This is the perfect time of the year for lots of things, but getting sick shouldn’t be one of them! Unfortunately, preparing for the holidays can leave us so busy we forget to take care of ourselves. I speak from experience. What seems like a lifetime ago, I burned the proverbial candle at both ends and ended up sick for four months. I was working a stressful full time job in customer service, attending a course in physics three nights a week trying to finish up my degree, and decided I wanted to take on a multi level marketing sales job “part time”. Excellence in every thing I do is and was my way of life, but there was no way that kind of load would allow me to continue without something breaking down.
The week before Christmas and right after finals, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. If you’ve ever had pneumonia or another lung disease, you know how it feels to struggle both inhaling and exhaling. It is one of the most energy zapping illnesses I’ve ever experienced. The rest of the winter was spent trying to recover. The marketing job went away, I skipped a semester of school, and slowly regained strength. I believe this all could have been avoided had I known how damaging my lifestyle had become.
Take a moment from your busy day to read this. These suggestions on how to protect yourself from illness are not just talk. Really pay attention to your body and evaluate how you are living. Check these out:
1. Don’t forget to socialize. Connecting with friends, even briefly, will help bring joy to your life. What to do: Don’t let a jam-packed workday or hectic schedule get in the way of your friendships. Stop by a co-worker’s office for a quick catch-up and or e-mail or text your friends at night to stay in touch when you’re too busy for phone calls.
2. Get enough shut eye. Brief naps are golden in my house. But you do need night sleep as well. What to do: Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted rest every night, but how you feel in the morning and throughout the day may be a better gauge. If you’re tired when you wake up in the morning, you’re not getting enough—sleep, or maybe not enough quality sleep.
3. Always look on the bright side of life. Find the positive, don’t dwell on the negative. It’s contagious either way, so share the good things that occur, no matter how small. What to do: Look for reasons—however small—to feel lucky every day. Sounds hokey, but try striking up a dinner table conversation with your family where you all share a couple of good things that happened every day.
Oh, these are so good, aren’t they? You’ve probably said “yes” to each one so far, but really, REALLY do your best to make it happen. Take time to laugh every day. There are many more GREAT tips on helping yourself protect your immune system RIGHT HERE. Don’t delay and you’ll keep the doctor away. Peace and joy to you!