They’re everywhere right now, and for very good reasons. (And hopefully you’re following them as closely as possible!) That would be all the recommendations from the CDC on how to reduce your risk of exposure to the coronavirus. They may sound trivial, may seem like an inconvenience, but they are just a few things that we ALL can do to help prevent the spread of this plague that is affecting all of our lives in multiple ways. For just a quick recap and to drive some points home:
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Put a safe distance between yourself and other people
- Stay home whenever you can, especially if you are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
For more guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Remember, the goals here are to protect yourselves and to prevent the spread. Hospitals are already overburdened in hard-hit cities and many healthcare providers are putting themselves at risk daily just trying to do their jobs in keeping the general population well. We all need to do our parts so that we can see this pandemic through as quickly as possible and not degrade to the same level of catastrophe that has occurred in other parts of the world.
So, what more can you do during these times to best protect yourself? If you’ve been a patient in our office, you already know the answer: Follow a lifestyle that supports your health every day! Anyone who has gone through our programs has seen their health change. Some changes come in big ways and some in less noticeable fashion, but the net effect is that the body is getting healthier overall. When we reduce sources of stress to our bodies, there are less “fires to put out” each day and the body can devote more time to keeping things running normally, like our immune system, which is very important right now.
If your body is having to deal with pain and inflammation from lingering muscle or joint problems, or digestive upset and inflammation because you’re eating too much sugar or foods with chemicals or additives and not enough antioxidants, or you’re unduly stressing over things that are out of your control, it’s getting a regular beatdown. With all of those pressing needs demanding attention, keeping the immune system on high alert may start to fall down the list of priorities. Plus, your stress hormone cortisol is likely spiking and over time that can actually lead to a depression of the immune system response. Stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses. And who wants that right now?
Yes, life has changed in many ways over the past few weeks, but the basics of keeping your body healthy have not. Get adequate sleep to allow your body to heal and repair. Support it with plenty of clean water and whole foods that are full of good nutrition. Stay moving and get exercise, both inside and out (remember that sunlight on our skin helps promote vitamin D which in turn supports our immune system). If you’re having health issues, get them addressed so your body has less stress to deal with on a daily basis. And yes, stay positive, smile and be nice.
Like the saying goes, if you’re not part of the solution, (maybe) you’re part of the problem… Taking care of ourselves not only benefits us personally, but collectively it will help us all get through these tough times that much faster.