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.

Hippy Dippy Feelings Post

SadnessI talk about mental health and self care a lot.  It’s a favorite topic of mine, honestly.  I tend to focus on self care, tools we can use to combat stress and anxiety, and affirmations that things do get better.

Occasionally, I’ll see a sarcastic meme about self care.  Watch someone roll their eyes when they talk about ‘those crazy people’.  Sometimes I’ll watch as someone gets lambasted because they shared something they were struggling with, watch as they are told they are just doing it for attention.  I’ve been lucky that none of my friends have said it to me, but some folks apparently feel the need to be disrespectful to those who are suffering because they don’t understand.

Seeing that always breaks my heart.

I don’t talk about my anxiety to garner attention. (There is SO much more out there that should catch your attention. Seriously, if you haven’t noticed the world is in a bit of an uproar, I’m positive you can find something worthwhile to focus on.  There is plenty for you to choose from.)  No, I don’t talk about my struggles, my frustrations, because I want pity. I talk about it because I know so many people who suffer the same. I see it in my friends, I see it in society, I see it all throughout history.  We all are dealing with anxiety, self defeating talk, self harm and a whole host of other mental health issues.  By talking about my own struggles, by letting those who are currently living in the darkness of depression know I understand what they are going through, I can help them to feel less lonely.

Most people want to experience connection.  Most folks just want to be understood.

I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life.  But it came to a head in 2014 when I started having massive anxiety attacks.  These attacks would leave me in agonizing pain and sometimes resulted in blackouts.  It was a seriously scary time.  Knowing I was not alone was the only thing that helped me learn my coping mechanisms, it was the only thing that kept me sane. Knowing that while I suffer, I suffer with some damn fine people and that despite their suffering they were still amazing people.

That simple realization changed my perspective on a lot of things.  Suffering doesn’t make you a bad person.  How you react to that suffering determines that.

So yes, I talk about my brain weasels a lot. More than I am comfortable sometimes. But if it helps, if it shines a light for someone lost in darkness to give them hope… I’ll keep talking.

For those who are suffering; You are not alone, I see you, I understand.

 

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.