What are the biggest threats to your family’s health, right now, during this crisis:
The biggest concern for us all right now is fear. We are fearful of the unknown and we are wondering what can happen to us, and our families. In most cases we don’t need to fear. We are safe and live in a country with a fantastic health care system.
Fear will also cause stress, and stress is a threat to our immune system. When we are stressed, a lot of our key nutrients are depleted and we have a lowered immune response if we are exposed to an infection. So the best thing we can all do right now is to reduce our fear.
There is a lot of evidence that meditation for as little as 2min per day, can grossly reduce stress and fear. So, find your favourite app or YouTube video and relax in the sofa for a few minutes. There are even great resources for kids, so if they are isolating with you, this is a great time to introduce them to meditation. You might be surprised, they could have learnt it in school already. Here are some ideas for kids apps https://www.parents.com/health/healthy-happy-kids/5-mindfulness-and-meditation-apps-for-kids/ For adults, my favorite is at the top: https://www.mindful.org/free-mindfulness-apps-worthy-of-your-attention/
Being isolated from society is a real problem for a lot of people. Social distancing can also be difficult to deal with. We have to be aware of vulnerable people around us and reach out if anyone needs help. If we feel overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness or solitude, it’s ok to admit it and reach out for help.
There are communities starting on Facebook which are connecting neighbours to each other, so go online and find a local group to join. The idea is we might need help with child minding or even share a toilet roll or two… Otherwise make sure you call your friends every day, or stand on the balcony and sing (the Italians are doing it).
Right now, for most of us, the likelihood is that we will only have mild flu-like symptoms from the virus. The reason we are all isolating or socially distancing ourselves, is to make sure our vulnerable elderly or immune-compromised don’t all get sick at the same time. If they did, our health care system might not be able to cope. Italy’s health care system is overwhelmed, and they are having to choose who can have intensive care or not.
Support your immune system
Sunshine – unless you are quarantined you can go outside in the sunshine and stock up on as much vitamin D as your skin can make. (Don't burn!) Here is a great map of Australia with recommendations of how long to spend in the sun https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/vitamin-d. Vitamin D is a great boost for your mood, especially if you are struggling with isolation, but also vital when fighting a flu. That’s why flu season is in winter.
Exercise – move when you are outside. This will increase your endorphins and make you feel less stressed and less fearful, so you will be happier and more energetic. Movement is good for your immune system.
Hygiene – make sure you wash your hands often. When you pop out to the shops, don’t touch your face and wash your hands when you come back home. If you sneeze, use a disposable napkin and throw it out immediately. When you meet friends, try to remember to contain the spread by not hugging or shaking hands.
Wholefood – don’t buy the canned food. We are so lucky and still have plenty of fresh produce in the shops. Use the extra time you have, from not commuting to work, and make up all your food from scratch. Search the internet for new ideas. Enjoy food! This will keep your mind busy and content, at the same time as your body will receive much more support from fresh food than the canned alternative.
Naturopathic support – if you are really worried and want even more ideas or support, book in now to get individual advice on how your body can be further supported. We can work on your nervous system, your sleep and support your immune system even further. I currently offer Skype/FaceTime appointments.
Stay calm, stay happy and stay healthy