Rest in the winter
It is important to make time for rest in the colder months of the year. Stress has a negative effect on our immune system. As a result, stress can increase the risk of catching the common cold. Stress Management helps you to strengthen your immune system. This helps you to fight infection and stay well.
In the late 20th century, researchers found that psychological stress reduces our immunity. They identify that students had less Natural Killer Cells after a three-day exam period. These immune cells help us to fight viral infections (American Psychological Association, 2006). Stress can also exacerbate respiratory infections (Stover C.M, 2016).
We are more likely to catch a cold in the colder months of the year. A recent research study confirms this. They found that infection rates of hospital patients with the common cold and other respiratory viruses were higher in both autumn and winter (Leottle et al, 2017).
The first line of defence:
There are simple ways you can prevent catching the common cold, such as:
- Good hand hygiene (washing hands regularly),
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth (as the virus can enter the body this way),
- Avoid close contact with people who have colds (Healthy WA, n.d).
There are also lifestyle factors that can help you to keep the immune system strong. These include regular exercise, a balanced diet and adequate sleep (Department of Health, Victoria, n.d).
The benefits of stress management in winter
Stress management can help you to fight the common cold (The American Psychological Association, 2006). It is important to rest in the colder months of the year. This is the time when infection rates are higher. People tend to spend more time resting in the colder months. It is important during this time to take care of ourselves. Make time for rest to enhance your natural immune defences.
Before you put your feet up, make sure you pop your socks on. Wearing socks may reduce the risk of catching a cold this winter. Anna Pino (2017) from Natural Harmony TCM recommends that we wear socks to keep us warm and healthy in winter. Her advice reminds me of a study at Cardiff University. They report that the risk of catching the common cold is higher if feet are in cold water (Johnson, C. & Eccles, R. 2005).
Stress management tips
It can be hard to find time for rest when your diary is full. However if you do not rest you are more likely to become unwell. If you are sick you will find it hard to fulfil your personal and work responsibilities. It is essential that you take care of yourself. Then you are better able to take care of others. To help you to make time for rest, put the times when you plan to rest in your diary. This is a simple way to develop healthy habits. A more relaxed lifestyle helps you to reduce stress and the risk of becoming unwell.
In the evening, schedule at least a half an hour of restful activity prior to going to bed. Relaxing activities can include listening to music or reading a book. However, do not to use technology (computers, smart phones, television) late at night.
There are many time during the busy working day that are hidden opportunities for rest. These include the times when we wait for the train or for the computer to think. We often spend these moments in a state of frustration or impatience. Alternatively, we can have a rest for a moment to relax and recharge. This simple change can reduce workplace stress.
A wellness coach helps you to make simple lifestyle changes. This assists you to reduce stress and improve your health. Ongoing coaching supports you to include stress management into your daily life.
Wellness Coaching also supports you improve your work life balance. A healthy lifestyle helps you to achieve both your personal and career goals.
You are welcome to make a booking for a wellness coaching session. This helps you to create an action plan to reduce stress. Stress Management assists you to improve immunity and enhance wellbeing.
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Robyn Frank from Essence of Life Coaching
Diploma of Life Coaching & Diploma of Aromatherapy
Contact: 0412 737 309
About Robyn Frank
In my early twenties, I became interested in natural medicine. As a result, I studied massage and aromatherapy. A few years later, I opened my private practice. Later I began to work as an Aromatherapy Consultant in Aged Care facilities.
In 1998 I was offered a role as an aromatherapy lecturer for the Australian College of Natural Medicine. It was here that I was awarded an Academic Blue Award for Excellence.
The next step was to study to be a life coach. After completing a qualification in Life Coaching I started Essence of Life Coaching in 2005. In my coaching work I combine my wellness experience with my coaching skills. As a result I specialise in stress management and wellness coaching. In addition, I also offer career coaching and business coaching for wellness business owners.
In my life coaching practice I support people to make simple lifestyle changes. This helps them to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. In addition, I also facilitate workshops for stress management and workplace wellbeing in Melbourne.
Note from the author
This article is not a replacement for health care or therapy. It is important to seek individual health care if you have health problems. Talk to your doctor or a qualified health practitioner if you have problems with your health. It is important to seek individual professional assistance if you feel you are unable to cope with stress or are living with a mental illness. Talk to your doctor or a psychologist or counsellor if you feel that you need assistance.
People reading this article must be 18 years and over. They must also be capable of taking responsibility for their own physical and mental health and their own life choices.
According to the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (US) (2017):
Relaxation techniques are generally considered safe for healthy people, although there have been a few reports of negative experiences such as increased anxiety. People with serious physical or mental health problems should discuss relaxation techniques with their health care providers.
American Psychological Association, (2006). Stress Weakens the Immune System, Washington: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from the Internet on 28.06.2017 from:http://www.apa.org/research/action/immune.aspx
Healthy WA, (n.d). Common cold, WA: Department of Health, Western Australia. Retrieved from the Internet on: 05.07.2017 from: http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Common-cold
Department of Health, Victoria, (n.d). Colds and Flu Fact Sheet, Melbourne: State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from the Internet on: 05.07.2017 from: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/edfactsheets/downloads/colds-and-flu.pdf
Johnson, C. & Eccles, R, (2005). Acute cooling of the feet and the onset of common cold symptoms, Family Practice 2005; 22: 608–613. Retrieved from the Internet on 28.06.2017 from: https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/fampra/cmi072
Leottle et al, (2017). Impact and seasonality of human rhinovirus infection in hospitalized patients for two consecutive years, Jornal de Pediatria, Volume 93, Issue 3, May–June 2017, Pages 294–300. Retrieved from the Internet on 28.06.2017 from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021755716303023
National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (US) (2017). Relaxation Techniques for Health, Bethesda: US Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from the internet on the 4th of January 2018 from: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm
Pino, A. (2017) Wanna stay healthy this Winter? My 5 favourite tips! Essendon, Natural Harmony TCM. Retrieved from the Internet on 28.06.2017 from: https://www.facebook.com/annapino86
Stover, C.M, (2016).Mechanisms of Stress-Mediated Modulation of Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (Abstract). Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;874:215-23 Retrieved from the Internet on 28.06.2017 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26589221
© Copyright Robyn Frank, 2018.
Image of Robyn Frank by Breeana Dunbar Photography