Protect Yourself in a World Gone Viral

These are challenging times…With every day, even hour, there is more news about COVID-19.  From panic to pandemic, it is hard to separate fact from fear when it comes to this emerging virus. 

There is a real sense of loss of control and fear of the unknown that triggers our collective anxiety. Now more than ever, it is important to keep you and your families safe and healthy. Implement these strategies for optimal health:

  • Manage your stress. Do your best not to live in fear or anxiety of the situation.  Limit your news/social media exposure to spare your nervous system and assuage your fear response. Yes, it is a serious matter that requires our attention.  However, it is important to note that when we get trapped in a fear response our immune systems shut down in favour of survival mechanisms, which actually further heighten anxiety. There are numerous free online yoga/meditation/breathing exercises available for you to try. Be wise and discerning about your lifestyle practices and choices, and trust you are doing what you can to keep yourself and your family safe.
  • Practice compassion for others. It is easy to get annoyed and disappointed by the restriction of personal freedom, cancellation of sporting and social events and the shortage of toilet paper. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt – everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. Even if it means stockpiling toilet paper for a respiratory infection. Though there are restrictions on physical get-togethers, reach out to someone who might be feeling lonely given the current social conditions. Be kind to yourself and others.
  • Get a breath of fresh air. Enjoy the spring sunshine and get some fresh air. It is vital to healthy immunity – make a point of getting outside, daily.  Even as little as 10 to 15 minutes three times through the day will be of benefit.
  • Rest.  Get plenty of sleep and rest.  If you are unable to sleep, contact me so we can address the underlying issue.
  • Social distancing. Most governments and workplaces are encouraging people to stay home, telecommute whenever possible. Use this as an opportunity to rest and regroup. Our world is a busy one that makes constant demands on each and every one of us. Take this time to slow down and regroup and re-evaluate priorities. Enjoy walks in nature, healthy dinners together with your family, board games, curling up with a good book and limiting your social contact are all enriching ways to protect yourself from community transmission.
  • Increase your consumption of anti-oxidant and nutrient-dense infection fighting foods such as : organic blueberries, raspberries, spinach, sprouts, garlic, onions, ginger, parsley, cilantro, spirulina, celery juice, bone broth and fermented foods and beverages.
  • Stay hydrated.  Drinking good quality water and herbal teas is one of the best things you can do to flush out toxins from your body, regulate your body temperature, support your normal physiology and support the immune system.
  • Watch your sugar intake. It is too easy to reach for sugar in an effort to self-medicate during times of stress and anxiety. Bear in mind sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to deal with viruses and bacteria.  Sugar intake will often replace a healthier food choices. Be sure to read food labels carefully and to limit the amount of sugar you eat.
  • Ensure you are getting enough nutrients either through diet or supplementation. Vitamins A, D, C and zinc and selenium all play vital roles in immune function. There are many herbs available to help boost immunity and improved stress response. I suggest you maintain your baseline levels of supplementation, but increase doses accordingly should you start to experience symptoms.
  • Diffuse essential oils like thyme, lemon balm, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint or thieves in your living space.
  • Gargle with sea salt, tea tree oil mouthwash, or even the original Listerine.
  • Wash your hands and all contact surfaces frequently. Even if you don’t think you need to, err on the side of caution.
Tasleem Kassam