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Something that has annoyed me during this whole pandemic is that we have gotten absolutely nothing from public health officials about staying healthy, supporting your own immune system, especially when it comes to colds and flu.

Worse yet, I actually have to be careful saying anything at all, even the standard mom advice, least I become public enemy number one. It’s much needed however, so I’m going to throw caution to the wind and just go for it.

Wash your hands, early and often. Try not to touch your face. Germs have no legs, they don’t drive, and they do not crawl. Sometimes they can float on an air current or be expelled by a sneeze, but for the most part you really have to rub them into your mucus membranes. That would be your nose, mouth, and eyes.

Get outside in the sunlight. That’s what all the focus on vitamin D is all about. We know that sunlight is critical for our immune systems. Modern people tend to work indoors and to lather ourselves with sunscreen when outside. Don’t deep fry yourself, but it’s surprising how many people don’t even spend 15 minutes a day outside.

Get a good nights sleep. A lot of us are not sleeping enough. We also don’t know how to rest in the daytime. We’re often dealing with stress and that “go, go, go” mentality. We need downtime. Breaks. Time to recharge your batteries. It could be just five minutes, but learn how to rest, early and often. We are not machines.

Probiotics are good for you. There’s some research that suggests 90% of our immune system is actually happening in our gut. For centuries people have eaten a lot of fermented foods for digestion, things like sauerkraut and yogurt. Also, prebiotics, the natural fiber found in unprocessed food. In the modern world we tend to take antacids and eat processed foods. It’s a recipe for complete disaster.

There is a huge mind-body connection. In 2008 some really good studies were done looking at why people with depression, anxiety, often caught so many colds. It turns out that your attitude and mindset really matter. We have the ability to use our minds to influence not only our immune system but our ability to heal, too. (Don’t get tripped up in guilt or shame about this, it’s a lost art, they are skills we have forgotten. Also, it’s often a chain reaction, you get depressed, your immune system is weakened, you get sick, and you feel miserable.)

Sugar is toxic. It really is and I am a huge addict so I understand the draw. It’s not so much about eating candy and ice cream, as it is about sugar being artificially added into so much of our food, and processed food being reduced to nothing but sugar. So bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, all douse your body with sugar which is really hard on your immune system. Your body either spends it’s energy processing sugar or it spends it’s energy fighting germs.

Again, no guilt, I’m all about shameless health. Become shameless about your own health. It’s so ironic to me, in these times of so called “science,” we are so ruled by superstitious guilt and fear, by being labeled “bad,” as if our non compliance with various authorities is what causes all our illnesses. Never really spoken of is how said authorities are the very same ones who have actually created so many of the health challenges we now face in the first place.

Lighten up. This is going to sound crazy, but the Bible says, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” We tend to take our lives too seriously, as if staying alive and healthy is ALL that matters. In the process of doing that we aren’t really living, we just become obsessed with avoiding death.

I could say so much more and I may well do that at some point, but those are my thoughts for today.