Esther Ebner

Immune system boost- How to not catch a cold while on vacation

There is an unwritten law that says: The cold begins when the holiday starts. What is the reason of it and how can you boost your immune system so that viruses and bacteria don't stand a chance?

The common cold usually occurs when there is a lot of stress and tension beforehand. When you relax and let go on vacation, the cold shows up. The body and the immune system were thus properly challenged before the start of the holiday and since the cold was suppressed, it starts in the holiday season. Exactly at that time of the year when you want to avoid it at all costs.

Physiologically you can imagine that your performance nerve (sympathetic nervous system) and the adrenal glands (release of stress hormones) are turned up to full power while you are under stress and pressure at work. This is usually before a vacation, because there is still a lot to be processed and done beforehand. The time for regeneration and the perception of physical needs are neglected. Most of the time you work more hours because you think it will increase your productivity. However, this is a misconception, because high productivity can only take place if performance and regeneration are optimally balanced. Thus this formula applies:


With this formula, a lot can be coped with: colds, exhaustion, tiredness, loss of performance.

What can you do now to strengthen your immune system and ward off a dormant cold?

The most important things to do before a vacation:

1. Despite stress, try to give your sleep enough time
7-8 hours is optimal. Valuable repair processes take place during sleep. You can treat your body and immune system to this.

2. Take micro breaks in your everyday life
As the saying goes, "When you're in a hurry, go slow." No matter how stressed you are, take a 3-minute break by doing something totally different, like focusing on your breath. Breathe in and out consciously and think about the last nice holiday. Your nervous system and immune system react positively to these memories.

3. Watch your diet
Do not eat any foods that are "cold" such as bananas (according to TCM = traditional Chinese medicine). Strengthen yourself with beetroot, root vegetables, chicken soup and good spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper.

4. Drink lots of water and tea
It can be sweetened with honey or refined with lemon. It supports your system to clean itself.

5. Get lots of fresh air
Go for a short walk after work. Take deep breaths, let the thoughts from work gradually flow away and signal your body that it can now let go of the tension from the day.

6. Contrast showers
Take a shower alternately with warm and cold water so that your immune system gains strength. Start at the feet and wrists and slowly work your way up the body.

And if you do get a cold after all, even though you've done everything above? Then take your time with warming your body, lots of tea and sleep and you'll soon be healthy again. Either way, your immune system will benefit from the above measures and can also be strengthened by the common cold. Therefore: keep nurturing your body!

With this in mind, stay healthy!

Esther Ebner

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