health

"I haven't had a cold in five years. And I think I've figured out why."

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Thanks to our brand partner, Cenovis

I’m generally a modest person, but there are a couple of areas of good fortune that I enjoy boasting about. I never get parking fines, even though I regularly park where I shouldn’t. And I never get a cold.

I haven’t even had a sniffle in five years.

I’d love to tell you that I’ve managed to avoid a cold because I exercise regularly (or at all), eat a carefully balanced diet, and get the flu shot every year. But only one of those things is true. I get my flu shot each April, religiously, because I’m a sole parent with a full-time job, and an 11-year-old son, so our life doesn’t have a lot of room for days in bed (I don’t know many parents that do!).

But funnily enough, I do credit the time I spend in bed with being part of the reason why I haven’t been ill with a winter ailment for five years.

And no, I don’t mean ‘time in bed’ as a euphemism.

I mean that I look after myself in a very non-Instagram-worthy way. It’s not exciting or glamorous, and it certainly wouldn’t get me on Oprah.

One of the ways I do that is I get the sleep I need, the majority of the time. Some may call it lazy, but I’ve always appreciated any time I can spend with my eyes closed. I always slept when the baby was sleeping.  And I never felt bad about it.

Sleep is a priority for me because I know I’m a terrible mother, maybe even a terrible person, when I don’t get enough.

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The other thing I think contributes to my stroke of cold-free luck is that I’m not remotely into the ‘cult of busy’. I don’t wear the all-too-common “I’m sooo busy” badge of honour. I do a lot of stuff, but I also say no to a lot of social things. I love my little peaceful home; it’s my favourite place to be, with my favourite person – my son.

The fact that we’re somewhat germ-conscious also definitely helps. We’re hand-washers. We’re baby wipe users. We take care touching surfaces when we (are forced in emergency situations to) use public bathrooms.

We’re not totally crazy that everything’s about bacteria, we’re simply aware. You can’t deny that especially during winter, when cold and virus germs abound, that’s got something to do with it.

There’s one thing that we do in winter, specifically, which I should also mention: I bolster my immune system with a glass of OJ a day, and a Vitamin C supplements to make sure I’m fully covered. I see that as providing healthy back-up: an extra layer of protection. It’s also a good way to teach my son that, yes, he isn’t invincible and he needs to take care of his body too.

Nama Winston
It can't always be chocolate, mate! Oranges are good too. Image: Supplied.
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And now, as cliched as it may sound, here's the big one: I'm the boss of hydration. Every day. I enjoy my alcoholic beverages, but I limit their frequency, and when I can't resist, I always take them with a big side of water. No matter what I'm fuelling my body with during the day, I make sure I at least meet my recommended water intake.

The last factor I can think of that probably contributes to my status of cold-less-ness is that I'm an expert at living in the moment. Financially, this is a TERRIBLE thing. But in terms of my state of mind, it's the key to peace.

Sure, I have "down" days - moments when I'm overwhelmed. That's when I spend an hour on the phone whinging to my mum and sisters, and then I'm back "I'm here for a good time, not a long time" mentality.

Which sounds strange for a woman who's just talked about liking to sleep and not doing too much, but still, I think you know I'm talking about balance.

So...this may all sound as thought I'm a terribly boring person, and indeed, that may be true. But I'm also a pretty well person, who is not regularly debilitated by a cold, so, I'd say my mindset of self-care is working.

And yes, I realise that by finally writing about my boast, I'm pretty much guaranteeing I will get a cold this winter. But I'm hoping that my five-year streak of being a medical miracle, which I give myself full credit for, will continue for some time to come.

What do you do to stay well during winter? Have you got a tip to share?

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Cenovis

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