Now is the time to slow down and take care of you. In the midst of COVID-19, the world is in crisis and for many, day-to-day life as we know it has drastically changed. In these times, it’s essential to prioritise self-care, especially with an inundation of excess stress. We’ve put together some tips to make sure you’re keeping yourself - and your immune system - in check.
Lower your stress levels.
Your body does a better job of fighting off illnesses and healing wounds when it’s not under constant stress. Make sure you’re taking the time for techniques for managing stress such as meditation - a simple way to increase calmness and clarity and help your immune system stay strong. And if clearing your mind completely feels too intimidating, try a breathing technique to help shift your state of consciousness.
To help you into a space of calm during these strange times, our director Lee has created a meditation called All The Time in The World. There’s no right or wrong way to meditate, it’s simply about practice - this is the perfect meditation for beginners to experts. Experience the move from rush to hush here.
Get plenty of sleep.
The benefits of good, restful, rejuvenating sleep are endless, including its impact on the immune system. A healthy immune system can fight off infection — a sleep-deprived immune system doesn’t work very well. According to a recent study from The Sleep Foundation, when you don’t get enough shut-eye, your body may decrease the production of protective proteins called cytokines, which your immune response needs more of when it’s dealing with an infection or inflammation while under stress. Bottom line, sleep is a natural immune booster and making sure we’re getting enough of it is one of the best ways to guard against illness.
Have you tried our Magnesium Sleep Lotion? By combining the amazing benefits of magnesium with the traditionally used lavender and chamomile (your granny was right after all), this scientifically formulated lotion assists in mind relaxation, induces sleep, reduces time to fall asleep, and calms and relaxes the nervous system. Your immune-boosting sleep awaits.
Call a friend.
The stress of the news and self-isolation can feel scary and overwhelming. While it’s important to be informed and take necessary action to slow the spread, remember we are all in this together. Call a friend and check-in — because you both need support as much as each other.
Eating to boost immune function is not about mega-dosing on vitamin C or drinking nothing but fresh juice, instead, we need to be thinking about optimising our body's ability to fight infection - putting a rainbow of fruits and vegetables on your plate can do your immune system a solid.
Food is the best possible source of antioxidants, so add some of the following to your shopping list: berries, dark chocolate, artichoke, coffee, kidney beans, green tea, apples, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and oily fish. High-stress environments can have a dramatic effect on the gut microbiome, potentially leading to an imbalance of gut bacteria and, in turn, inflammatory symptoms. To optimise your digestion, boost your intake of nutritious vegetables and drink plenty of water, as well as avoiding junk food as much as possible.
Being physically active can help keep pathogens out of your lungs and airways, according to the Library of Medicine, which can minimise your odds of getting a cold, the flu, or other illnesses. Exercise can also give your antibodies and white blood cells a boost, causing them to circulate more widely throughout your body, where they might detect illnesses better than they would if you didn’t get moving.
Optimism has a positive effect on recovery from illness and surgery. In one study, the up and down optimism of a group of law students was found to match the strength of their immune response. That is, when they were optimistic about their prospects for the year ahead, they demonstrated a stronger immune response to a laboratory-induced infection. When they were pessimistic, their immune system was ‘sluggish’. Bottom line, try to remain as positive and optimistic as possible.
If you do end up in self-isolation, use it as a time to be with your own thoughts and embrace the rituals that bring you back to yourself. Take long baths (with magnesium!), read, meditate, dance until you break a sweat, journal — take time away from the news cycle for you, whatever that ritual might be.
Help a neighbour in need.
This is a challenging time for many neighbours. If you're healthy and able, posting an offer to help can make a world of difference. Next Door is a social networking platform for your local community - you can give help, or get help from those in your area. This is a great way to check-in or offer help to those who need it in your neighbourhood. To be part of your local community, click through on this link here and enter your email and postcode to join.