MENTAL MONDAYS: WINTERVENTION

Okay, so to look out the window it doesn't look particularly different than it has all winter long, but it is officially spring as of last week. This change in the calendar alone has lightened my moods. Lifted my spirits! Given me hope! (Even if we had to shovel loads of snow this past weekend). I've said before how much I typically love winter. But this winter - what was with this winter? I don't know if it was the very wintery winter weather we've had, and the countless days stuck inside due to a -20 reading on the thermostat, but I struggled this winter. I struggled to get to the pool for my morning swims - I just wanted to sssssleep. I struggled to get other physical activity in. I struggled to eat well. I struggled with feeling moody and tired. I struggled to just feel myself some days.

I am SO thankful for my good health, and that of my family. But when you just feel out of sorts, you don't feel yourself, it gets to you. It weighs on you. Is it the lack of sunshine? Is it out-of-whack hormones from breastfeeding and starting to wean? Is it the lack of physical activity? The not-so-great eating habits? The lack of socializing? Maybe it is all of these things. Or none at all.

I am also so thankful that B has been by my side all winter long. Although I do think much of my mood has been related to the baby-hormones and breastfeeding, I can't imagine what winter would have been like without his constant snuggles, slobbery kisses and giggles. He has been my little ray of sunshine on those dark, cold winter days. Sounds so cheesy, but it is so true. Just seeing his chubby little face is enough to lift my spirits.

Even though we are still a ways away from flip flops and tank tops, just knowing that this winter weather is so close to being over is enough. It's time to crawl from our dens, open the windows, get dirty in the garden, wash the winter muck away, and play outside every day.

Okay, so maybe not today (it is -15 out there), but soon! In the mean time, I will keep (foolishly) dreaming about these things.

Here's my spring bucket list:

  1. Plan a weekend get-away with my man.
  2. Get a pedi (or two or three).
  3. Get a hair cut.
  4. Do hot yoga once a week.
  5. Swim three times a week.
  6. Get back to running (+ signup for a fall race).
  7. Sell my road bike.
  8. Buy a "mom" bike equipped with kiddy seat.
  9. Buy a power saw (I've always secretly wanted one of these - it's time. Any suggestions?).
  10. Build a raised veggie garden (buy saw first) + plant veggies.
  11. Don't kill veggies.

C'mon spring. Do your thing.

NATURAL COLD REMEDIES FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING MUMMAS

'Tis the season...of colds and flus. All three of us got hit with one cold already this germy season. Thankfully, it was just the scratchy throat, intense sinus congestions variety. But it was still tricky to manage without being able to reach for my usual cold meds that keep my nose dry and prevent it from sneaking down to my chest, turning into a hacking, lung rattling cough. So what's a sick, breastfeeding mumma to do?

Most cold meds are off limits to pregos and breastfeeding mummas - you should talk to your doctor before taking ANY meds while making a baby or milk.

Eucalyptus // Lemon // Scarf // Humidifier // Nasopure nasal wash  // Moccasins // Blanket

Here's my au naturel recipe for fighting the seasonal cold:

Gargle. Uck. I know. But it works to soothe any sore throat. Do it at the first sign that you have been invaded by a cold bug. As salty as you can stand it. Count to ten. Spit. Repeat.

Sleep. Lots of sleep. Easier said then done when you have a little person ruling your REM cycles, but do what you can. Nap when they nap. Go to bed when they go to bed.

Lemon and honey. This is the best thing. A thick slice of lemon + a heaping teaspoon of (pasteurized) honey. Brew to yumminess.

Nasal douche. Also known as a nasal wash, or even better, nasal irrigation. Sounds terrible, I know. And apologies for the picture above of the chap in the midst of irrigating his sinuses, but this is the key to keeping sinus congestion and pain at ease. I skip the weak little Neti pot and use a more powerful squeeze bottle to blast out the gunk. I use the saline solution that it comes with or make your own:

1 tsp of salt + 1/8 tsp baking soda, dissolve in 1 cup of warm water

Squirt the saline solution up one nostril and watch in awe as it pours out the other. I suggest doing it in the shower because it can get a weeeee bit messy, especially when  you are sick and really snotty. Okay, nasal washing is actually really gross. But it works like a champ.

Stay humid. Especially in the fall and winter months when our heating systems are sucking every bit of moisture from our houses, your cold symptoms will appreciate added humidity. Use a humidifier (don't forget to keep the filter clean!).

You can also lean over a bowl of hot water, with a towel draped over your head, for a mini steam room (avoid burning yourself, please). Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the water for extra sinus relief.

Stay warm. My mum would always tie a scarf around her neck when she was sick. Her 'sick scarf' was a pretty green and yellow number. You knew mum wasn't feeling well if she had that thing on. I tried one once and it worked like magic.

Keep warm and cozy when you're fighting a bug, but watch that you don't overheat, especially if you are pregnant. You want that bun to cook, but lets not roast it. Don't crank up the heat in the house, just add warm, cozy layers.

Good food. Good fluids. Eat your fruits and veggies, and drink plenty of water - avoid sugary juices, pop or power drinks. And if your blood pressure can handle it, reach for some salty soup. If I don't have the energy to make it myself, I'll head to Farm Boy to buy their ready-made soups. They are salt'alicious!

Avoid refined sugars, starches and processed crap - if it's white, don't eat it. These things suppress your immune system.

A few lingering questions that you might have:

What supplements should I take to prevent and/or fight a cold? Ideally, none. Talk to your doctor or midwife before taking any vitamins or supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

When should I see my doctor or midwife?If your symptoms persist more then a few days without any relief, if you have a fever, or if your symptoms are causing you to have difficulty breathing you should see your doctor or midwife asap.

What is your pharma-free cold fighting routine?