For many of us, we can emerge from this crisis healthier than before. We have time to focus on health and wellness practices such as going for walks in the fresh air, getting fitter, enhancing our sleep and eating well.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela Foster, a leading female biohacker, certified health, and performance coach. She helps her clients to optimize the expression of their genes by combining modern science with time-honored holistic practices. She is experienced in women’s biohacking: diet and fitness, sleep and aging, metabolism and menopause.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Back in 2014, after pushing myself hard as a Corporate lawyer and having three young children within 4 years, I suffered from depression and burnout. This culminated in me fighting for my life with double pneumonia. After making a full recovery with little long term damage to my lungs, I embarked on a new journey to discover how to optimize my physical and mental health. I retrained as a health and performance coach and nutritional therapist with the mission of helping as many people as I can transform their energy and their health.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
As a book lover, there are many books that have influenced me over the years, but an important one that really helped me connect with myself and overcome my depression was The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
I think that when you are going through something difficult, it is helpful to remind yourself that “this too shall pass”. One thing that we can be certain of in life, is change and so we will come through this. It is very helpful to think of 5 reasons to be hopeful — this is similar to practicing gratitude. My five reasons to be hopeful during this Corona Crisis are:
- We are all in this together and we are seeing humanity connect in a new way with people going out of their way to support each other. For example, here in England, doctors are coming out of retirement to treat people, children are drawing rainbows of hope and putting them up in their windows and a week ago everyone came out of their houses to clap in support of the NHS
- We are being given the opportunity to connect with ourselves on a deeper level. With one-third of the world quarantined in their homes, we can use this opportunity to connect with ourselves and make time for meditation and gratitude. These two practices played a big part in helping me get over depression and have been shown to help people manage anxiety.
- For many of us, we can emerge from this crisis healthier than before. We have time to focus on health and wellness practices such as going for walks in the fresh air, getting fitter, enhancing our sleep and eating well.
- With the ability to connect with anyone anywhere online, we can join groups and participate in live classes expanding our communities
- We can use this time to learn new skills and new ways of working, e.g. from home
From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
- Create a routine for yourself and those around you, especially for children. Staying at home doesn’t have to mean staying in pajamas and watching TV all day. Put up a timetable of things to do as a family, do quizzes or daily brain teasers, workout together, play board games and even do household chores together. Check-in with loved ones who are lonely or isolated.
- Encourage them to put on some upbeat music with happy lyrics and dance. This is one of the quickest ways to change your state. Your subconscious mind hears everything so encourage them to make sure they fill it with positivity, interesting audiobooks and podcasts
- Exercise — move your body every single day. Use online guided programs — free ones on youtube or paid subscriptions. The trainers are highly motivating and exercise releases endorphins which reduce anxiety and lifts your mood.
- Be proactive in taking care of your health. Eat healthily, get outside in the garden or on your balcony and soak up some Vitamin D from the sun
- When feeling anxious encourage them to focus on their breathing — counting in for 6 and out for 8. Your breath is the easiest way to engage the parasympathetic nervous system and relax.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
Practice acceptance with positive words. There are countless times in history that we have come through difficult times and we will come through this. We worry about what might happen. Stoic teachings can help with this — we need to practice being in the present and accept what is out of our control. Limit too much of anxiety-inducing news programs and focus on the active steps you can take to look after your health.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Become the CEO of your Health. Health habits compound over time in either direction just like money. Take positive action to eat well, move often, sleep well and practice self-care. These daily habits compound over time to enhance your immune system, your health, and longevity
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
The High Performance Health Podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!