It’s been a pretty dark winter in Ontario. We’ve seen an increase in viruses, little to no sun, and recently we’ve been hit with A LOT of snow. Winter is definitely upon us and we felt the need to share our tips for supercharging your immunity. During these gloomy days, you want your cells firing from within, giving you the extra boost of energy, protection and nutrients.
Instead of giving you supplements and foods to incorporate into your every day (you can find this list of foods posted today on our IG), we wanted to give you some lifestyle and behaviour hacks that will not only transform your immunity but also your overall well-being!
You may already be doing some of these things for different reasons or not doing any of them at all. Regardless, we hope you find some of these hacks helpful and find a way to add these tools to your immunity toolkit!
Don’t worry, this will not be a tip on meditation because some people struggle to meditate. It’s not easy for those with anxiety, a dysregulated nervous system, and/or attention deficit issues. Have you ever heard of breathwork? Breathwork is sweeping through the wellness world and for good reason. We love breathwork because it immediately helps regulate your nervous system, increases blood flow and circulation, and is more effective at long-term stress reduction than mediation. If you are looking to try breathwork, we love the Open and Othership apps for beginners (Psst.. they have free accounts/trials).
Write it Out
Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy way to focus on the positive when you may not feel it. Journaling doesn’t need to look like it does on Instagram. You don’t need to spend 30 minutes setting up an aesthetic space and write for a long time. You don’t even need a journal. You can write a note on your phone, send yourself a text message, or write it on a sticky note. Keep it simple; stick to three pieces of gratitude that made a huge impact on your day. Remember, nothing is too small. If you are looking for a helpful gratitude journal, we recommend Intelligent Change journals.
Okay so we know this one is a bit more out of your control, but we can’t leave the benefits of light exposure out because they are too powerful! We haven’t been dealt the best sun cards this winter, but stepping out when she decides to grace us with her presence is a great way to supercharge those immune cells and get that vitamin D. If the sun is unreliable, try switching on all the lights and opening the curtains in your home first thing in the morning to expose your eyes to artificial light. If you are looking to bring more light into your room, we love the Hatch alarm Clock + Light that wakes you up with gradual light exposure to mimic the sun.
Much like stress, anger has the ability to suppress your immune system. It's been shown that laughing can actually increase a type of cell in the body that targets tumour cells and cells that are infected with a virus! Laughter is the best medicine is not just a myth, it’s backed by science! Mindful movement, expression, deep breathing, laughter, therapy, and changing environments are all ways to get rid of that stagnant anger that is not serving you.
Oh, how we love sleep as a tip for almost every health condition out there. It’s so vital and so overlooked. With so much is going on all the time, sleep doesn’t always feel like a priority. But it is, and should always be something you look at when trying to solve any problem. When examining immune function, sleep is a factor in the severity and recovery of a virus. Quality and quantity matter when it comes to the zzzs. The immune system works its magic when you sleep.
Skip The Sugar
When you start feeling low, your body is engineered to reach for things that increase blood glucose and fast! Of course, the fuel the body is craving also happens to be sugar - a very easily absorbable form of glucose that is used quickly for energy but causes a quick crash, perpetuating the need for more sugar. These ups and downs cause the immune system to shut off and switch on inflammation. The next time you feel this way, reach for a healthy fat or protein snack, our energy balls happen to be just that!
Add in a glass of water and your body will have everything it needs to keep your immune system working. Increasing water intake means increasing lymphatic drainage. If you’re chronically dehydrated, the lymphatic system (your body’s sewage system) is going to hold onto the toxins it's trying to excrete. A stagnant lymphatic system means less of a specialized white blood cell that targets viruses being able to circulate and fight off infection.
For more information on foods that increase immunity, be sure to check out today’s IG post on immunity-boosting foods and why we incorporate them into our ingredients.