The current health climate can feel frightening, and more than ever, it’s important to bring wellness to the forefront of our routines. I’m writing about true wellness here – one that goes beyond cauliflower crusts and kale smoothies – a type of wellness we can only create from the inside out, in both body and soul. Here’s a little something for both, that goes beyond “wash your hands & don’t touch your face”.
FOR THE BODY
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet full of foods that 𝘢𝘳𝘦 ingredients, not that 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 ingredients, greatly boosts the immune system. Avoiding chemicals and decreasing sugar (even natural sugar) hugely supports immunity, even though it seems almost too simple. Keeping active in any way that feels good throughout the day is also a key component of vitality and immunity – dancing to our favourite songs, doing an intuitive yoga sequence, or plugging into one of the many workout sessions offered online for free. Also- sleep! Good sleep is one of the body’s best defence mechanisms.
𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬
Vitamin D, Liposomal glutathione, vitamin C, zinc, andrographis, probiotics, elderberry, reishi & chaga mushrooms. Also, sunshine, and walking outside especially in nature, is wonderful for both the immune system and the soul. These aren’t necessary, but they are the most useful, if choosing to incorporate supplements into a self-care routine.
Stress and fear are major immune system suppressors. Let’s be informed, and also, keep fear-inducing headlines and conversations at arms’ length. The media has their hands in many pots- they want to keep us informed and also, they feed and capitalize off of increasing traffic and web ad prices. It’s ok, and good, to be calm. Meditation is profoundly calming and grounding. It’s ok, and good, to laugh. Laughter is needed to keep spirits high. Both are good medicine.
𝐓𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝
The ever-fascinating neuroscientific Polyvagal Theory explains that when people freak out, they send signals to their body to operate either in fight-or-flight or in shutdown, both survival modes. While this may be adaptive in certain situations, it’s unhelpful in this one – while in survival mode, the prefrontal cortex (our brain’s decision-making and reasoning centre) shuts down. Operating without our rational mind can feed the flames of mass upheaval. How do we ground, stay centered, and keep our ability to think clearly? By guiding ourselves back into a parasympathetic state – this could be through meditation, laughter, essential oils, self-care rituals (such as baths), embodiment (yoga, exercise), or allowing 10 minutes of news per day to keep informed and then cutting ourselves off afterwards.
FOR THE SOUL
𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞
Reacting to people’s reactions only breeds more… Reaction. Right now, we need less reaction, and more awareness. I was at Whole Foods, and lucky enough to find some rice when it was deemed sold out. I immediately put it in my cart. As I was in line for the cash, I realized – I don’t even really eat rice- it makes me foggy. I looked at my cart and asked – am I buying these things out of want, need, or panic? I took the rice out of my cart, along with 2 other items- I didn’t actually need them. I added some yellow roses, because they made me happy.
𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬
Words with a heightened emotional charge fuel the fires of mass panic. While acknowledging reality for what it is, I believe it’s our responsibility to create a safe environment within our minds and the minds we touch daily. Let’s be gentle, peaceful, and grounded. For example: I’m currently in the US and a friend gently told me Canada is encouraging people to come home. Imagine she had used the word “urging” or “forcing”. Same intention, very different vibe and effect. The words we use matter – they create our reality.
𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬
We’re all reacting in the best way we know how. Yes, we’re seeing all sides of humanity right now, some of them not so graceful. Can we feel compassion for the woman shoving and grabbing at Whole Foods? Can we feel compassion for the businesses closing? Can we feel compassion for governments doing what they think is best while having absolutely no idea or guidebook as to how to handle the situation? Can we feel compassion for the people spreading messages of fear, misguidedly hoping to protect those they love? They’re all acting on their instinct of self-preservation. It’s not an excuse, but it’s an explanation, and one that asks for compassion from and for our fellow humans.
𝐀 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬
As a collective, most of us have been playing in the realm of the outer world. Many have been building towards what they’ve been told would make them happy. Seeking validation, keeping constantly busy, and creating lives that look good, while secretly feeling pain/unhappiness in their inner world. The collective has now been asked to go inwards physically, and perhaps even deeper within themselves. What’s working? What isn’t? What is this bringing up within us? How do we want to live when it’s over? When the world’s current events ask us to sober up and snap out of the trance we often find ourselves in daily, breakthroughs can happen. Speaking of breakthroughs…
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲?
Every situation, no matter how dire, offers opportunities. Is there a fiction book you’ve been meaning to read but “don’t have the time”? Has your body been craving rest, but you’ve been busy keeping up with things you think are important? Can you show up and lead your community in a new way? Can you stretch beyond your edges into more kindness and compassion towards others? Can you lean into remote work, and see if it’s a better lifestyle fit for you? Let’s each find our own unique opportunities within our current reality.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐣𝐨𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬
Is our situation serious? Yes. Are we still allowed to feel joy daily? Yes. Feelings of joy not only increase immunity, but they spark a special intangible “it factor” that’s protective and adaptive for both the human body and spirit. Call it vibration, call it chi, call it magic, call it whatever you will – it’s real. Feed it, and it will grow, and it will colour your reality bright.
With our collective awareness, discernment, and authority over our inner worlds, let’s move through the next few weeks with grace and resilience.