ABCs of immune health with Nurse Practitioner Candice Sockett
Fall is almost here, which marks the beginning of the cold and flu season, making it even more important to protect ourselves from getting sick, especially as our busy routines pick up the pace. I’m sharing my four tips to help your family build immune health into their everyday.
I have a two-year old and balancing nutrition with him can be hard. I make sure to offer him choices from at least two food groups during meal and snack times, which include apple slices with peanut butter or cheese with fruit.
Start small and work your way up as you achieve your personal goals. Some other tips for getting more exercise include:
- Taking the stairs when possible
- Getting off the bus or subway a stop early and walking the rest of the way
- Going for a walk during your work break
- Have fun with whatever exercises you choose
I integrate exercise into my daily routine by waking to and from work every day. This way I know that I am getting at least 45 minutes of walking in per day.
The National Sleep institute has identified some strategies to optimizing your sleep quality at night. They include:
- Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends;
- Create and practice a relaxing bedtime routine;
- Exercise daily;
- Make sure your bedroom environment isn’t too warm or cool, remove any distracting sounds or light sources;
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows;
- Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine;
- Try not to take electronics to bed with you.
My favorite sleep routine includes making sure I have all of my things ready for the next day (my toddlers daycare bag cleaned out and repacked, clothes laid out, and any other items that might cause me to worry overnight) followed by reading a book for a few minutes to settle my mind.
Try these tips:
- So slow down and be kind to yourself
- Do something for you and only you
- Try to get back to doing the things that make you feel relaxed
- This is personal for each person and can be something as simple as taking five minutes to meditate in the morning, reading a book or doing an exercise class
Whatever your way of de-stressing; it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you take care of yourself so that you can be your best self both inside and out.
With a busy life and household, my favorite way to de-stress right now is carving out time for myself in whatever way I can find it. Whether that be a quick shower, walking to work, leaving for work a few minutes early so that I have time to enjoy a hot coffee or taking my little one to the park.