My favorite hacks for support during allergy season
Ah, allergy season. It's that time of year again! No matter how prepared I am with my pollen counts and air filters, it can sometimes be difficult to keep allergies at bay or find the proper support for a healthy immune system. But luckily, there are a few things I like to turn to when suffering from an unwanted case of sniffles and sneezes - simple solutions that help me feel in control over this frustrating annual event. In this post, I'll share some of my favorite hacks to take care of myself during allergy season. So grab a cup of tea (lemon helps open up your airways!), settle in near your air filter if needed, and let's get started on finding restorative relief!

Helpful Hacks
1.  Get tested.  Simple blood allergy test at your doctor.  Also, food sensitivity test.
Have you ever thought about getting tested to find out what you're allergic to? It's actually super simple and can save you a ton of trouble in the long run. Your doctor can easily administer a basic blood allergy test that checks for a wide array of common allergens. Plus, you can also get a food sensitivity test if you suspect that certain foods are causing you discomfort. Trust me, taking this step can give you peace of mind and help you make informed choices about what you eat and how you live your life.  When you can lower your inflammation by avoiding your allergens and sensitivities, you will feel so much better!

2. Know your triggers and avoid them. Check pollen count and avoid being outside when pollen is high or it is windy. 
If you are someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, then you know too well the feeling of a stuffy nose or itchy eyes. Fortunately, knowing your triggers is half the battle. A little bit of planning can go a long way toward avoiding those nasty allergy symptoms. Check the pollen count in your area before you step outside, and if it's high, make like a bear and hibernate indoors until it passes. And if there's a particularly blustery day that's sending tree debris flying through the air, perhaps a cozy day curled up with a good book is in order. Remember, a little bit of avoidance goes a long way in keeping those allergies at bay.

3. Get a HEPA air filter for your house.
Are you tired of sneezing your way through your own home? Maybe it's time to invest in a HEPA air filter. These powerful filters trap tiny particles like pollen, pet dander, and even bacteria, making your air cleaner and healthier to breathe. Plus, with a sleek design and easy-to-use features, you won't even mind having it on display in your home. Say goodbye to allergies and hello to fresh air with a HEPA air filter. Your nose (and lungs) will thank you.

4.  Keep your home clean - free of dust and dirt.
If you suffer from allergies, you know how important it is to keep your home clean and dust-free. But let's be honest, cleaning is not a glamorous task. However, with a little bit of effort, you can create an allergy-friendly oasis in your home. Regularly vacuuming and dusting surfaces can make a significant difference in reducing the amount of allergens in the air. And don't forget about washing bedding and curtains in hot water to rid them of any unwanted particles. So, put on your cleaning gloves and embrace the task at hand. Your nose will thank you later.

5.  Stay hydrated.  Dehydration aggravates allergies.
Water, water, everywhere, but are you drinking enough? Staying hydrated is important for so many reasons, from keeping your skin clear to ensuring that your organs are functioning properly. However, did you know that dehydration can actually worsen your allergies? That's right, not drinking enough water can lead to dried out mucus membranes, making it even harder for your body to fend off pollen and other allergens. I have a large durable water bottle that I take everywhere with me so I can be sure to stay hydrated.  So, the next time you're tempted by that second cup of coffee, reach for a refreshing glass of water instead. Your allergies (and your body) will thank you.

6.  Remove clothes worn outside when you get home.
We all know the vibrant colors and sweet fragrances of flowers are one of the most attractive features of spring. Unfortunately, pollen can be quite a nemesis when it comes to wreaking havoc with our allergies! But fear not, as there's a simple solution to this problem, and it starts with your wardrobe habits. Removing clothes worn outside as soon as you get home is an effective way to rid them of pesky pollen. Not only does this prevent pollen from spreading to other parts of your living space, but it will also save you the hassle of sneezing and coughing fits that can be a result of contact with pollen. So, next time you step out, remember to undress and breathe easy!

7.  Take a shower when you get home.
As the weather warms up, so does the pollen count outside. We all know that pesky pollen can cause allergy symptoms we don't want to deal with. But did you know that pollen can also cling to our skin and hair?  The solution to this problem? A simple shower! Not only will it help rinse away any pollen stuck to your skin and hair, but it also feels pretty refreshing after a long day. So, next time you come inside after spending time outdoors, make sure to lather up and rinse away that pollen. Your body (and your sinuses) will thank you.

8. Rinse your sinuses.  Neti pot or squeeze bottle.
As allergy season hits full swing, many of us find ourselves reaching for tissues and antihistamines at every turn. However, there's another tool in the allergy-fighting toolbox that doesn't get as much attention: rinsing your sinuses. Whether you opt for a trusty neti pot or a more modern squeeze bottle, the simple act of flushing out your nasal passages can provide some much-needed relief. Plus, it's a satisfying feeling knowing you're taking matters into your own hands (or rather, your own nasal cavities). So give it a try – your allergies (and your sinuses) will thank you.

9. Remove toxic cleaners and other products from the home, as they can contribute to allergies themselves, and can add to inflammation in general.  Many conventional cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. Some of the most common allergy-inducing ingredients in cleaning products include ammonia, chlorine, and synthetic fragrances. These chemicals can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, causing symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. Fortunately, there are safer alternatives available, such as Young Living Thieves cleaners. Made with natural ingredients like lemon, clove, and cinnamon, these cleaners are free from harmful chemicals and provide a powerful, effective clean. By swapping out toxic cleaners for Young Living Thieves cleaners, you can create a healthier home environment and reduce your risk of allergy symptoms.

 These hacks are simple, but most everyone can use them!  For many of us, alone, these are not enough.  In the next blog, my favorite natural remedies for support during allergy season, you will find more that will support your body, not just with prevention, but to help calm your immune system down and help you be comfortable.  

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