How to Stay Healthy All Winter Long with Wellness Coach Lacy Young

I’ve got the sniffles. And the sneezies. And the achey, coughy, wheezies. I’ve pretty much always taken it as a given that around this time of year my immune system starts throwing in the towel—because seasonal colds and flus are just a part of life, right? Well, maybe not so much. According to our resident wellness coach Lacy Young (remember her fantastic post last month on beating the post-summer blues?), there’s one simple trick that has the power to . It’s definitely outside the box—and it’s definitely not a replacement for a doctor’s when you do need medical attention—but it just might be the mental shift that our achey, sneezy bodies have been waiting for!
perfect lazy morning with white sheets // anne sage
What if I told you that the best preventive medicine was not a supplement, or more rest, or a super food, but rather a change in your beliefs? Would you believe me? Would you be willing to try? We live in a culture that promotes behaviors that are counterintuitive to what nature commands, especially this time of year. As nature starts to settle in for winter we go faster, always trying to do more with the same amount of time. There are parties to attend, gifts to purchase, and pumpkin-spice-everything to consume!

portrait with movement // anne sage

So many of us will not slow down until their body demands it and sends them to bed with a cold or flu. I had a client once tell me that she looks forward to getting sick each year, because it’s the only time she ever has to lie around, watch Netflix, and check out for a while. Yet I’ve not had a seasonal cold or flu in as long as I can remember because of what I’m about to share with you. It rests on the premise that belief is the most powerful thing there is. With the help of belief, you can approach your immune system from the inside-out by rewiring the very mechanism that keeps you healthy. 

minimalist winter table setting // anne sage
Here’s how it works. When you think a thought, it fires in the brain and creates a pathway that signals the body to respond in kind. Say you’re standing in an elevator and a stranger sneezes right in your face! Immediately you wipe your face with the back of your hand and thoughts start coming in rapid succession: “OMG EW! I better not get the flu from this. Why is she coming to work when she’s sick? Where is her decency? This is it, I’m going to get sick because this nut job just sneezed her germs all over me. Oh man. I can’t handle this right now. I have so much to do”… and DING, the elevator arrives at your floor. 
morning tea and winter food styling // anne sage
What just happened? While it’s true you got sneezed on, all that other stuff was belief! Do you believe that germs make you sick? We’ve been told it since we were kids, “wash your hands or you’ll get sick.” The commercials that show green fat cartoon blobs that have one mission in life: to make you sick! It’s reinforced over and over again. However you could, if this feels good for you and the time is right, create a new belief that will  keep you healthy and protected. Think of this new belief as your multi purpose protection suit! It’s backed by modern neuroscience studies and I’ve seen it work miracles.
winter landscape // anne sage
Ready for your new belief? Germs don’t make me sick. Try it on. Remember that beliefs are just thoughts you think over and over again. They are fluid and changeable. What if strangers sneezing in your face can’t touch your incredible immune system? What if you could watch all the seasonal bugs come and go knowing that germs don’t make you sick? At first you’ll need to say it a bunch of times, and you’ll inevitably have opportunities to practice as the Universe always shows up in support of your new beliefs. You may have to sit next to the guy hacking up a lung but you’ll know it’s for you! Take a breath, notice your body start to clinch and that old belief coming in that you’re going to get sick from this person’s germs.
desk scene for a healthy morning // anne sage
To really drive it home, create the new thought in your mind—germs don’t make me sick—and visualize that truth going to every nook and cranny in your body. See it as a golden or white light that puts a protective layer over everything. See the new neural pathway being created in your brain! You may choose to also say a few affirmations that support your new belief like, “I am perfect health. Everything is for me. I love and appreciate my healthy body.” Once you get the hang of it, you have the potential to not only stay healthy but to systematically build the life you want one belief at a time! And if you need some down time to sit in bed and watch Netflix, take it! Don’t wait for sickness to provide the permission to slow down that you’re craving.
pacific grove coastal shoreline // anne sage
Thanks so much for this one, Lacy! I definitely raised an eyebrow the first time I read it but I’ve experienced firsthand my mind’s ability to make my body sick through stress, anxiety, and negative thinking. So it stands to reason that the reverse—greater health through positive beliefs—is also possible! And if nothing else, it’s a powerful excuse for sitting quietly and focusing on intentional self-care, which is a powerful immune booster in and of itself. Anything to make the sniffles a thing of the past!
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  1. I already love the rain and cooler weather, and the introversion of long winter evenings, so if I follow this advice on top of all that, I’ll be golden! Thank you!

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