Don't get sick this winter

I have just come off the school holidays. At times I was chef, taxi driver, footy coach, stylist, teacher, jigsaw maker, ATM, activities director, cleaner, babysitter, videographer and party planner. Reflecting on the two weeks it was pretty full-on but it was a perfect mix of activity and doing nothing. The beautiful weather we were experiencing up here on the North Coast of New South Wales beckoned us to fill our days with fun and adventure while enjoying the cosy chilly nights.

In the lead up to the holidays on many occasions I could hear people with a raspy cough or a sniffle trying to ignore it saying commenting to me things like “Don’t worry I just have to get through this week and I have the holidays to get over it,” or “This happens every year,” or my favourite “It will go away if I ignore it.” I’m sorry to be a downer … but it won’t go away if you ignore it.

As we race through our lives it is easy to miss the warning signs that should alert us to impending dangers such as sickness, injury or burnout. Too often we hear of people who have been aware of a pain in their chest for weeks but have put off going to the doctor because they are just too busy — then the heart attack strikes.

The niggle in the back of the throat, the persistent headache and the snuffly nose are there to warn us that we need to slow down and take time out. Our body is the best indicator of when things are not right — we are beautifully designed like that.

It is important to take the time to notice and listen to the messages your body is trying to send. If you are concerned about them or have been experiencing them for a while and it has been sitting at the back of your mind, contact a health professional today and get yourself back on track. There is a multitude of people available to help you, Naturopaths, Kinesiologists, Acupuncturists, your doctor. You do not have to do it on your own. When we take the time to listen to our bodies the messages can often be heard loud and clear.

Our bodies are designed to move and are capable of more than we yet fully understand. At the same time, we are also designed to rest. A healthy balance between activity and rest allows the body to perform at its best. If we persist in pushing through fatigue, upsetting this balance, we will find our body will simply demand the rest it needs, often through illness.

A healthy balance between activity and rest allows the body to perform at its best.

As we move through winter I urge you to mix activity with rest and to listen to the wisdom of your body. If it is saying “rest” or calling out for you to take notice then slow down, notice the messages and importantly give your body what it needs. If you don’t listen, just like a child, it will persistently nag you until you give in!

Stuck for ideas on how slow down? Download this infographic and place it where you will be reminded, next to your computer, on your bathroom mirror, next to your bed.

Simple ways to slow down and stay healthy this winter