Boosting Your Immune System
It seems each month of winter turns colder than the last, and it’s been even unseasonably cold this winter in Seoul. In fighting the elements and the incubus of viral plague that is my classroom (name that film!), I’m reminding myself of and practicing ways to boost my immune system and make it through to spring.
Disclaimer: I am in general good health, up-to-date with health checks, and get an annual flu shot, and these are major factors. The rest are healthy practices for day-to-day.
More often than not, my immune system weakens when I haven’t slept or decompressed enough. I know I’m about to get sick when I need a nap during the day—it’s my body’s way of shutting itself down. I’m mindful of my limits and I make sure not to overexert myself. Here’s my nighttime routine for better sleep!
I drink 2+ liters of water on a good day (it’s one of my habits to make) and feel better for it. On days when I miss the mark, I try to find other ways to hydrate, whether through the foods I eat or teas and juices.
Daily vitamin supplements are probably a good idea, but they make me quite nauseous, and I prefer to get my nutrients through my diet. Healthy, full, and balanced meals boost my immune system when it's down and keep it strong otherwise.
I hear my mom's voice every time I'm about to step out, suggesting that I put on another layer and/or a coat—I never listened and always regretted it! I hate feeling stuffy but I know better now, so I layer lightweight but insulating pieces, like these turtlenecks I can't get enough of (see this post), under my coat.
Finding motivation to be active is certainly an ongoing challenge, especially in cold weather when all you want to do is nest under the covers, but I've never regretted exercising. Attending yoga class or pushing myself to hit 10,000 steps recharges my mind and body and therefore promotes my health. This gadget is a strong motivator and monitors my sleep patterns.
Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to do anything before washing my hands when I got home. It was an annoyance at the time, but again, I’m thankful to my mom as it’s a good habit that’s stayed with me (though I let myself change into pajamas first—always pajamas first).
In the same vein, another good habit (that I often forget) is to wipe down everyday items, such as your phone, keys, laptop, and frequently used surfaces.
This could be as simple as cutting down on salty or sugary snacks, or setting aside your phone and other electronics for part of the day, or as involved as channeling any stress or negative energy into a hobby. Recently, I've been zoning out with mindless television ('Friends' is perfect for this).
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