Finally shedding the cold, winter months for brighter days is always an exciting time — for most of us. As we defrost into spring and eventually summer, new seasonal challenges lie in wait, and suddenly we find ourselves too sick, stuffy, and miserable to enjoy the long missed sunshine.

The culprits usually to blame are pollen and our weakened immune systems from the colder months.

Being sick or suffering with respiratory issues disrupts those highly anticipated springtime activities. Moreover, it can interfere with your sleep, which in turn can cause stress and irritability, and can even have an effect on your skin.

This means that finding — and utilizing — natural solutions for seasonal challenges not only makes it so you can actually enjoy the warmer months, but will also put less strain on your body overall.

 

Give Your Immune System a Boost

Taking care of your immune system is extremely important year round, but during the winter and spring months, it’s especially important. As Healthline explains, “immune system cells initiate a more robust antiviral defense at lung temperature versus nasal cavity temperature. This might mean that the body may not fight the virus as well if the temperature in the nose and upper airway is lowered by environmental cold.” Keep in mind that flu season typically lasts until May and your immune will have likely suffered or dipped during the cold months.

You’ve got to be well prepared to fight off these seasonal offenders that can affect your health. To keep your immune system operating in full force, it’s important to adopt healthy living strategies:

•get plenty of sleep
•eat more fruits and vegetables
•make sure your micronutrient needs are being met with the help of a daily multivitamin
•and try to limit your alcohol and tobacco use.

 

It’s also essential to minimize stress as much as possible. Keeping your immune strong is the best way to ensure you can make it out to enjoy the changing season instead of being stuck in bed.

Pollen: The Silent Intruder

As the days begin warming up, you’ll likely want to escape the heat every now and then by heading inside your house; however, your home can contribute to many irritating respiratory issues.

Direct Energy recommends you fortify your house against local pollens by:

1.Maintaining your HVAC system
2. Never letting up in the battle against mold
3. Taking extra precautions early in the morning when pollen count is higher
4. Showering often
5. Using the air conditioner
6. Taking advantage of exhaust fans

 

Making the effort to help keep your home as pollen free as possible is a great way to lessen problems and help you sleep better at night.

Don’t forget to take your shoes off as soon as you walk in, and if you or anyone in your family has been outside for an extended period of time, it’s important to change clothes quickly afterwards and make sure the dirty ones make it into a hamper.

Something in Your Eye

Pollen doesn’t just mess with your nose, but likes to find its way into your eyes and irritate them as well. According to experts at KE Eye Centers, “For many people, symptoms of [eye irritants] are worse in the spring as pollen counts rise when trees, plants and grass begin germinating. The symptoms include red, irritated eyes, itchiness, and excessive tearing or runny eyes. In some cases, eyelids may be swollen, and there may be soreness, burning or pain. Some patients also report sensitivity to light.”

Sounds like fun, right? Luckily, there are a lot of great natural solutions for these issues.

Washing your face and rinsing out your eyes with a bit of water are quick, easy remedies. If your eyes tend to swell, Everyday Health recommends applying a cold press, “soak a towel or washcloth in cold water or refrigerate a damp cloth or eye pillow. Then lie down with the compress across your eyes to let the coolness reduce swelling.”

If those methods don’t seem to reduce your problems there are also eye drops available specifically made to combat itchy, red eyes. Moreover, taking care of your eyes will ensure you don’t miss those blooming flowers that have finally escaped the grasps of winter.

When spring finally arrives, the temptation to spend more time outside is very alluring. However, the enjoyment can be short lived when seasonal offenders like pollen and the flu swoop in to make your springtime moments miserable. Giving your body some extra help during this time can help make these warmer days much more enjoyable.

Good luck!