Life as we have known it has dramatically changed.
The ramifications of the current global crisis created by the Covid-19 health hazard are multiplying at a rapid rate. The information disseminated by the WHO, the CDC, other scientists, and the media are often contradictory and confusing.
Are you one of the many seeking more solid and reliable solutions than hand washing, social distancing and the wearing of masks? Are you ready to take charge of your well-being?
If so pay attention to the condition of your immune system.
Boost your immune system through lifestyle changes in nutrition, exercise, rest, and STRESS REDUCTION. A strong immune system is the best defense for individuals and communities to this and every other virus. This aspect is what is being overlooked by many doctors, public health officials and politicians.
The new reality of working and sheltering at home is stressing many individuals enormously. The result is increased irritability, anger, anxiety, depression and sometimes grief, all hard to bear or express in ways that do not hurt those we love the most and depend on for meaningful connection.
10 Tips to Help You
We need to strengthen our coping mechanisms. Chronic stress taxes the immune system thereby greatly increasing our vulnerability to all viruses and disease. Here are some tips on reducing and/or managing stress.
- Have a fruit breakfast. Fruit is easier to digest than any other food group. Since digesting and eliminating food consume more energy than most of the activities the body/mind system must perform, you will have more energy to kick start your work day.
- Variety in nutrients is essential so as to assure all vitamins and minerals are included. Include at least four sweet fruit choices: apples, pears, grapes, papayas, mangos, cherries, bananas, and/or berries. Ingest acid fruits (grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, etc.) in a separate meal for optimal digestion and assimilation.
- How we eat is as important as what we eat. To assure stress-free digestion avoid conflict at meals, consider having calming background music to distract from outdoor noise, have flowers on a table or somewhere in view, and chew the food well so as to assure that it is absorbed. Savour the taste and texture so as to increase the enjoyment of eating.
- Eliminate or minimize the consumption of meat. Research shows that a plant-based diet contributes to a strong immune system. It also spares animals needless suffering and cruelty.
- When anxious or irritated, shift your focus from thinking to observing sensations and emotions in the body. Overthinking distracts us from deciphering the vital messages our feelings are urgently seeking to communicate. These messages are critical to setting us free.
- Slowing our breathing is pivotal to calming the autonomic nervous system(ANS)so that we can give our body the attention needed to access and express our feelings. We can do this by counting to 5 breathing in and to 7 breathing out and placing the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth when inhaling and dropping the tongue when breathing out. Placing one hand on the back of the neck and one on the forehead for a few breaths and then moving the hands to the chest and belly for a few more will further calm the ANS.
- Anger management is a critical skill to develop to assure further immune system strength. Suppressed anger can increase blood pressure, contract muscles and harm the body. Uncontrolled anger can intimidate and harm others undermining those relationships most important to us. Harmonious relationships and the felt safety, security, and well-being they produce contribute to a robust immune system. Quick-release of irritability and anger can be achieved by shredding pages of a magazine, phone book, or scrap paper, wringing every last drop of water out of a wet facecloth, raising arms to shoulder height and bending the arms, then elbowing backwards uttering one-syllable words: “No I won’t”, “No you don’t”, “back off”, “stop”.
- When sadness or grief surface do not choke off the tears. Lower your chin if it tilts upward, use encouraging self-talk: “It is ok to feel these feelings in their full intensity”, “These tears are like raindrops on roses. They nourish me and help me grow”. Then self soothe.
- Regular exercise contributes further to strengthening the immune system. Muscles need the stretching that comes from yoga, pilates and ongoing awareness of the involuntary contractions of muscles in response to noise assault and perceived physical or emotional danger. Muscles need to be strengthened as well as stretched. We need cardiac stimulation through aerobic activity which could be as simple as on the spot jogging. We need to combine a regular exercise routine with ongoing body attunement that corrects posture and muscle tightness as needed periodically during each day.
- Quality sleep is yet another indispensable contributor to a healthy immune system for it is when resting that the body/mind restores and heals from the demanding and sometimes depleting activities of the day.
There is no need to feel pressure to implement all of this at once. Every small step counts and contributes to our ultimate success. The body has a mind of its own and informs us of when we need to stick to our routine and when we need a brief break.
There is no formula. Let your gut guide you every step of the way to boosting your miraculous immune system.