I’m focused on immunity this month because if we wait until cold and flu season hits to work on building up our immune systems, it might be too late. The best way to fortify your immunity is to identify the ways you might be weakening your immune system in the first place. Then you can make changes to reverse those patterns and get healthy. Here are five areas to pay attention to.

  1. You’re Often Stressed

Stress is okay in small doses. Unfortunately, most of us are under chronic stress, which wreaks havoc on your immunity. Your body gets so busy trying to handle whatever stress you’re dealing with at the moment that it can’t funnel its energy to fight germs and keep you from getting ill. If you get sick on a regular basis and are also under a ton of stress, your first step will be to get control of the circumstances that put you under stress. Next, implement stress management techniques like relaxation, massage, meditation, deep breathing, or therapy. And find extra time to do things you enjoy. Supplements can also help. When I am under a lot of stress, I take REDD Remedies’ At Ease. It takes the edge off.

  1. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

It’s likely that if you are under a lot of stress, you are also not getting enough sleep. But even if stress isn’t a factor, lack of sleep will leave you feeling run down and chasing your next caffeine fix to get you through the day. Your body regenerates when you sleep. If you don’t sleep enough, your body won’t build up enough reserves to fight off illness. This negative cycle will catch up to you, if not now then soon. So shut off your television and devices early, settle into bed on time, and rearrange your schedule to ensure that you’re getting the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep each night.

  1. Your Diet Is Unhealthy

If vegetables are a stranger to your plate and carb-laden treats like cookies and chips are more your style, your immune system is suffering. Even if you pop a multivitamin/mineral supplement, your body is not getting the nutrients it needs. Fill your plate with colorful, non-starchy fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins, and beneficial fats at every meal and snack to fortify your immune system so that it’s better equipped to do its job. And if cravings are your weakness, try REDD Remedies’ Crave Stop.

  1. Your Social Life Is Not Very Social

Unless you’re still in school, you’ve probably noticed that it’s not easy to make new friends. And yet, a robust social life helps to keep you healthy. People who lack social engagement are more likely to get sick. If you tend to stay home and avoid social situations, your health may be suffering. Find a local event to attend, and put yourself out there. Your health depends on it.

  1. You Don’t Exercise Much

You probably knew that I wouldn’t get to the end of this list without suggesting that a lack of exercise might be making you sick. It’s true. Exercise is vital to your health. If your idea of exercise is more like lifting the remote, or moving your arm from the bag of chips to your mouth, your immune system needs a boost! Start easy by taking a walk every day. Work your way up so that the exercise feels attainable. You’re more likely to stick to the exercise if you build up slowly rather than go all in at once.