The First Step to Avoiding the Cold and Flu Season and Holiday Anxiety

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter is here with holiday parties, a cold weather, seasonal anxiety and stress as well as an increased appetite and cravings. It is also time for colds, stuffy or sneezing noses, sore throats, etc.
Do you feel already tired, stressed out and a couple of pounds heavier?
If you want to feel better, you have to take care of your stress overload first. Surprised? And the first step to reducing stress is getting rid of insomnia. Surprised again?

A better sleep will help you to reduce stress which will boost your energy and immune system to stay healthy during the cold and flu season, and even to loose some extra pounds.

Here are eight tips on how to get a better sleep:

1. Have physical activity.

Sleep is not just for your mind- sleep is nature’s way of resting your body, too. If your muscles are not tired because you are getting no exercise during the day, there is less physiological reason for sleep. Once you feel the fatigue in your muscles, you’ll know you are almost certain to sleep better. Even a 30-minute walk might surprise you with the results.

2. Stretch and yawn.

Studies show that simple stretch and yawn help ready the body for sleep. Try to stretch and yawn a couple of times just before you go to bed every day, and you might be also surprised.

3. Eat more food rich in Magnesium.

Magnesium helps the body make serotonin, which helps in producing melatonin (the hormone that helps us to relax and sleep). A spoon of walnuts with a little bit of honey around 8:00pm-9:00pm might help. Foods rich in Magnesium are almonds, apples, apricots, brown rice, garlic, leafy vegetables, spinach, salmon, etc.
4. Go to bed around 10:00 pm.
There are two reasons. First, according to Ayurveda,(from Sanskrit literally means “science of life” or “practices of longevity”) there are cycles that are the most beneficial for certain activities. Sleep from 10:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m. allows the body to rest the most. It also helps with metabolism, so if you want to loose some weight try to sleep more by getting to bed earlier.

Second, studies show that nighttime exposure to light may elevate breast cancer risk by suppressing production of melatonin, a brain hormone that is made during darkness and that normally peaks at night.

5. Have fresh air in the room.

A lot of people underestimate the importance of fresh air in the room during your sleep time. Study shows that indoors air is one of the most toxic air around. The fresh air will help promote sound sleep while stale air and toxins get away from your window.

6. Get a foot massage.

Ask your partner, or you can do it yourself and it will help you relax as well as improve circulation.

7. Have a home-made facial.

Home-made facial is one of the best relaxation techniques, because you kill two birds with one stone: you not only nourish, cleanse or rejuvenate your face but also have to lie down for at least ten minutes – I call it facial meditation.

Try an uplifting mask made of kiwi and honey (mash one kiwi and add 1/2 tsp of honey, mix and put on your face for 15 minutes) - it is delicious. While lying, don’t forget to think about something very pleasant.

8. Have a cup of bedtime tea.
You can always treat yourself to a cup of bedtime tea with Lemon balm or Chamomile flower.

By pampering and it means by taking care of ourselves we do our bodies a big favor: we reduce stress which is priority number one if we want to feel and look fabulous, especially during a cold and flu as well as the holiday season.

Never forget to breathe, smile and be happy.


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