If you’re feeling the extra stress and anxiety due to COVID-19, you are not alone. We’re all a little uncertain as to what the future holds. But, we are all in this together. let’s be there to support one another, and, let us bring back community.
In times of great stress we have the option to become very connected, or to fall into a state of fear.Raghunath
Maintaining our mental and physical health are extremely important during a time like this. And here are a few I thought I’d share.
How to not let the fear take over during COVID-19
1. Meditation & Breathing
Harvard Medical school recommended yoga and meditation as a way to deal with COVID-19 anxiety. Meditation can be very calming and helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and promotes emotional health too. There are different apps out there such as Insight Timer, Calm, and headspace. You can also lookup Mindvalley 6 phase meditation. Spotify also has guided meditation stations!
Meditation is a great tool for relaxing a distracted mind and allowing a deep state of calmness.
Pranayama (Breathing), Longer exhales calm the parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest), allowing us to become calm and peaceful, and with shallow, shorter exhales, we activate the sympathetic nervous system (fight & flight), allowing anxiety and fear.
As for breathing, an easy and effective one is Box Breathing
- Close your eyes & inhale through your nose counting to four.
- Hold your breath while counting to four.
- Exhale for four.
- Hold your breath for four.
- Repeat steps 1 through 4 at least three times, or until calm.
Yoga is a great tool for managing stress. It has the ability to relax the body and the mind. The deep breathing and mental focus of yoga can offset this stress. And yoga helps our entire system calm down. If we focus our attention on our body and breath, yoga can be used to reduce anxiety while also releasing physical tension.
A daily yoga practice can help you stay at peace during our daily struggles. It can also give us the strength to handle these unexpected events more calmly. Even if it’s 10 minutes a day, find a spot without distractions, set goals, & start small. Check out Pinterest, youtube, and as of right now many yoga studios are offering free virtual yoga practices to help with this difficult time.
3. Diet – Local Foods + Whole Foods
A big part of a healthy immune system is a healthy diet. Support your local farmers, eating local, in-season veggies & fruit, organic/grass-fed/free-range meat, and meat products. Eat Nutrient-dense foods. Cut our sugars! Cut out junk food and processed food! Refined sugars can suppress your immune system. Cutting out refined sugars can help your immune system function better along with the improvement of your overall health. Ensure plenty of protein intake! Protein is critical for our immune function.
Our local farmers are also struggling as many of them rely on income through consumers such as restaurants. And if restaurants are closing, then our farmers are going to be struggling. So, Support Your Local Farmers.
This is an article from Dr. Hyman, that gives many suggestions on the types of food you should be eating!
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19: Supporting Your Immune System When You May Need It Most
4. Connect with Nature & the SUN!
Immersing yourself in nature! We all feel good after a walk in the woods. A little break from our daily stressors. Enjoying the beautiful landscapes, the peaceful and natural setting, and the sounds of birds chirping. Forest offer us both mental and physical benefits. Being in nature is FREE! A free way to a happier and healthier life!
Getting outdoors and connecting with nature is one of the best ways to help with our mental and physical health. Scientific studies show that time outside in nature, specifically among trees, significantly minimizes stress and anxiety, improves mood, energy, and sleep, lowers blood pressure, and boosts the immune system. Being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress, and I often find time in nature to be meditative. Experiences in nature make us feel better emotionally and contribute to our physical wellbeing.
When natural sunlight hits the skin it activates the body’s creation of vitamin D. It is a vital element for overall health; supporting 3,000 bodily functions, defends against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, promotes brain function.
Be patient, we’re all in this together. Many of us do not know what’s going on. Many of us are stressed, anxious, scared and angry. Some have lost their jobs and worrying about how they’re going to support themselves and their family. Be grateful for the people who are still working and who need you to be patient as we all work through this together.
6. Stay Active
As we know many of our favorite gyms, tracks and yoga studios have shut down, but many are continuing to offer virtual classes, free or donation-based, or fitness advice and support to help you continue your journey during this difficult time.
Exercise outdoors and reap the benefits of both physical activity and being in nature. Or, find a spot in your house to do your daily routine. Don’t let your health and fitness fade because of the stressors of life. Exercise is another way to boost both our mental health and physical health and to keep our minds clear and focused.
7. Support your Community / Shop Local
Everyone is struggling. And this is the time to support your community. Right now many restaurants are closed for dine-in, however, they are accepting takeout orders. So please, order take-out from your favorite restaurants, support them in this time of need. Remember the ones who donated to your event or charity, now its time to give back. Shop locally, support the small business, the farmers market, your gyms or yoga studios who are offering donation-based virtual classes.
8. Gratitude & Kindness
In times like this, we need to recognize all that we do have to be grateful for. Every morning start your day with 3 things that you are grateful for and set your intentions for the day. Be thankful for our health. Give thanks for the food that you have. Send gratitude to your friends and family. If you have a job, be grateful that you have a job!
And practice Kindness. Kindness eases anxiety, reduces stress and is said to prevent illness. We are all struggling in some way or another. So let’s be kind to one another, and support each other.
This is a hard time for all, so take care of yourself by maintaining your own health. Create a routine yoga and mediation practice, stay active, eat healthily, get plenty of sleep, and stay hydrated. Even though we are practicing social-distancing, stay connected with your friends and family and local community pages.
Please reach out to us, add comments, ask about resources, I can try to help and share your thoughts with us and our following community! We’d love to hear!
Stay safe and healthy my friends.
With Love & Kindness,
Ally & John
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