If you are not lucky enough to be riding out these tough times on a tropical island here's a look at what we can all do to optimise our health right now - apart from all the usual widely discussed precautions.
1. Eat as well as possible. An overwhelming body of evidence shows that a whole food plant based diet will provide maximal support for your health. Your immune system will benefit and it is a really inexpensive way to eat. It will also drastically reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many other preventable conditions. @forksoverknives on Instagram has a post with a suggested grocery list that I thoroughly recommend. Whether you are a carnivore, vegan or vegetarian, a great free App to download is Dr Michael Greger's "Daily Dozen". It is simple and easy to use. Download it today and try to get all the recommended foods into your daily diet as soon as possible.
2. Reduce alcohol consumption. Of course when we are under stress, a cold beer or a glass of wine helps us relax at the end of the day. However, more than a couple of drinks in a row significantly impacts your immune system for a few hours. We have an entire blog dedicated to this subject up now. 3. Reduce or eliminate all forms of smoking - this includes smoking and vaping of cannabis products. Our blog about this went up last weekend discussing stopping smoking even for 3 days can make a significant difference if you do get infected by COVID-19. Maybe consider edibles for the time being if you are used to using THC/Cannabis regularly.
4. Wim Hof Method breathing has been proved in trials to quickly boost immune system function. He has an app to download free called the Wim Hof Method. Just a few minutes a day can help.
5. Meditation practice can help lower generalised anxiety. This is a huge problem, particularly in our Western world and people are struggling even more now with fears of COVID and being more socially isolated. Another great app - "Ten Percent happier" has this resource - https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide If you want to go all in, you can download the app for free at the moment by going to the website and entering the gift code "HEALTHCARE".
6. Good sleep is crucial for healthy immune function! Turn off your devices earlier, stop watching the news incessantly and set up a "chain" to help you fall asleep more easily. The chain means having several links that you follow in the same order every evening to prepare your mind and body for sleep. For example: finish dinner then watch a relaxing comedy. Then, at the same time every evening, have a warm bath or shower (your body temperature will then start falling, helping with sleep), go to bed with a book, then do a short sleep meditation before turning the lights out. Avoid devices in the bedroom, keep your phone on silent and face down so it does not light up the room if messages come through. Do not have digital alarm clocks in your bedroom. Ten Percent Happier also has many different meditations to help with sleep that are great, as do others such as Calm and Breethe.
7. Try to minimise reactivity - remember everyone is doing the best that they can at any given moment. That person that appears to be acting out, has most likely had their inner child's fears triggered, as yours might be the next day. Try to support without judgement. If your mental health is suffering, reach out to someone please. In the Depression with the incredible lack of money and food etc, less people actually died than usual, except for deaths by suicide. Try to keep perspective, we will get through this!
8. Take vitamin D supplements if you live in Canada or anywhere else this far north. This is even more important now that people are being restricted to staying indoors as much as possible. A large percentage of Canadians are chronically low on Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone (just like thyroid hormone) and is essential for many of our body's functions . There are many poor outcomes related to low vitamin D levels including increased risk of colon and breast cancer, but most importantly right now - vitamin D is essential for a well functioning immune system.
Finally, if you are allowed under the terms of your city's quarantine rules - try to get outdoors for a brisk walk every day -especially in the middle of the day if possible.
BE KIND - SPREAD LOVE - NOT FEAR
Saltwater wishes xo