The kitchen is in disarray, the kids are bored and restless, beds are messy and unmade, and work meetings and appointments are cancelled.
In our house, it’s clear that mom is sick.
This week, my life has been put on pause while I try my best to defeat an illness that has left me mostly bedridden. Simple tasks like washing some dishes, making a simple lunch, or folding a small basket of clothes ends in complete exhaustion.
Earlier this week I had a chance to chat with Janine Buisman Wilcox, a Guelph-based naturopathic doctor and mom of three young kids.
Dr. Buisman Wilcox’s mission is to educate and empower women so that they can find health and happiness for themselves and their families.
“I work to help my patients get to the root of their health challenges so they have energy to enjoy life,” shared Buisman Wilcox, who teaches her clients preventive medicine so that her patients can stay as healthy as possible throughout the year.
Buisman Wilcox offered a few simple tips to help families stay healthy and happy throughout the winter.
1. Take care of yourself:
During the winter months our kids will be bringing home all kinds of germs and illnesses.
“I think moms often get sick in the winter because their kids are getting sick, and that becomes their only focus,” said Buisman Wilcox.
Moms are often running themselves ragged, losing sleep while nursing sick kids, missing meals or eating off of their sick kids’ plates, and not properly hydrating themselves throughout the day, Buisman Wilcox said.
On top of that, many of us are breastfeeding, pregnant, or have been pregnant in the past, giving nutrients to our babies and leaving ourselves with weakened immune systems.
Buisman Wilcox suggests ensuring that you’re well hydrated, rested, and eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, and proteins.
2. Practise proper hygiene
The number one prevention against illness is properly washing your hands, and teaching your children to do the same, said Buisman Wilcox.
“Wipe down phones, laptops, and change hand-drying cloths often to avoid the influx of germs from the community into your home,” she said.
Buisman Wilcox also recommends the wet socks/magic socks routine, which she details on her website, and requires that you put a pair of cool, wet socks on your feet and put a pair warm woolen socks over top and then go to sleep.
“As crazy as it sounds, it can be a game-changer,” she said.
3. Put on your oxygen mask
Buisman Wilcox said that being free from illness shouldn’t be our only goal for our health. Rather, we should feel good about our bodies, have mental clarity, and feel energized most days.
To do this, she suggests choosing something that energizes you and do that each week. Some ideas include having a glass of wine while meal planning, going out with friends, or joining a yoga class each week. This is called your “oxygen mask”, and it’s something that is rejuvenating.
If you are battling illness, remember to be easy on yourself, and call in reinforcements if you can.
Sleep, keep hydrated, try out the wet socks, and avoid dairy and sugar, advises Buisman Wilcox.
For more details on her Wet Socks/Magic Socks method click here.
*The content in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional