The Coronavirus is officially a pandemic which is requiring local, national and global leaders make some very difficult decisions and mandates to protect the health and wellness of its citizens. Closings, social distancing, work from home mandates, and kids on remote learning platforms have created a new normal for all of us. We will get through this! I want to empower you during this unprecedented time to keep your health and wellness first by giving you specific things you can do right now to reduce your risk and stay healthy and well.
The primary way to protect yourself from the disease is to protect yourself from exposure which is what social distancing, “self-isolating”, and staying at home are meant to do. It’s also important to wipe down frequently used surfaces such as doorknobs, smart phones, TV remotes, cabinet knobs and faucet handles. And, there are specific things you can do to keep your immune system strong so your body is best able to fight the virus should it enter your system. A strong immune system is ultimately your best defense.
How do you best protect yourself and your family? How do you to stick to health and wellness goals while you’re electively quarantined? How do you balance working from home with other responsibilities like child-care and home schooling?
I cover these questions and many more you may have around thriving during this very difficult time.
1. Eat healthy food that is whole, fresh and loaded with micro-nutrients, such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds, lean proteins, berries and colorful root vegetables. Giving your body phytonutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, and lean proteins gives your immune system a boost. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of a plant-based, Mediterranean diet.
2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clean water, teas and kombucha. Good hydration keeps your body’s systems functioning at optimum levels. Drinking plenty of water flushes toxins and ensures that your cells get the necessary oxygen they need to function optimally. Aim to drink up to 2 liters a day, and up to 3 if you have an intense workout or infrared sauna session.
3. Prioritize sleep by sticking with a calming evening routine that preps your body for restorative sleep. Studies show quality sleep can bolster the T cells in your body that fight off infection. Good quality sleep does this by enhancing the ability of T cells to adhere to and destroy cells infected by viruses and other pathogens. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Click here to learn more ways to get a good night’s sleep.
4. Move your body each day and exert yourself to the point of sweating 4-5 times a week. Exercising helps the body clear impurities and toxins. Additionally, sticking to a regular workout schedule helps with appetite control, enhances sleep, and encourages water consumption. It is also a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Click here to learn how to start and stick with an exercise program!
5. Get a dose of fresh air every day. It’s good for your lungs. It boosts mental clarity. It enhances mood. Be mindful to take big, deep breaths of fresh air to help support healthy respiratory function. Go on a walk or just stand outside and take 10 deep breaths all the way down to your toes.
6. Keep stress levels low by meditating, journaling and practicing breath techniques. This is undoubtedly a very stressful time. Engaging in activities that calm the mind-body and connect you to your higher power, whether it’s God, the Universe, Source or whatever name you chose, will have a tremendous calming effect on your mind-body. Check online for guided meditations, open a fresh notebook to jot down thoughts and feelings, and click here to learn more about the importance of mindfulness.
7. If you are working from home or have kids that have switched over to remote learning, set a structure to your day. Consider a schedule that would best support routines and online demands. Plan consistent bedtimes and waketimes. Monitor non-essential screen-time. And, have some flexibility if you find an aspect needs to be changed. Put your daily and weekly schedules up on the kitchen calendar or whiteboard so all in the family can see and be reminded. Studies show having a routine and predictable schedule reduces anxiety and stress in adults and children.
8. Use extra time in your schedule to declutter your home. For many, the time you may have spent commuting and/or running carpool, can now be used to get your home in order. Pick a room, or even a closet or drawer, and start there. The gains are measurable. By cleaning and tidying up your home space, you will also create mental calm which reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Click here to learn more about how to create a home environment that supports your health and wellness.
9. Prioritize connection with extended family and friends. Share a virtual cup of coffee over Zoom, create a google hangout with your work colleagues or collaborators. FaceTime extended family, engage with your online community and create family activities to share with your children. Bring out the board games, play charades and cue up a family friendly movie. Be sure to check in on your elderly loved ones and neighbors regularly to let them know you are thinking about them. This can be a lonely time for some, and to take that extra step to check in can lift your spirits and theirs.
10. Limit news coverage and have set times to check for updates. During uncertain times like this, where the news seems to change on the hour, pick designated “news check” times during the day, maybe it’s 9am, 3pm, and 6pm. Turn off the notifications on your phone. Be sure you are controlling your news exposure and not the media controlling you. Studies show persistent and invasive news notifications can create anxiety and a stress response in the body (fight/flight/freeze). Also, if you have children or elderly loved ones who are most at risk, limit news exposure there too, and explain in a comforting tone that we will all get through this.
11. Follow local protocols and recommendations for social distancing and limited community involvement. Local authorities are doing their best to contain and hopefully reduce the spread of the virus. Let’s all do our part and follow the directives. We are in this together!
12. Maintain your morning and evening routines. If you don’t have one(s) in place, now is a great time to start! Elements of a morning routine could include a glass of lemon water, a cup of your favorite coffee or tea, a gratitude or journaling practice, or a morning meditation. An evening routine could include shutting down screens 1 hour before bedtime, taking a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils, playing soothing music, or practicing a slow, yoga flow.
13. Make supporting small businesses a priority. In economic emergencies, it’s often the small, local businesses that are hit the hardest. Show some love to your favorite local businesses by continuing to support them by scheduling online therapy or coaching sessions, buying gifts cards to use at a later date, positively rating businesses on google or yelp, ordering take out from local restaurants, donating online to local charities, and liking/sharing posts on social media.
14. Be mindful of finances and check in for updates regarding changes in tax filing deadlines, potential governmental benefits, and interest rate changes. Lower interest rates make it favorable to refinance outstanding debt and it reduces the cost of incurring new debt. Check in with your CPA to get more specific potential advantages for your family and business finances.
Bonus tip: Be mindful of creating and upholding boundaries around your work schedule and your self-care practices. Taking care of yourself first, allows you to show up for others as your fullest and healthiest self.
The Coronavirus has certainly disrupted our communities, and I hope the above recommendations empower you to use this time in a way that supports your health and wellness. As we rise as a community, we will overcome the effects of Covid-19. I am here to support you. Reach out with any questions, or if you would like to schedule a FREE 30-minute coaching call. We are in this together. Together we will rise!
As an integrative health coach, I help busy women like you move beyond limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging behaviors and bad habits to create a healthy, balanced, aligned life that allows you to show up each day feeling your best!
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