During this pandemic it’s easy to feel that much is out of your control. In truth, there are many ways in which we can help ourselves and our loved ones to become more resistant to the impacts of the virus, and help our bodies to withstand the stress of uncertainty that we will be facing for some time to come. Inflammation and immune function are at the core of building up our resilience.
Calming internal inflammation is first on the list of things we CAN do:
- Remove inflammatory triggers from your diet: gluten, dairy, refined sugar, alcohol, processed foods, plus any known food allergens, sensitivities, and intolerance's.
- Go ahead and spice it up! Add garlic, ginger, and turmeric to your favorite dishes.
- Eat as many colors of the rainbow as possible, and keep your vegetable intake up.
- Stay hydrated to keep those mucous membranes moist.
Calming your nervous system is second on the list of things we CAN do:
- Understand and recognize that these are difficult times. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that are surfacing. It’s OK to experience feelings of sadness, anger, and fear.
- Try breathing: Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, and hold for 4 counts. Repeat 3-5 times.
- Sleep, Sleep, Sleep! Make this a priority along with relaxation. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for this immune boosting necessity.
- Reach out and spend time with friends and family over the phone or video conferencing – this is your support system.
Calming as many lifestyle patterns as you can is third on the list of things we CAN do:
- Chew your food thoroughly – your digestive system depends on it for maximum nutrient absorption
- Sip on some hot soup or tea – for added benefit add raw honey or coconut oil
- Walk slowly – outside if possible. This will help to balance out your sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) portions of your nervous system.
- Take note of your surroundings – Mother Nature has so much to offer those who see and hear the gifts she has bestowed upon us.
- Take time to smell the flowers or any smells that bring you joy. Frankincense essential oil is a great option too.
- Take breaks from the news and your phone – especially before bedtime to improve your sleep quality.
In our current situation, it is important to find things that we DO have control over. This is especially critical when our mental, physical, and spiritual health is at stake.