting it. Don’t forget to drink plenty of warm fluids post-massage. And if you are already sick, refer to the other tips, massage is best when our immune system is not compromised.
CLEANSE THE AIR | diffuse essential oils like frankincense, rosemary, eucalyptus, cedarwood, and citrus to cleanse your space and also help open up breathing passages to promote circulation and the flow of prana.
GET MOVING | if you are feeling depleted, this may not be the right choice for you, but if you are feeling good and want to continue to feel that way, get the oxygen flowing, the heart pumping, the sweat on! Keep on moving. Even a 30-minute stroll can be helpful in giving you a little boost and preventing stagnation.
SOAK IN HOT WATER | soaking in a tub of warm water is a great way to open up the pores, induce sweat, and foster circulation. All while relaxing. Open pores, sweat, and circulation all support the body in cleansing and helping waste. In the cold winter season, stagnation in the body and mind can comprise the immune system, simple hot water soak a few times a week, is another way to foster movement. Another option, facial steams.