Sometimes I feel like special needs moms have the keys to life. We know how to deal with intense stress, we will stay on the phone for hours with insurance companies to advocate for our kids, and we work extra hard to stay healthy so our kids stay well and out of the hospital. So when the big CV sprung up, I noticed that many special needs moms, although worried (and rightly so), were more prepared than the average person. You see, special needs families that have immunocompromised children live their lives with extra precautions on the daily. It’s something we have always had to do to make sure our children stay healthy because the alternative could possibly mean a long hospitalization or death. It’s a sad and scary reality for us. Today I want to share some easy ways to stay healthy that everyone can do all the time, especially during these scary times, and I hope you’ll find them helpful.
LEAVING SHOES AT THE DOOR is one of my favorite easy ways to stay healthy in your home. We have implemented this since right before Addie came home from the NICU. In 2016, a study by researchers at the University of Arizona introduced a report saying the average shoe sole is covered with 421,000 bacteria and that 90 percent of those bacteria transfer directly to a clean tile floor on first contact. Then in 2017, a study on shoe bacteria by the University of Houston showed that more than 26% of shoes examined test positive for C. diff. That’s more than three times the amount typically found in kitchens and bathrooms. Isn’t that disgusting? While people didn’t initially understand why we enforced leaving shoes at the door, they now know it’s the rule at our house. If you’re wanting to implement this in your home, let any visitors know ahead of time they need to wear or bring socks. Have a guest that forgot? Have a basket with fun socks at the entrance of your home so no one has to fret. We personally have this amazing entryway table that has plenty of room for shoes for our guests!
WASHING HANDS is an another easy way to stay healthy, but it needs to be done right in order to be effective. When Addie was in the NICU they had sinks outside of the unit and would require us to sing our ABC’s twice while washing with hot water in order to be allowed to come in. It was such an important lesson to see just how fragile these little ones truly were, and the importance of hand washing. I also learned that using paper towels was another easy way to help the spread of germs. When you use regular hand towels and people aren’t washing their hands properly, then germs can easily spread to the next person that dries their hands. If you can’t find paper towels or just want to help our environment more, try using unpaper towels! We love this brand called Marley’s Monsters and have used them for years. Use it, throw it in a little laundry basket, wash, and roll back up! Make it a habit to tell your family and anyone visiting your home that as soon as they come in the door they should take their shoes off, head to the bathroom, and thoroughly wash their hands. It’s a non-negotiable rule in our house that has really helped the spread of germs
LIMITING GOING OUT DURING RESPIRATORY SEASON is a key way you and your family can stay healthy. As a trach mom, this one is of big importance. From Fall to Winter you will often see our family at home way more often. We limit eating out at restaurants (and if we do go, I am very liberal with my Young Living Thieves Spray), we don’t go to the movies, and we stay away from parks and playdates. Addie was recently in the hospital for nearly 3 weeks because of a cold, which just showed how fragile she truly is. She got sick from a toddler with a runny nose that gave it to Lawson. If you have a runny nose, cough, or fever, you especially need to do your best to not going out during respiratory season. If you must go out, please use a face mask. Face masks aren’t easy to come by right now, but reusable face masks are great too! Just make sure you wash them in hot water and vinegar between uses. By limiting going out, you help others stay healthy.
STEAMING AND SANITIZING YOUR HOME is one helpful way I’ve found you can stay healthy. We love our Raycop for sanitizing any fabric. After 2 seconds it can extract 99.99% of bacteria, 99.8% of pollen after 1 minute, and can extract 90% of household dust in just 3 minutes. I wrote a whole blog post about it a few years ago, and it’s still a product we love. You’d be surprised at the amount of bacteria people have on their clothes that transfer to furniture. We also use our Shark Steam Mop pretty frequently. I put Thieves cleaner and water in the reservoir and steam our floors to make sure all germs leave our house. I love that it gets our floors squeaky clean and I can throw the pads in my washing machine and reuse them. If you have kids, pets, or guests, you need these in your home.
LIMITING SUGAR is so important to wellness and a great way to stay healthy. Have you noticed that during the Fall and Winter people are more sick? Have you also noticed that during that time we have Halloween candy, Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts, New Years alcohol, and more? Sugar causes inflammation in the body and doesn’t do you any favors when it comes to staying healthy. In fact, as a nation, we consume way too much added sugar. Adult men take in an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the National Cancer Institute. That’s equal to 384 calories. In the American diet, the top sources are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. But added sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, like soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup. Read your labels as best as possible. If you’re desperate for sweets, try alternative sweeteners like Stevia, Monkfruit, or Erythritol. I really like this Stevia & Monkfruit liquid sweetener for my morning coffee.
TAKING SUPPLEMENTS is one thing our family always does to help us stay healthy and is so important year-round, but even more important during seasons where many people are sick. Our family religiously takes Young Living supplements like Super C (a vitamin C + essential oil chewable), Multigreen (a chlorophyll supplement), and Life 9 (a probiotic for gut health). The most important thing I’ve found out about taking supplements is that they’re made to supplement your life. I know that sounds simple, but if you’re eating unhealthy foods or drinking sugary drinks, supplements really aren’t going to help you that much. But if you take care of your body, eat healthy, watch your sugar intake, and get some exercise in, you’ll find that doing those things and taking supplements will really make a difference in your health.