Ironically, I’m writing this as my kids are sick and I have a little frog in my throat. ūüôĀ How I wish I would’ve taken this advice a week ago!

As a mom, it’s hard enough to keep the kids healthy without spraying Lysol over them every time they sneeze. Then they get sick and the next thing you know, everyone’s under the weather, the house looks like a bomb went off, and you’re so. tired.

Yep. Me, too.

So, when your house looks like a bomb went off, the laundry’s piled up to your eyeballs, and the kids have resorted to wiping their noses on the dish towels (word to the wise: don’t use the dish towels in my house)… here’s how to stay well.

1. Sleep

I know, I know. When the kids are getting up two, three, six times a night, sleep isn’t very likely. Still, it’s the one thing that’ll keep you well.

When they nap, move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, start a fresh load, and then take a nap.

At night, go to bed the second they go to bed. Forget the dirty dishes (trust me, they’ll be there in the morning). And don’t fall into the “let me just sit on the couch for five more minutes to relax and then I’ll go to bed” trap. I speak from experience when I say it never ends well.

When the kids are sick, you’re in survival mode, and sleep is the one thing that will save you.

2. Diet

When your family is sick, comfort foods and whatever’s available is what you’ll be reaching for, right?!?

While it’s fine to reach for a comforting staple, like chicken noodle soup or a¬†popsicle to soothe your throat, avoid eating sugar. Studies have shown that sugar causes inflammation, which can weaken your white blood cells and make you feel worse when you have a cold or the flu. This is also true for refined carbohydrates, like crackers or white bread, which quickly turn into sugar when digested.

Dairy was once thought to produce more mucus, but studies now show that it doesn’t. However, it may make the mucus thicker for some people, so avoid dairy if you feel like it’s making your symptoms worse.

When you’re sick, stick to drinking a lot of water to prevent dehydration and eating protein, fruits, and vegetables.

3. Vitamins/Supplements

When your family is sick and you’re trying to protect yourself, immuno-support is essential.

Vitamin C

I have kidney stones, so I have to be careful about the amount of vitamin C that I ingest. However, Vitamin C is one of those time-tested vitamins that boosts your immunity.

When I (or someone in my family) start to feel sick, we try to eat Vitamin C-rich foods, like kiwi, peppers, and oranges. I also take one or two Halls Defense tabs (I like the sugar-free kind – they taste just as good as the regular ones).

NingXia Red

Commonly known as “Ninja Juice” in our house, NingXia Red is an antioxidant rich drink from Young Living. One of the main ingredients is elderberry, which reduces the symptoms of colds and flu.

NingXia Red is a little pricey so we use it sparingly in our house (I also stock up whenever I can get it at a discount). We keep a couple of bottles on hand and use it when someone’s sleep deprived or starting to get sick to give them extra energy and help boost their immunities.

I also send my husband with individual packs when he travels so he stays healthy. My husband’s normally the “I’m a man, I don’t need to take vitamins or supplements” type of guy, but NingXia Red is one thing that I can always get him to take. ūüėČ

Thieves essential oil

When anyone in my family is sick, I start diffusing Thieves like there’s no tomorrow. I usually start with the sick person’s bedroom, then move my diffuser every 30 minutes to another bedroom. Finally, I diffuse it in the kitchen and living room.

If I feel like I’m sleep-deprived or on the verge of getting sick, I sometimes add a drop of Thieves Vitality to my water. It doesn’t taste the best, but it usually gives me that extra kick to stay healthy.

4. Exercise

Exercise may help build your immunities.

According to MedlinePlus, when you’re feeling healthy,¬†regular exercise can help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, change your antibodies and white blood cells, and prevent bacteria from breeding due to the rise in your body temperature.

However, if you’re already feeling sick, exercise may still help you.

If you have a cold, exercise is a great way to help clear your nasal passages. While you shouldn’t overdo it, moderate activity like walking is ok. However, if your body aches or you have a fever, don’t attempt to exercise.

5. Calm environment

Chaos rides into our house on the same horse that brings germs. Our routine (and sometimes my brain) goes out the window when someone’s sick. It’s not fun for anyone.

Unfortunately, that chaos also doesn’t help anyone get well or stay healthy.

I’m a planner and checklist girl, so when my daily routine gets changed, I feel like my life is falling apart. But by having some semblance of a routine, even when someone’s sick, both the kids and I know what to expect.

You’ll probably spend more time resting and staying home when someone’s sick, so create a bare-bones routine. Try to¬†plan simple meals and encourage nap/rest time for everyone.

As far as keeping up with the housework, just try to keep up with the essentials, like doing one batch of laundry a day and picking up the kitchen. Also, try to do things as you go, Wipe down the bathroom a couple of times a day whenever you use it and walk through the house with a Lysol wipe or e-Cloth to clean the door knobs and light switches every night.

6. Self-care

When your kids are sick, you still need to make time for yourself. But painting your toenails is the last thing that should be on this list. Don’t worry, that’s not what I mean by self-care.

Whether you take a nap when the kids sleep, shower before bed to wash off the germs, or read for a few minutes to unwind and give your mind a break so you can actually¬†get a decent night’s sleep, self-care might be the one thing that holds your sanity in place.

Taking a few minutes for yourself is essential, especially when the kids are sick and your house is in an upheaval. It’ll help you stay focused on the tasks at hand and keep overwhelm at bay.

By getting enough sleep, monitoring your diet, getting the correct vitamins and supplements, exercising, keeping a calm environment, and taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to stay healthy even when the rest of your house is in an upheaval.