Stress - It doesn't help that we are all living in the unknown about the future. You become more reactive and making good rational decisions at this time becomes difficult. Things you can do? Don't constantly listen to the news. Having this permanently in your face 24/7 will heighten your stress response. Get your daily information on what is developing and then shut it off. Being constantly exposed to that will only increase your fear. Fear is our primal minds trying to protect us. In those days when a wild animal would be our biggest threat, that response is still the same in our bodies today. Fear in our minds creates thoughts about the future that are not real. They are only thoughts. Living in the now, today, present, helps to eliminate the fear chat that goes on in our heads.
Mindfulness, meditation, being out in nature, going for long walks, and living in the present all helps to bring the stress levels down, and they become more manageable.
Sleep- Very important to have good sleep, lack of it will lower your immunity. Your pineal gland in your brain produces melatonin which modulates sleep patterns. It needs darkness to work at its best, so darken your room. Reduce caffeine intake to a minimum, if you must drink coffee, limit to one a day and have it in the morning. Coffee releases cortisol the stress hormone in your body, and will affect sleep. Camomile tea with honey is a natural sleep promoter. Deep breathing techniques, and meditation before sleep will also help.
Sugar - You may have found that you reach for the comfort foods as a response to the crisis. This is a natural emotional response, but consuming white sugar through sweets and fizzy drinks can lower your immunity response by 40%, and this loweed resistance can last hours. Good news is, that complex carbs don't do this. So Brown rice, brown pasta, brown flour, coconut sugar, whole fruit, vegetables, and eating healthy small meals every two hours will keep your blood sugar levels constant. Chocolate? Reach for dark, it contains magnesium, which boosts your immunity.
Alcohol- This does lower your immune system. Be mindful of how much you drink, and if you must have a glass, go for low sugar. Red wine, and gin are the lowest in sugar, but try and limit to one or two glasses. It will not help your stress levels, and it will not make you feel better long term, daily intake will lower your resistance to viruses.
Vegetables- Double your intake, and include a wide variety of colours, green, purple, red, yellow, orange, this is the time to explore your cooking skills. Home made soups, broths, casseroles, salads, include also natural flavouring like turmeric, herbs, spices, ginger, chilli, the list is endless. Have fun with it, and this is your best line of defence, a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables will increase your immunity, strengthen your whole body and will strengthen your mind and emotions too.
Elderberry - This is a magic berry. It seems to have activity against viruses including the flu, and might reduce inflammation. it is included in many herbal teas, and you can purchase the syrup online, but go for the purest form, cheap does not always mean quality. If pregnant, or on auto immune medication, please check with your Dr first before self-prescribing any herb or medicinal plant. Although natural, they can be really powerful, and can also cause harm if not taken properly.
Water- Hydration is a big one. Especially if you find that you have been reaching for the coffee, and alcohol as comfort a bit more lately. Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking water, and by saying this I mean plain water, not water that is in tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, juices, or squash. You can add slices of lemon, grapefruit, lime, or orange to jazz it up a bit. But ideally you want to be consuming 8 glasses a day, or 1.5-2 litres. Herbal teas are a great way to increase your fluid intake, and you benefit from the amazing herbs, fruits and flowers that they contain. All immune boosting. Keeping your body hydrated with water makes it easier for your cells to eliminate the virus. it will also keep your mind alert, keep headaches at bay, and keep your skin looking youthful, and prevent premature wrinkling.
Thymus tapping- Your thymus gland lies underneath your breast bone. This gland supports the development of T lymphocytes that fight infections. Tapping on your breast bone in-between your breasts will help to awaken the gland and increase it's activity. So let's get tapping!
The weather is getting warmer, we have more daylight, the birds are chirping, and there is hope. This will pass, but as we all navigate our way through it, self-care is vital. Be mindful of how you look after yourself. We all need each other, now more than ever. Prioritising self-care and self-love will make you stronger, to be able to be there for your family, friends, and neighbours. xx