Cold and Flu Season

It’s cold and flu season!  The weather is cooling off, pumpkin spice lattes are out in full and pharmacies are stocked with flu shots!

Speaking of which, have you gotten your flu shot yet?  Now is the time!

If you do happen to find yourself weighed down by the horrors of the sick season, there are a few things you can do to help ease the symptoms and support your immune system.

1. Eat right. Making sure you get the nutrients you need to sustain function is vital.  Your body is working hard to fight off the infection, make sure to support it by providing it the energy it needs to continue the fight.  Chicken noodle soup is actually a good choice!   A 2000 study suggests chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that help lessen the severity of respiratory infections. Chicken soup and other warm liquids, such as hot tea, help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.

2. Hail Hydrate!  Make sure you are getting your fluids!  The last thing you need is to get dehydrated while you are feeling miserable.

3. Rest.  No really.  I know in this day and age of limited PTO or unpaid sick leave it is really hard to take time off when you are sick.  I get it.  But if you can take the time off, do so.  You will need to focus that energy on getting better.

4.  Hygiene is important. If you can’t take the time off to rest (and even if you can!), make sure to wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and a good soak in the bathtub helps to clear your airways.

There are essential oils that can help to ease some of the symptoms that can be used during an illness.  Check out Up-Nature.com for more information and some handy recipes to use at home!

1. FRANKINCENSE ESSENTIAL OIL

Frankincense essential oil has remarkable rejuvenating and healing properties. It has natural cold-fighting properties, such as antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties which make it an ideal essential oil for treating a cold or the flu. Frankincense is also useful for reducing anxiety which can help with worrying about missing work or important events when you get sick.

2. OREGANO ESSENTIAL OIL

Oregano is a super powerful antiviral and antimicrobial essential oil. In fact, a recent study shows that oregano essential oil dramatically reduces symptoms of upper respiratory ailments including coughs and sore throats.

3. EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL

Eucalyptus essential oil comprises about 72% eucalyptol making it an efficient remedy for chesty coughs and to ease breathing.

*Do not take eucalyptus essential oil orally, as it can be toxic.

4. TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL

Tea tree essential oil contains antiseptic, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Using this essential oil for colds is excellent for diminishing coughs, bronchial congestion and sore throats. Tea tree essential oil is also an excellent, natural disinfectant, so you can use it to kill germs on surfaces and in the air.

*Tea tree essential oil can be a mild sensitizer, so be sure to perform a patch test before using it for the first time.

5. LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL

Lemon has long been considered a cure-all fruit and essential oil, especially for treating the flu and for reducing fevers. Furthermore, lemon essential oil also is a great treatment for fatigue as it is an energizing essential oil.

Lemon essential oil has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which not only makes it ideal for fighting viruses, but also for reducing cold and flu symptoms such as coughing, congestion, swollen glands and bodily aches and pains.

Another remarkable thing about lemon essential oil is that the oil is found right in the peel of the lemon. You can cook with the peels or rind, and use the peels as a room disinfectant by placing the peels right in your fireplace and burning them to release the oils and aroma. You can also add them to a pot of boiling water and allow the steam to escape into the room.

*As a citrus based oil, lemon oil is phototoxic, so avoid using it if you are heading outdoors into the sunlight.

Find Your Moons

Perfection is a lie.

This last week has been a trial. I fell into a well of depression and anxiety that was crippling. I am blessed my work allows me to have weeks where I can work in fits and bursts because I was so swallowed by darkness I was barely functional.

During these times I don’t do trancework, I don’t perform Seidhr. I lay my offerings at the feet of the Gods and I hold on tight.

Most marketing professionals will tell you to keep things light. People don’t want to hear about your suffering when they look at your page and to an extent I agree. There is plenty of suffering in this world, why add to it?

Because by avoiding the conversation we stigmatize it. We isolate those who suffer. By always putting forth a positive face and a smile you lie to those who need the truth.

Life is hard. There is little we can do to change that truth, but there is so much we can do to soften it. Compassion and kindness go a long way to making life an easier burden to bear. Having a community, a tribe to help you bear the burden is vital. Knowing that others have suffered as you have suffered, and survived, helps you to survive too.

I am blessed by wonderful friends who are more than happy to reflect my light back to me when I cannot see it myself. Their kindness and compassion, their stories of survival make it easier to focus on the end of the tunnel when the darkness will fall away once more and my light will shine out again. My moons. My saviors. I know I can depend on them because they know that I will do the same for them when the time comes.

I am feeling better, not perfect, but as I said, perfection is a lie.

When the darkness falls around you, may you find yourself surrounded by many moons to help light your way back home.

Some Advice from the Wounded

2017.10.18 - Weeping AngelsI don’t have to tell you life is hard.  You know that.  Hell, most of you are living that.  I get that.  I understand.  That struggle is real, it holds you down, holds you hostage.  You feel like you are so much better than you are achieving, or perhaps you simply yearn for a break in the clouds of oppressing circumstances.  Whatever, you know the feeling I’m talking of.  Life hurts sometimes.

It’s at those moments when we are at our weakest point, when our long struggle has us questioning every choice we have ever made, that the soft whispered lies that come from the darkness within begin to overwhelm us.

“I can’t do this anymore…”

“I’ll never get out of this shitty job.”

“I’ll always be alone.”

They linger far longer than any of us would like, months, years, heck, if you let it, a lifetime.  It sucks.

But life is a process.  We are designed to be tested.

This doesn’t lessen the pain, but instead works as a focus.  It gives you something upon which to move, a way to gird yourself and walk through the pain on to something better.

This pain you feel?  These trials that you face?  They are not the end.  They are not who you are.  You are more than that.  You are greater than that.  You have a strength you didn’t even know you had until you look back upon your tribulations and see just how far you have come.

It is easy to listen to the lies your brain tells you.  I see it in my friends from all walks of life.  I see it in the climate of the United States at large. (Damn right I’m getting political, just because I don’t post about it a lot, doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. People have been shouldering a great burden for years.  This darkness has gotten pretty widespread.)  But this is a process.  We will push through.  We just have to work through it.  The birthing pains of a new life, a new job, a new outlook, a new world, they hurt, but they bring us just that much closer to something amazing.

I would like to share my experiences on surviving these birthing pains.

  1. Stop.  Take a deep breath, and center yourself.  You aren’t going to do you or anyone else any good if you are overly emotional or hysterical.  Fully accept that this is a test of your character.  The only thing you can control is how you respond to it.
  2. Take hold of that thing of which you can control.  Your response to those things bringing you down.
    1. Anxiety, do what you can to be kind to yourself then sit back and ride the wave.  You should have tools that help you to manage it, use them. If you don’t have them, find some.  Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself for using them.
    2. Life stress, brainstorm a plan, don’t worry about the details yet.  In the world you live in today, right now, where would you like to be in life, what type of person would you like to be?  Be realistic but take a moment to focus in on the best idea, the one that would bring you most joy, plan out a way to get there.
  3. Take Action!  Make sure you have a toolbox of healthy coping tools, make the changes in your life that lead you towards a better existence.  Even if they are baby steps they are still worth taking.  Moving forward allows you that small pulse of comfort.  You don’t have to be a prize fighter to win a war.  So long as you are moving forward, you haven’t given up the fight.  The weight you bear is heavy, but that doesn’t mean you cannot move with it on your shoulders.
  4. Create a support group!  Life was not meant to be lived alone.  Find others who can help you when the darkness gets too much to bear.  The load is a little lighter when carried by friends.  Be careful who you trust, but don’t give up trusting all together.  We are all fighting our own battle, it’s good every now and then to take a moment and sit at the fire with friends, to disengage from the war with people who understand how to refill your tanks.
  5. Give it time!  Change doesn’t happen overnight.  A big change takes a while.  Takes even longer when you are dealing with more than one person.  There will be good days and there will be bad days.  On the bad days, go back to step one.  You aren’t starting over, you are confirming your intentions and as all witches know, intention is key to great spellwork.

If this advice works for you, fantastic, if it doesn’t, find a better way, share it.  Promote compassion and kindness.

The world really needs it right now.