Amid this growing Coronavirus crisis I believe that it is no coincidence that I’m teaching about nature connection more than ever. Last weekend I co-led forest bathing walks and workshops, plus did miles of hiking in the woods. Also I’m in the middle of teaching the Earth Energy course online. In this past week I’ve been inspired to share these thoughts. So here it is.
We’ve all heard the common sense tips, such as washing hands and avoiding crowds. These makes total sense when dealing with an infectious disease.
But what about stress? When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off illness is reduced. The sympathetic nervous system responds, creating that “fight or flight” feeling. Stress is already a global epidemic and is a major factor for most of the world’s illnesses. But now, who among us doesn’t feel additional stress of the unknown in these surreal times?
Some Different Tips for Coronavirus Prevention
The key phrase here is “Strengthen Your Immune System.” These tips are known to help with anxiety and depression.
Watch less news. The 24 x 7 onslaught of breaking news makes us feel more anxious about what may occur. We need to be informed, but try to stay on top of the news in bite-size chunks.
Breath work & Meditation. When we are stressed we tend to have a shallow breath. This is part of the fight/flight response and creates a spiraling effect. The more shallow we breath, the more panic and anxiety sets in. Focusing on the breath is a tried and true method of meditation. Count your inhale to 4, then exhale to 5. This lengthening of the exhale will help you be more focused on the present moment and will automatically kick in the relaxation response.
Recognize the 90-second rule. Haven’t heard of this? Neither had I until I read this post today: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-calm-your-anxiety-about-coronavirus-in-90-seconds I love that it shows us how we ultimately can be empowered over our emotions, when we can choose to descend into a spiral or not.
Spend more time in nature. This is a BIG ONE in my book. There are thousands of studies that show how nature improves health – physical, mental, and emotional health. Spending time outside, especially among trees and plants, can have a very positive boost in well being. Being outdoors helps trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, known as the relaxation response and helps us better cope with stress.
But what about those of you who cannot get out? This week, I spoke with one of my students in Italy….is on lock down. She very much wants to be out in nature, but she cannot.
My suggestion for the home bound is to sit quietly with a view of nature. Sunlight and a view of a field or trees will help create a restorative experience. No views? A Youtube video of a rushing stream with natural sounds, like this 3-hour video! Wow! https://youtu.be/IvjMgVS6kng
Or perhaps this tropical island ocean video is more your style: https://youtu.be/DGIXT7ce3vQ
Add an essential oil of pine or lavender in a diffuser to get a multi-sensory experience.
Crystals can help. They have been used in healing practices for thousands of years. Crystals emit powerful healing energy from the earth. Crystal and feng shui expert, Susan M. Chu suggests the following crystals to support and strengthen your immune system: green aventurine, infinite, citrine, and orange calcite. Susan says, “I do suggest all four as they help in different ways. Green aventurine is good for lung health. Orange calcite helps with queasiness, intestines, and stomach. Citrine & infinite are good to strengthen the gut.”
Since I already carry crystals in my pocket on a daily basis, I just purchased these crystals to keep around. They’ll boost my health and my mood when I need it!
Adjust the center of your home. Why the center? The center of any space is where all the energy collects and is vital to health, balance and harmony in body, mind and spirit. You can read more about it here: https://www.luminous-spaces.com/feng-shui-center-home/
Gratitude and Positivity. I tend to be one of those people that downplay danger. A bit bold (my Wood True Nature!). I’m not a huge risk taker (nope, not jumping out of a plane just yet), but I’m also no coward. I’m taking each day at a time. Planning the upcoming weeks and months as if all is well. Of course, there will need to be contingency plans. Every day there seems to be new shift of what is doable and I adjust. But I do hope to keep my positive energy and a deep well of gratitude handy and accessible. In fact, here’s a great article that provides solid positive information about the virus. https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-ten-reasons-why-you-ought-not-to-panic-132941
Hopefully we will come out of this with greater wisdom, gratitude and deeper appreciation and respect for life and the natural world!