About the same time every year — right around the holiday season — I begin to hear complaints from friends and family members who are having to take days off work. Each time, it’s because either they are under the weather, or their kids have come home from school with the sniffles.
Whether you’re a parent, work in an office, shake hands with colleagues, hug friends and family, travel for work or even dare to share breathing space with other people, it’s likely that once or twice during the winter months, your immune system will take a beating.
We all know that the best defense against illness is a healthy immune system, which begins with good nutrition, regular physical activity, and proper sleep. But often, choosing to eat healthy foods, get consistent cardio and enough sleep rank low on the to-do list when winter arrives. Many of us struggle to rebound from the month of December. Schools are on break, there are holiday parties galore, and we are either traveling to or hosting family and relatives who visit from out of town. Once the new year begins, our immune systems are also braving themselves against the freezing temperatures.
Having a solid, non-negotiable self-care routine is the best way to stay healthy, but even that isn’t always enough to keep us vibrant when we are exposed to bacteria and viruses so regularly in winter weather. And anyone who has children can attest to the complexity they bring to the staying-healthy-race we all run in the winter months.
I have been a wellness advocate with dōTERRA since 2012, and I am passionate about helping people with their health. When I talk with someone about strengthening their immune system, I emphasize the importance of the foundation of our health, which is eating right and getting enough exercise.
The next most important layer to build upon that strong foundation for a healthy immune system is what we call rest and manage stress. This idea emphasizes that we find more calm moments throughout the day, in addition to getting proper sleep every night. The third layer to a strong immune system is perhaps the most challenging to accomplish in our modern era, and it involves removing the toxic load in your environment.
In basic terms, toxic load removal means eliminating household chemical cleaners and toxic personal care products. I have found incorporating supplements and essential oils into my daily life has made a difference on how my immune system responds to toxic threats.
I travel overseas a lot, and it’s often difficult to avoid the germs circulating in the confined public spaces we share with hundreds of others. In the past after a long flight, within one day of arrival, I was in bed and feeling unwell, and sometimes it would take me a week to recover. Just last month when I was visiting my family in Scotland, I had the typical warning signs and was feeling sluggish and lethargic. I knew the basics were key, so I made sure my nutrition and sleep were dialed in first, and then I spent one full day devoted to strengthening my immune system with essential oils. I used my favorite immune boosting recipe of OnGuard oil, Oregano oil, and Lemon oil in a hot tea every couple of hours, and the next day I was back on track and feeling great.
Now that I know, firsthand, how potent these oils can be to help us restore our immunity, I haven’t spent more than two days feeling unwell in the last five years.
Here are some of my most-often recommended dōTERRA essential oils, including some ways to incorporate them into your wellness practice to help boost your immunity this winter (and all year long).
– Diffusing essential oils at home, work or in the classroom can save you time and money. It will mean fewer days off school for the kids, and fewer days off work for you. Plus, a pure essential oil not only smells nice when you are diffusing it, but it is also cleaning the air. My favorite immune blend to diffuse is OnGuard oil.
– Use Oregano oil. Place one drop in water, or in a gel capsule. Oregano oil is a potent and powerful antioxidant, and has been used for centuries. A word of warning—oregano oil is very spicy. Saying that it will heat up the mouth is perhaps an understatement, so never put it directly in your mouth or on your skin. (Note: It is wise to remember that not all oregano oil is created equal. Purity is very important when you’re using essential oils, and because dōTERRA has the highest standard for purity and safety in the world, it is the only brand of oil I can confidently recommend.)
– Apply OnGuard oil. This blend has Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Wild Orange, and is another ‘spicy’ oil. It can be used by the whole family. I have friends who use this oil with their children throughout the winter months to keep their immune systems boosted. Dilute one drop with a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil) and apply it on the bottoms of the feet at night before bed, and avoid taking sick days from work and school.
– Cassia, Cinnamon, Lime, Melissa, Melaleuca, Thyme, Black Pepper, Clove, and Wild Orange essential oils are a few others that are great for an immune boost and can be used aromatically in a cold mist diffuser or add a drop in a hot tea and drink up.
– Use OnGuard sanitizing mist hand sanitizer. It will kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria without all the harmful chemicals that you will find in most hand sanitizers. This is great to have in your purse especially when traveling.
The ways to incorporate these oils to help boost and maintain a healthy immune system are endless. The above list includes only a handful of ways that high quality dōTERRA essential oils can help you stay healthy throughout winter—and all year long.
I know how amazing it feels to be empowered and healthy when the seasons change. When I start to feel under the weather, I know that if I use my oils, it will be within a day or two that I’ll be back to normal.
During this dark time of year, let us guard against those pesky, unwelcomed guests: the sniffles, body aches, and annoying, sore and scratchy throats. Instead, let us invite in more wellness—through supporting our healthy immune systems—and celebrate another year. This time, let us all enjoy better health.
Diane Gjelaj is originally from Scotland and has been living in NYC for the past 18 years. She became fascinated by the holistic health field about ten years ago and began her journey with Body-Talk, Hypno-birthing, Doula, and Feng Shui certifications. She realized through her studies that she wanted to help others achieve harmony and balance in their lives.
In 2011, she founded her company, Serene Living, and a year later experienced the power of doTERRA essential oils for her own personal health challenges. This led her to decide to share the power of these essential oils with the world.
She now spends her time educating people about ways to manage their health with these powerful plant extracts. She also leads a team of hundreds of men & women who are also on a mission to help others find safe and natural solutions for their health care needs.
To find out more, order products or to get in touch with Diane directly, visit www.mydoterra.com/sereneliving.