The 6 Most Important Self-Care Tools When Illness Strikes
Everyone is dealing with illness right now, it seems. Besides staying home and fully recovering, there are a few things we can reach for that will help support our bodies as we move back toward wellness should we come down with a nasty cold or flu. First, a few general considerations: while fevers are uncomfortable, they are purposeful in design in that they help the body to denature (change the shape) of proteins and kill off whatever has taken your body hostage. So, if you can avoid it, skip the fever-reducing over-the-counter medications. Secondly, breathing, as we all hold near and dear, is super important. So, should your breathing become labored, THIS is an emergent situation that requires medical assistance. Lastly...Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Now, onto the 6 most important self-care tools when illness strikes:
1. Herbal Tea: Hydration is key during illness in order to move fluid through your system and so that you don’t become dehydrated. Plus, herbal teas made with good, organic herbs, roots, and spices can really support your system and help shorten the duration of illness. Our favorite herbal teas during illness are our Vibrant-C, Cozy and Nourish. Vibrant-C is full of vitamin-C rich herbs, flowers and berries; Cozy is great for digestion and upset stomach; Nourish, because it is minty, is cooling (if feeling feverish) and supports the whole system with herbs such as nettle and alfalfa.2. Turmeric is such an incredible plant. The turmeric root can be added to soups, stews, smoothies. It can also be ground into powder. Our Golden Milk blend is a slightly spicy mix that can be made with hot water, a bit of your favorite milk and sweetened with honey. Sometimes it’s hard to eat when one is feeling under the weather, but the Golden Milk can really help lift the spirit while supporting the immune system and fighting inflammation in the body through the super roots of turmeric and ginger.3. Elderberry is a tiny, dark berry that is really rich in vitamin-C. We’ve added it to our Vibrant-C tea, but an elderberry syrup every few hours when illness strikes will help you move through it more quickly. Plus, if you are taking other herbal tinctures or drops (like the spicy oil of oregano), you can add those drops to the delicious elderberry syrup to make it a little more palatable.
4. Epsom salt is a gentle detoxifier of the body as the salt draws water content out, relaxes smooth muscle and helps flush out lactic acid. When we soak in a hot epsom salt bath, it opens up the blood vessels it helps moves things through our system and increases the white blood cell count. Our I Am Well Salt Soak is a combination of epsom salt, pink Himalayan salt mixed with anti-inflammatory turmeric, ginger and myrrh. This special combination can help with achy joints and will help you sweat out a fever.
5. Self-massage after soaking in a hot bath really helps support the lymphatic system to discard built up waste. Because the lymphatic system is essentially an uphill recycling center, there are only two ways to move lymph in the system: movement and massage. And since most folks are laying on the couch when illness strikes, using a gentle self-massage can really help move things along. Also, if you have been soaking in a hot bath, your skin might be dehydrated, so adding in a good organic moisturizing body massage oil is important. I’ve really been loving our Champaca + Patchouli Body Oil. It’s naturally green color comes from the ultra-rich tamanu nut. Start at the toes, move up the feet, then legs, arms, neck/shoulders, trunk and gently massage toward the heart.
6. Rice Sock- y’all, perhaps the MOST important self-care tool ever, I hold the rice sock near and dear to my heart. It is cheap, lasts a long time (as long as you use a good sock) and it delivers a moist warmth. Basically, get some rice, any ol’ rice will do, fill up a long sock (natural fiber socks are best) and then tie off the end. Make two while you are at it. Because if your partner or child falls ill at the same time, there’s no guilty feelings when you don’t share. Heat it up in the microwave and then lay it wherever you are achy. I’ve used mine for earaches, postpartum cramping, pulled muscles, and tight shoulders. And when there is a gnarly cough, lay it on your chest after you’ve applied a nice herbal salve or onion pack. Also, I basically use mine nightly as a comfort measure to heat up my pillow. It’s the best. The best inanimate friend I have...besides my vibrator, but that’s a whole other post.
So, here are your 6 things, ya’ll. Of course, you need to stay on top of your zinc lozenges; go ahead and stock up on an echinacea tincture and take that with your elderberry syrup. And don’t forget the chicken soup. Sleep, soak, rest, sleep some more. You deserve to recover without guilt and the feeling of busy-ness. Take care of you. Your holy wellness is important. Amen.