Every winter, so many people are ill with colds and flu. They are unable to concentrate well, often with that disconnected feeling of not being a part of the world. There have been a host of unwelcome viruses this season and few offices seem to have escaped their reach. So, how can you boost your immune system to help keep these illnesses at bay?
There are readily available flu jabs, including those from certain supermarket pharmacies. That’s one port of call perhaps. However, there are other things which you can do to boost your immune system and help you stay in good health whatever the season.
A Good Sleep Pattern
Sleep nourishes us in two main ways: physically and emotionally. During sleep, our immune system works harder than when we are awake. This explains why many people who are deprived of enough sleep often succumb to illness and infection. One crucial role of sleep is the natural de-stressing which dream sleep gives us. De-stressing strengthens the immune system. As the research by Joe Griffin of the Human Givens Institute, new school of psychology approach has shown, dreams arouse emotions which have been activated but not acted on during the day (worrying without taking effective steps to solve the underlying problem or without changing our reaction to the problem being a classic example) by completing those arousals in metaphor. This, as well as the restorative aspects of sleep (things like balancing blood sugars and general physical repair work), makes sufficient sleep a very important influence on the strength of our immune system. Whilst there is no hard and fast rule about how much sleep a person needs, on average it is between six and eight hours each night.
Good Nutrition and Daylight
Just as a plant needs the right type of nutrients and light in order to flourish, so do we. Paying attention to what we consume, taking nutrition at regular intervals and having exposure to daylight play important parts in maintaining a healthy body and mind.
Reducing stress is a key booster to the immune system. This involves taking some physical exercise (nothing necessarily too strenuous, but even having a moderate walk each day will help). Also it is good to build forms of relaxation (in other words, time out to recharge your batteries) into your daily routine, such as seeing friends, engaging in hobbies and interests, having a massage, and practising yoga or meditation. It is quite common for people to have a coffee or cigarette when they want to relax, but these are stimulants which increase stress levels.
Back to Basics
The Government’s ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ campaign is doing much to remind us of the certain basic steps we should take to look after ourselves and others. Carrying tissues at all times to catch coughs and sneezes, binning them, and washing your hands afterwards is good advice.
Here’s to a healthy 2011!