The Coronavirus is on everyone’s minds. My home town, Seattle, has been proactive in putting in place methods of reducing the spread, such as working from home and canceling large group activities.
Many are also choosing to keep their children away from school and staying home themselves.
With the virus likely to be around a while and experts predicting it will peak anytime in the next few weeks perhaps even into May, do you want to live in fear, stress, and isolation for the foreseeable future?
I understand entirely for those who are immune-compromised or elderly; these extra precautions, along with the CDC recommendations for prevention including thorough hand washing, and staying home if you are sick, make sense, but for healthy individuals living in fear of catching the virus, does not.
Of course, we all need to follow the recommendations, but have you thought about how to boost your immune system proactively too?
Here are three simple S’s that you should be paying attention to:
We all know getting the right about of sleep is essential for our day to day function. We are much more alert and focused when we stick to a regular sleep routine and get the right about of sleep. But did you know that not getting enough sleep directly reduces your ability to fight off viruses?
This sleep study showed that participants with less than six hours of sleep over the week before they were exposed to a cold virus, were four times more likely to develop a cold than those with more than seven hours of sleep.
Added sugar in the diet increases inflammation in the body. While your body is dealing with inflammation, it is less capable of fighting off a virus. I heard that Costco, along with toilet rolls, had been cleared out of sodas, not good.
Drinking plenty of water, eating regular healthy meals, avoiding processed food, drinks, and fast food can significantly reduce your sugar intake and help strengthen your immune response.
We have all read about stress and its effects on your wellbeing. Being in a constant state of fight or flight, not giving your body the chance to come down into a state of rest and relaxation, starts to impact your health and reduces the effectiveness of your immune system.
Stress also negatively impacts your sleep, and of course, we have all reached for a chocolate bar when we want to feel better, its all connected!
So, during this time, when we are overwhelmed with news of the Coronavirus, this is the perfect time to start paying attention to small things you can do to counteract your stress.
Here are some ideas:
Find a guided meditation. It’s hard just to say you are going to start meditating when this has not been your practice, but being guided, even if it’s for only five minutes a day, can be an easy way to start, and it will help lower your stress levels. Take a look at this great resource for ideas.
Get outside for a walk. Many big companies in our area have asked employees to work from home. It’s hard to stay cooped up at home with no social interaction in your day. Get outside for at least a 20-minute walk, which will help calm your mind, get some fresh air and perspective.
Relaxing bath. Taking a warm bath helps connect you to your parasympathetic nervous system, and help you get into rest and relaxation mode. Why not add some essential oils too? Many are relaxing and immune-boosting too like Lavender or Lemon.
Detach from media. Have periods of your day away from social and other media, so you aren’t bombarded with constant news. Allow your mind to be quiet. Perhaps have a set time of day you are going to catch up on the news and then the rest of the time try to stay logged off. To promote better sleep, log off at least an hour before bedtime.
So, let’s do all we can to boost our immunity, if we are proactive and give our fantastic body the best chance to do what it does best; fight off unwanted bugs, we won’t have to live in fear.