Copyright © 2020 Rosie Bank
I'm hunkered down at home, so I decided to take a few minutes to invite you and your immune system in for a little pep talk, like a boost. I'm guessing that you have heard of this little bugger called Coronavirus
What I'm going to share with you is relevant even after the coronavirus, and there will be a time when we can look back on this. Although there is an immediate need to boost our immune systems, the best mindset is to think of optimal immune health for an indefinite time.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), those most at risk to getting sick after being exposed to the Coronavirus are the elderly and those whose immune systems are already compromised. Those who are exposed and who are suffering from lung ailments seem to be in a category of unique risk since this virus impacts the respiratory system.
Rosie and her friend, Dr. Debra Shapiro, are always practicing immune-protection. You can make a positive difference in your immune system regardless of your age.
For you science geeks, you might want to learn more about how our
immune system actually works. It's fascinating!
Below are four key areas that can be reasonably applied to your own personal wellness plan.
Be well rested. Avoid exhaustion and getting depleted. Use real sleep to keep your energy up instead of relying on caffeine. Having a regular bedtime helps. Getting ready for bed before you are too tired to get up to floss and brush, makes it easier to hop in bed when you are getting sleepy.
You probably know about keeping your room on the cool side and not looking at bright screens before turning off your brain to sleep. Drinking alcohol in the evening can compromise sleep, which is another way you can adjust your habits and practices. If you are sensitive to caffeine switch to tea or decaf... whatever it takes to ensure you get ample sleep each night. One of the first things I tell my husband each morning when we wake up is how well-rested I feel.
The point is during times like these—and inevitably ones that will happen in our future—good sleep habits are part of your first line of defense to stay well and ward off sickness.
According to Dr. David Klein, author of Self Healing Colitis and Crohn's
Sleep is the most powerful healing remedy. The body is a "self-curing" marvel.
NOURISHMENT AND FOOD
This is the time to use food as medicine. Whenever our bodies conk out, something is amiss at the cellular level. For instance, in the case of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), the damage occurs in the cells that comprise the lungs and bronchioles. You can think of your cells as the smallest living building blocks in all your body’s tissues and fluids.
When the cells break down, this is often the result of oxidative stress. Skipping over the science for a minute, what you need to know is what food helps repair this. The answer is the food highest in antioxidants. Regardless of your dietary practice, including food that is the highest in antioxidants helps quell damage and chronic inflammation in the cells of your body. Leafy greens, an abundance of fruits and veggies, blueberries, broccoli sprouts, and goji berries are some examples of foods that help you stay healthy.
Naturally, if wellness is your goal, you would avoid consuming foods that promote inflammation and oxidative stress. Typically, these are processed and refined foods. They are too far removed from Mother Nature’s kitchen to provide any protection against disease, nor any support to your immune system.
Prior to the coronavirus, if you had been thinking that you wanted to clean up your diet, this would be a really good time to take action. Choose more often a diet rich in antioxidants and that reduces inflammation in your body. (Inflammation and oxidative stress go together.)
Coronavirus does create inflammation. Therefore, the less inflammation in your body the less you will have limited reserves to ward off a virus. Inversely, when your immune system is amply fortified, your own resources protect you better.
I practice and believe in the healing power of food as our baseline for reliable nutrition. You can also include quality supplements to your regimen. This will never be to replace the incomparable value to you from whole foods that are plant-based. However, supplements can do what they are designed to do, namely add an extra layer of protection.
I've been taking the same brand of supplements for over twenty years. Click here for my suggestions if you want to learn more.
Stress and disease are linked through the wear and tear on our bodies that result from the assault to our immune system. You may have heard that some stress is good, insofar as it helps us build our defenses. In acute situations, for example, your immune system helps your body conker a cut, a virus, or a broken bone.
The stress that is most challenging is the on-going chronic unremitting toxicity, pressure, anxiety, tension and strain that we can lug around if we aren’t mindful and self-aware to make positive change. The examples from above indicate that inadequate sleep and poor nutrition are reliable stressors to our bodies.
If our bodies are riddled with stress, we would be less able to thwart off a foreign invader, like a virus. Therefore, I am relentless in my own pursuit of allowing peace and harmony into my life, as well as encouraging my clients to do the same. (see resource section below.) Frankly, my daily dose of vitamin M for meditation is as important to me as the broccoli and berries that I consume.
Plenty of restorative sleep plus a nutrient-rich diet plus relaxation/meditation/stretching/movement give me what I feel is a leading advantage to stay healthy and ward off illness. Throw in a positive mindset, which is correlated with these self-care practices, and we become immunity super heroes.
What helps you reduce stress?
The best way I know to have less stress is to focus deliberately on adding more calm, peace, and harmony into your life.
Meditation is not only relaxing; it is also correlated with better health and reducing inflammation in your body. Personally, I rely on my daily practice to stay centered and calm during these challenging times. I notice, as a result of meditating, more moments of happiness between times when I feel despair. More optimism between times of pessimism. More hope between moments of despondency. And more love and joy to help nudge out fear.
It is useful to remember that even when you feel overwhelmed by events in your life (like the coronavirus), still, you can let go and “dip into” your own resources of well-being. This is very good for your immune system.
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS
Feeling isolated challenges our sense of well-being. According to the National Institute of Aging, (NIA), there are health effects of social isolation, the very thing we are being encouraged to do right now.
On the NIA website:
Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.
These conditions are not the same malady as being infected by the coronavirus. However, when we think of our bodies as being made up ofinterconnected and interdependent segments, it is obvious how one system impacts and is affected by another. It seems to me that if these diseases are more prevalent among older people (which is what was stated in the NIA article), than no wonder this population is more at risk when exposed to a virus.
Dealing with the imposition of social isolation at a time of such overwhelming uncertainty is like rubbing salt in an inflamed wound. A perfect storm, right?
The Internet can provide some entertainment, but we can get only so much from a relationship with a flat screen. When I feel a little clingy and wobbly I call and FaceTime with friends and family. My heart feels mushy with love and gratitude. I am reaching out to let others know I am thinking of them and that I want to hear how they are doing.
Another way to overcome feelings of loneliness is to reach out to others who you think might be feeling the same way. My defenses are down. I am letting friends know how much they mean to me and how precious it is to feel connected. Since others might be feeling as you do, if will brighten your day and lift your spirits to do this for those who are on your mind.
You know to wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face, avoid congested crowds in enclosed spaces, and avoid touching strangers. Now you can add to the list “keep my immune system fortified.”
Health matters, and so do you.
Sending elbow bumps and air kisses.
Rosie Bank, Founder Health Matters Coaching
Talk with Rosie
At this point, you might be curious as to how Rosie can help you reach your personal transformation goals. Might you want to be more on track to become an immunity super hero?
Click on the button below to set up a 15 minute, no cost, no obligation session with Rosie.
During your complimentary session, Rosie will talk with you to figure out how she can best help you.