Ashley's realistic, real-life tips can help you take 2018 to the next level.
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Nothing quite gets in the way of that goal like cold and flu season. We all know how it goes: you’re forced to sit next to that sneezing, sniffling coworker, and before you know it, you feel that tickle in your throat.
Whether you’re at the Pilates studio, sitting at your desk all day, or doing dinner with friends, save yourself the trouble—and the tissues—by following these go-to tips on staying sick-free!
While we know that working out while you are already sick is not good for your body, there’s healing power in breaking a sweat. Long-term, regular exercise can not only improve the immune system, but it’s also beneficial in fighting viral infections such as the flu and a cold. Want to fight off that looming sickness? Book a Pilates or circuit training class on MINDBODY! PSA: Please, always wipe down your machines to prevent germs from spreading.
Say it with us: sleep more, sneeze less. Getting at least seven hours of shuteye is crucial in fighting viral infections and inflammation. "There's evidence that people who don't get enough sleep show higher levels of inflammation," says Sheldon Cohen, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University.
Give your immune system a boost (and add some flavor to your drink) by squeezing fresh lemon in your hot or cold water. A great source of Vitamin C, it helps your body stay hydrated, aids in digestion, and balances pH levels.
Listen up—it’s time to lather, rinse, and repeat. When you don’t wash your hands, you spread germs and infections to others. It’s the best way to protect yourself from a cold or flu and actually reduces your chances of getting sick by 45%. In a hurry? Use a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol!
Researchers have found that massages can reduce the body's production of immunity-weakening stress hormones and increase feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. The rejuvenating touch of massage also does wonders for circulation! Consider this the perfect excuse to hit the MINDBODY app and book your next massage, or should we say preventative self-care sesh?
While washing your hands is a top priority during the sick season, there might be something you’re missing—here’s a hint: it’s right under your nose. That’s right; it’s your phone! They spend a majority of our day in our hand and studies have found your cell phone is actually dirtier than a toilet seat, with around 25,000 germs per square inch. Yuck.
You can transfer germs from your fingers to your device and back again, so make sure to clean it on a daily basis with a mixture that includes isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. Don’t forget to wipe the case with a disinfecting wipe, too! It will make all the difference.
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.