Fear is raging in our world like we’ve never seen before. These are uncharted waters for almost everyone. So, what can we do to stay healthy and sane in this most challenging time? Self-care has never been more important. Here are some tips:
- Sleep! It is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being. It enables our body to repair and be fit and ready for another day. Statistics show that most adults need 7 or 8 hours to be at the top of their game. A good night’s sleep should leave you revitalized and ready to go in the morning without the need for stimulants to kick start your day.
- Avoid foods that weaken the immune system. There’s a delicate balance between our state of mind and the functioning of our natural defenses. This is an especially important time to eat “high octane fuels” to maximize our health. Lean toward the purchase of nutrient dense foods – fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and mostly plants vs. fatty and highly processed packaged foods laced with sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
- Stay hydrated. We want to flush toxins including bacteria and viruses into our digestive tract. For that water, not soda or alcohol, is vitally important. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells and are crucial to staying healthy and maintaining every system of the body including digestion and elimination. Sipping water throughout the day is more beneficial than bingeing on large amounts periodically.
- While what we eat and drink makes a difference. According the oldest known health science, Ayurveda, what’s equally important is how we eat and when we eat. A positive development coming from this scary time of isolation and social distancing is that more people are eating home-cooked meals with their families. Eating in a settled environment aids digestion and health. Consider the difference between eating a leisurely lunch or dinner with the family vs. gobbling down a burger or candy bars as you drive to your next appointment.
- Try your best to get adequate exercise, movement – especially if you can get outdoors in nature. I walk for at least 20 minutes each day, and on most days do 15 – 20 minutes of yoga. You don’t have to pump iron in order to benefit from exercise. If you enjoy exercising, you are more likely to do it! In the last few weeks, I’m enjoying watching parents playing outdoors with their children.
- And finally, a catalyst or complement for all these wellness approaches is the practice of Effortless Meditation. It is an antidote for health enemy #1, stress. During this time, we can all benefit from more peace in our life. I know of no better way to do that than with a regular meditation practice.
In this most unsettling time, we need to be gentle and treat ourselves well. Millions watch and read COVID-19 news on their TV, computer or on your cell phone way too much. During this our heart and respiration rates rise, our muscles tighten, stress hormones spike, and our immune systems take a hit. We become the news!
Relax. A meditation client said his meditation is a mini vacation that he takes every day. To be healthy, we need balance in our lives so meditate to enliven the peace and joy of your core self. We suggest 15 – 20 minutes twice a day for maximum benefits, however 5 minutes is much better than nothing.
We will get through this, and when we do, we will have hopefully learned some big lessons – one of those is the importance of self-care, and how to effectively do it. Be well.
Wellness Coach, Meditation Teacher, Speaker