There is no question these are unprecedented times for most of us. With everything happening it can feel like we have little control right now. Some of us are angry, some of us are scared, some of us don’t know what to think. There’s a lot of uncertainty. While, I don’t necessarily have a crystal ball nor can I make any promises of how this will all roll out. I do believe there are things in our control. We can make conscious decisions to naturally keep immunity strong and stay healthy-body, mind and emotions. In that way regardless of what lies ahead we will be able to show up in the most prepared way with the strength required to persevere in every aspect of our lives, our work and our communities.
Get just enough news to know what’s happening and the latest directives but don’t get pulled into the news cycle. Tuning in once or twice a day is enough to be responsible. Tuning in all day, will inevitably increase stress levels, fear and anxiety. None of these things will support our immunity nor our ability to problem solve.
Reach out and touch someone
I have a feeling no one under 40 will get that reference…luckily there’s YouTube While our social circles are super small right now, the virus can’t spread over the phone lines. Call your loved ones that you can’t visit. Is there someone you’ve been wanting to catch up with that haven’t talked to in a while? Call them, say hello. You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve connected with an old friend, it’s from the feel good chemicals your body releases after feeling close to another. Those feel good chemicals help to reduce stress too. Ultimately less stress means better immunity.
If you’ve got kids at home, hug them. Cuddle up with them on the couch. The break from their routine along with any emotions they are picking up around them may have them feeling scared, uncertain and worried. A parent’s embrace even if there are no words spoken is incredibly calming.
In times of stress and uncertainty, we may require more sleep. Give yourself permission to go to bed early, to nap or to sleep in. Listen to your body and support your mind. The extra sleep will help us process the stress so we can react more rationally as needed. Most importantly being well rested supports our immune system.
While many of us turn to sugary sweets when we are stressed to calm our nerves, if there was a time to break that cycle it’s now. Sugar depletes our immunity, increases inflammation and increases phlegm. None of these are helpful right now. Further, from a Chinese Medicine perspective phlegm inhibits our bodies ability to fight viruses like this one. If following a meal or snack, you find yourself having to clear your throat or notice phlegm in your throat that wasn’t there prior, it might be worthwhile to look at the foods you’re eating. Foods like ice cream, cheese, soy and sugary snacks are often culprits. I’d suggest limiting these right now.
The parks and nature sites are not closed. If you can get some time in nature without getting on public transportation it will serve you well. I’ve written about forest bathing before. Not only does it combat stress and anxiety, it’s also wonderful for our immune systems.
While some of our routines may be thrown off right now, there’s still plenty we can do to nourish ourselves – body, mind and emotions. Be well and stay healthy everyone!