Keep Calm and Keep Breathing!
Updated: Jan 11
In this uncertain time we have the opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive. We can either hole ourselves up, shut ourselves off, be scared of our neighbors and fellow humans, or we can take the necessary precautions, take concrete steps to ensure our immune system is strong and participate in practices that promote wellness, rather than be caught up in the vortex of panic and stress.
Community, connection and empathy have just become that much more important.
Firstly, one of the biggest dampeners to the immune system is stress, fear and anxiety. If we are operating in this heightened state of anxiety, scared, we are compromising our immune system. T-cells and white blood cells (our immune defense) are dampened by cortisol (stress hormone). So the more stressed we become, the more vulnerable we become. Turn off the news, and breathe, listen to music, draw, burn some incense, do whatever it is for you that makes you feel chill. Less stress equals stronger immunity.
Elevated blood sugar levels can weaken our immune defenses. Avoid processed foods, anything with added sugar, and eat ‘real’ food. Eat nutrient dense food. Fruit, vegetables, minimally processed food items, minimal ingredients, and ones that you can pronounce.
Stoke the fire of good health through the food you are eating.
When we sleep we regroup our defenses. We process, eliminate, replenish. Prioritise good sleep. Implement some simple sleep hygiene steps.
Try to eat at least 2 hours before bed.
Limit screen time after sunset and stop at least 90 minutes before bed.
Expose yourself to sunrise/sunset or as close as possible to help set your circadian rhythms. Darken your room, sleep cool, do some breathwork / yoga nidra / meditation before sleep to down shift the gears and transition into a restorative, deep restful state.
Acute cold exposure ( cold shower) has immunostimulating effects. Increased white blood cells and anti-inflammatory proteins are good for your immune defense. Start slow and gradually build up your time, always listening to your body. These short bouts of stress cause a positive adaptation in your body, forging strength and resilience. Don’t go too hard too fast. If you are already feeling unwell or showing symptoms, hold off on the cold to allow your immune system to bolster its defenses.
So in this time of fear and uncertainty, trust in your body, provide it with what it needs to function optimally. Stay up to date with the current affairs as they affect you, but outside of that, limit your interaction with the spread of fear based news. Remember, fear and stress will leave you more susceptible. Continue to have meaningful engagement with friends, family, community. Be smart in your interaction with your environment, but don’t isolate yourself to the point of loneliness and exclusion.
Learn how I can help to incorporate these practices into your daily life here.