With all the changes around the pandemic of the coronavirus and the news being thrown at us these days, it is not easy to take our minds off Covid-19: Staying on top of the news constantly, discussing issues with friends and family and adjusting to the changes in our work and day-to-day life keep us continuously busy. We are consumed by it. Understandably, our stress and anxiety level rise.
High stress levels are counterproductive to our health and immunity in the body. In order to not to attract the virus in the first place and to not transmit it to others, it is essential to support our immune system. Anxiety, panic and stress are ‘normal’ reactions to this situation. Yet it has been researched that stress and fear compromise our immune system. Emotions such as worry, fear or sadness spike levels of the hormone cortisol which in turn suppresses a healthy immune response.
In this challenging situation, it is easy to forget how to optimize our health and support our immune system. Here are some reminders:
· Limit your exposure to the news: Stay informed and updated but allow yourself to disengage from the news. Take time for self-care!
· Eat a healthy diet including lots of veggies and fruit. Stay hydrated!
· Exercise regularly. Find ways to exercise: Taking online exercise classes, practicing yoga at home, using a stationary bike or going for walks or runs (by yourself or with someone with a physical distance!) are all good options.
· Have a restful night (Sleep 7 – 8 hours). Avoid screens and news one hour before bedtime!
· Allow time for quieting your mind: Reduce tension, decrease stress and calm anxiety with deep breathing, meditation or with ‘Constructive Rest’. Give it a try!
· Connect to Nature regularly: Go for a walk in the forest, go for a run or bicycle ride. Put in a garden... Enjoy the sun on your skin! Hear the birds sing!
· Enjoy time with your family and members of your household. Connect! – Strong social connections help build immunity!
· Reach out to friends and family using the internet: Offer your ears to listen. It is important to connect in times of 'physical distancing’.
· Take time for reflection: This seems to be a very important time for all of us to re-evaluate our life-style so we can bring change to this world that so badly needs it.
** Please follow this medical advice to protect yourself and reduce the spread of Covid-19:
Wear a mask in public places.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough.
Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
Distance yourselves from others, limit time in public spaces unless deemed essential
Refrain from non-essential travel.