How I (Finally) Defeated Cold & Flu Season

It’s your responsibility to fill your bucket – not your boss’s, not your board’s, not your church’s, not your staff’s, not your spouse’s. It’s your own responsibility to keep your bucket filled.
— Bill Hybels

To be very clear, my job title does not end in MD. This is my disclaimer to do your own research as this topic is vast.

I have been looking forward to writing this post all year after getting through my first calendar year without getting sick. I remember getting that early warning sign, scratchy throat one morning and being fine the next day. That was the extent of my sickness in the past 12 months. This came on the heals of me being out of commission for 11 weeks the previous year with a bronchial infection and pneumonia. After that experience and previous years of multiple illnesses, I promised to myself I would play offense in defeating the cold and flu season in Chicago.

The reason I'm veering away from a post about strategy for your church this week is so you're not laid up in bed during a crucial season in your church. One of the most important things we bring to our leadership is our energy. Don't pay defense this year with your health - play offense.

Here's what I do, that so far, is working:

1. I drink a daily morning "cocktail"

This is includes Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice. On top of ACV giving you soft and shiny hair (I'm kidding...sort of) it has antviral and antiseptic qualities too. Do your research on how much you should take. I add about a shot glass with 12 ounces of water. I add lemon juice to combat the vinegar flavor a bit but it's also packed with Vitamin C and combats inflammation in the body. Use natural lemon juice and not stuff that comes in a bottle that looks like a lemon.

2. I take a tablespoon of Cod Liver Oil

On top of being really good for your brain, it's extremely high in Omega-3's and Vitamin D which play a crucial role in immune health. You can get it flavored so it's actually tastes pretty good.

3. I take a multivitamin

No surprise here. A multivitamin with A, C, E, Selenium and Zinc is great for general immune health.

4. I take a Probiotic

When I was severely sick 2 years ago, I went to urgent care twice. Both times I was given an antibiotic and both times I remained sick. I finally went to my primary care doctor and he told me to throw away my antibiotic and start taking an over the counter pro biotic. Not only do they ward off infection in the intestines but body-wide. I take a Probiotic daily ever since.

As I stated above, consult a doctor and do your own research. This is what worked for me.

Other crucial strategies...

You need to be taking care of the core 3 for your physical health: drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep and exercising daily...yes, daily.

You need to maintain a consistent connection to God, entrusting your health to him in prayer.

You need to manage stress with healthy rhythms.

As a leader in the Church, this start-of-the-school-year to Christmas season is so vital to the growth of our churches. Why wait to play defense against sickness, when it's too late, when you can play offense? What good is planning for a healthy season in your church if you're laid up in bed for it all?

Too often, church leaders strive to set the pace in spiritual health, emotional health and relational health but neglect the physical realm of the wholistic health we bring to our leadership.

What about you? What strategies do you use to play offense against cold and flu season?

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