Fall leaves

Fall is definitely here! Warm days and cool nights, nightfall around 8pm and sunrise around 7am, leaves changing colors, and delicious autumn produce are all glorious things. But for some, like me, autumn flies buy too quickly and old man winter is knocking at my door—old man winter and I have a love/hate relationship. So, I take the time in the fall to prepare my body, mind, and soul for the cold days ahead by checking off the things on this list:

1. Fall Cleaning
Just like Spring cleaning, it's good to get in all the nooks and crannies getting rid of allergens like dust and dirt. It's challenging to deep-clean all year round with a busy schedule, but a clean home is a good first step in staying healthy during the winter.
– It may be a good time to get the carpet and rugs cleaned by a comapny who uses natural cleaners and no chemicals or do it yourself. Dust mites and other bugs like to hide in carpet and furniture, so vaccuming often is a good thing.
– Now is a great time to scrub out the fridge and freezer, especially if you're going to stock them good for the winter. These are places you definitely don't want germs to call home.
– Make sure you are changing your furnace filters. They can trap lots of allergens.

2. Get Outside
– During the winter months, we tend to hibernate. I don't know too many people who like to be out in negative temperatures. Now is a great time to soak up the sunshine and breathe all the fresh, crisp air we can. Take long walks or go for a run. Clean up the flower beds and gardens and prepare the beds for Spring. Nature proves to be a huge stress reliever for people, so enjoy the weather while it lasts.

3. Preserve
Now's the time to preserve fresh summer and fall foods for the winter by canning, freezing, or drying. Even if you don't have the time to properly can foods, lots of foods can be frozen like herbs, applesauce, tomatoes, beans, etc. Preserving your own food is easy and the health benefits are amazing as you skip all the perservatives, sugar, and salt in processed foods.

4. Build up your immune system
The weather is changing and every one starts to get their first cold of the season. Germs are everywhere.
– Wash hands thoroughly and use a paper towel to dry your hands first, turn off the faucet, and then use it to open the door to exit the bathroom. It is a fact that people are not washing their hands or not washing them thoroughly and leaving germs behind on the faucet handles and door handles.
– Eat whole foods like fruits and vegetables and eat protein that is hormone and antibiotic free. Pesticides, processed foods, sugar, added hormones and antiobiotics all weaken the immune system. Sugar is your worst enemy, but is even worse when you are sick—it will keep your immune system down and slow the recovery.
– Skip all sugary drinks and opt for purified water or warm tea instead
– Eating well is the first step in preventing illness, but sometimes your body needs extra help in staying healthy. Schedule an appointment if you'd like nutritional counseling and help figuring out what supplements your body needs for optimal health.
– Click here to read about the dangers of flu shots and vaccines.

5. Get plenty of rest
You're busy. I'm busy. But, our bodies must have time to rest and rejuvenate. Getting by on little sleep can last for a little while, but it may have some serious side effects when it comes to your overall health and immune system. A good 7-8 hours of sleep a night is ideal. Trouble sleeping? Here are 33 great tips for a good nights sleep!

6. Take some time just for you
It's easy to get wrapped up in life and taking care of others, but good emotional health comes from taking good care of you, too. Do something you love or that you have put off all summer because you were too busy. Get a massage, spend time with friends you haven't seen in awhile, journal … find your happy place and visit it often.

7. Be thankful
Let's be honest. Even though we may not always have everything we want, we've been blessed with everything we need. Finding complete joy comes with being satisfied and thankful for all we've been given—when we are whole-heartedly thankful for each breath and each new day we're given. When we're thankful no matter our circumstances we have a healthy spirit.

Tipoftheday Our health is not just determined by our physical health, although that plays a big role. Our whole body works together to function and we need to love and nurture each aspect: Body, Mind, and Soul. For example, being extremely healthy physcially, but also stressed out will lead to a weakened immune system and a not-so-healthy emotional state. At Covenant Natural Health Care, we're dedicated to taking great care the whole body so it functions just as God created it.