Here are some tried and true practices to boost immunity and improve general mental and physical health.
The more tools in your wellness belt this year the better.
Start in the kitchen!
Be mindful of what you’re eating and think of ways to diversify your daily intake of nutrients. Sure sure, I’ve been at home baking everyday like the rest of you, but I’ve also increased my consumption of fermented foods, and herbs and spices that boost the immune system. Fermented foods, like kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut, are packed with beneficial probiotics that improve digestion and help build a stronger immunity. Many fermented foods also contain substantial levels of zinc and vitamin C, which also help you stay healthy or bounce back faster if you are under the weather. I’ve also upped my intake of garlic and ginger. My family loves garlic and there was a period of my life where my dad would eat raw cloves every morning and eventually built up such a level in his body that his natural musk was just garlic. Now my mom makes him take garlic pills instead, for the sake of their marriage. I roast cloves with veggies, I blend a little bit extra into hummus, I diffuse it into olive oil if I’m feeling extra fancy. Garlic has several biological compounds that support good health, and maybe the most notable one is called allicin. Allicin reduces inflammation, has antioxidant benefits, as well as antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties.
I am a very light sleeper. My dog will slide quietly from the couch to the floor in the middle of the night, all the way in another room and I bolt up, eyes wide, ready to go. This isn’t ideal, but especially during a pandemic when I am disrupting the time where my body can rest, repair, regulate and fight off whatever garbage I expose myself to throughout the day. To help support a healthy night sleep, I’ve been getting blazed every single night! Just kidding. What I have been doing is sticking to a very regular sleep schedule and putting my phone in another room at night so I don’t have the temptation to open social media apps or check my emails right before bed. I’ve been winding down at night with a book, even if that means falling asleep with an open book in my face and having to find where I left off the next day. Most mornings, I get up early, go on a little run around the neighborhood with my dogs and get a natural boost of energy. This has made a big difference in the amount of coffee that I think I “need” to get moving for the day and has helped me pretty much eliminate my afternoon cup.
Ingest Cleaning Solution!
If you don’t want to listen to me, doctors, scientists, or any other expert in the field, at least listen to the POTUS. A little bleach cocktail could be just the thing to flush out viruses, bacterial infections, and bad vibes from the body and mind.
Ok ok this one is obviously a joke, we can’t afford a lawsuit right now!
Make time for a sauna session!
Sauna sends you into hyperthermia, the rise in core body temperature. It’s a bit like giving your body a little temporary fever. Fevers are your body’s way of fighting infection, so the sauna can help attack and kill replicating viruses before they take hold. Sauna use also increases the production of heat shock proteins (HSPs). HSPs are little chaperone proteins that protect the DNA in your cells from degenerating when under stress. This bolsters the immune system, strengthening your body and body processes to function normally when under pressure. Making sauna a regular part of your healthy lifestyle is like endurance training for your immune system, helping you fight your way to the finish line everyday!
Call your friends and family!
We’re all feeling a little isolated and stir crazy, but remember there is a whole community of people in the same boat and we have to support one another. Maybe you can’t grab dinner with a friend, but schedule a coffee video chat date, read a book together, or go on a walk with someone you love. Maintaining a sense of community and connection is so important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. Take care of yourself and take care of eachother.
Stay well. Hope to see you all here in your swimmies soon.