Allergies & Fatigue
For the last 2 weeks I have been SO TIRED. Every morning I had to drag myself out of bed and I never seemed to shake off the brain fog. What drove me crazy (besides being tired) is that I couldn't figure out why! My sleep schedule hadn't changed, the weather was wonderful outside (not too hot, but sunny), I wasn't overly stressed or busy. So what was my problem? After a few too many afternoons researching any potential reason for it (and a few calls to mom), a light bulb finally went off. Allergies...duh!
I always forget about allergies. I often confuse my allergic reactions to a small cold, or lack of good night sleep. My only side effect to seasonal allergies is tiredness, so I usually don't think to blame it. I should be happy I don't get itchy eyes and runny nose, but sometimes I wish my symptoms would be a bit more obvious so that I could deal with them quicker. Anyways, now that I finally figured out what probably is causing this brain mush I can try to do something about it! Of course, I would like to stay away from medication if possible, especially since my reactions aren't severe. Below I listed some of the things I do to feel better. Let me know if you have any ideas you swear by!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar - most of us have probably heard of the infinite benefits this vinegar has to offer. I try to drink a glass of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar every day, but if allergies are bothering me more than usual, I up the amount to 2-3 glasses a day. I have been drinking apple cider vinegar for a few years so my body isn't bothered by the increased amounts. However, if this is your first time drinking it, start off slow. 1 teaspoon a day is a good place to start. I know many that take shots of it in the morning (always dilute with water!), but I prefer to drink it more slowly. Don't tell anyone, but I kind of like the taste!
2. Neti Pot - I discovered this a few months ago when I had a bad cold. This is such wonderful tool to relief sinus pressures. I read that it could help with allergies so I started using it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I didn't even feel congested, but oh man did I feel better after flushing my nose out. Most Neti pots come with salt packets, but you can also just add your own sea salt to water.
3. Essential Oils - During my research I also learned that there are a few essential oils that are antihistamine. These include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon. I happen to have some eucalyptus essential oil so I have been running my essential oil diffusor regularly to help with my allergies. Apparently it helps to rub some essential oil with coconut oil and place it behind ears, on temples, and on chest, depending on your symptoms. I haven't personally tried it yet, but if you have had any experience with that let me know what you think!
4. Green Tea - is there anything green tea can't do? The antioxidants in green tea could help stop your immune system from attacking the allergens in the air (the main reason why we feel so lousy).
5. Local Honey - be sure to include some local honey in your tea or even with your apple cider vinegar. Local honey is thought to have small amounts of pollen from your area which help desensitize your body to them. This way, when allergy season comes around, it won't hit your body so hard and hopefully your immune system doesn't over react.
5. Keep Windows/Doors Shut - this one is hard for me during the spring, and honestly I probably wouldn't follow it if it wasn't so hot and humid outside right now. I have to admit, though, I definitely notice a difference between inside and outside. Guess I have an excuse to not venture out into the hot weather.
6. Don't Fall Behind on Dusting & Vacuuming - yay! another excuse to clean more...said no one ever. Luckily my new apartment only has carpet in the bedrooms so it doesn't take too much effort to vacuum, but the dusting is a drag. I don't know if its because I have 2 cats or because the building is old, but dust accumulates so quickly! I need to invest in a good duster so I am more likely to dust regularly. Also, washing your bed sheets and towels regularly will help if you have reaction to dust mites (which is pretty common, unfortunately).
Like most people, once allergy season comes around, things that don't usually bother me suddenly do. Like my precious kitties, being outside, and dust. Of course, sometimes the best thing is to buy some allergy medicine (which I still might resort to so I can really shake off this brain fog), but I found the things I mentioned above to help minimize the symptoms. If you stick with them through out the year hopefully you notice a difference in how your body reacts during the peak levels of allergy season. Let me know what you guys do to fight off allergy fatigue, or any of the horrible symptoms that come with it.