How will you remember this time of early 2020? Will you recall how you were possibly quarantined, riddled with angst and fear, hoarding toilet paper? OR, will you remember how your family for the first time in a long time shared family meals together, played games together, talked, laughed and loved together? The way you took the time to relax and partake in some self-care and reflection. How you finally finished that project you put off? Implemented your health and exercise routine? How you let the constant and elevated stress of daily living and working melt away, allowing you to be more mindfully present in each moment? Social distancing has given us the gift and opportunity of being able to do a lifestyle “re-set”, of living a more enjoyable and meaningful life. Gratitude, compassion, empathy, and joy can be the positive side effects of this virus….if you let it.
Covid-19 is, of course, a very serious virus that we all must take seriously and partake in the necessary preventative measures to avoid spreading. We must each be socially responsible and look out for not only ourselves but the potentially vulnerable among us, our seniors and the immuno-compromised population. What is important as well, is creating a calm and healthy environment for you and your loved ones. An environment where we are boosting our immune systems, exercising our bodies, as well as showing our minds some love and care. You may feel unable to let go of the anxiety and fear you currently are experiencing, however, it’s a scientific fact (with continuing studies) that living with a positive mindset can lead to a healthier and more positive life.
By “flipping the switch” on how we feel and experience what is happening right now, we could ultimately lead a less stressful, healthier and dare I say…more enjoyable social distancing experience. I’ll share ideas and resources for you to implement during this time that can help you and your families find peace, love, and joy in the coming months.
First, although you’ve probably heard it a hundred times, you can never hear it enough. Here are the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)to immediately protect yourself and others. (Click on highlighted link).
Now that you have implemented the steps to keep you and others safe from possible contamination, let’s talk about how to keep your body safe and healthy in case you are exposed to this extremely contagious virus. You are taking precautions on the outside of your body, but what about on the inside; both your physical and mental health? Is your body prepared to defend itself?
Good gut health is linked to a healthy immune system. Did you know that 70-80% of the body’s immune cells are found in the gut? Having a healthy gut will make you less susceptible to colds, flu, and other viruses, as well as infections. By eating a healthy and nourishing diet, you are keeping your gut healthy and therefore are automatically boosting your immune system.
Steps to Good Gut Health:
- Eat fresh whole foods, preferably organic (as conventional may be laden with pesticides and hormones, which can compromise your gut health). Include lots of fruits and veggies and lots of greens. Try to “Eat the rainbow”, consuming as much as you are able. If you are finding it difficult to find fresh fruits and veggies on a regular basis, these are the ones that last the longest, as well as other foods to help you get by:
- Winter squash
- Navel Oranges
- Dried beans
- Organic Peanut butter
- Nuts in their shells
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Eliminate processed foods and sugars, as these are big gut and health disruptors, which can lead to a compromised immune system.
- Eliminate alcohol. Maybe enjoy a glass of wine on the weekend!
- Take a good probiotic. Probiotics may help boost your immune system and protect against infections. I’ve been taking Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic for over 13 years.
- Eat probiotic foods such as unsweetened plain yogurt (add your own fruits and a little maple syrup or honey for sweetness), Kimchi (KimChee) (a fermented Asian cabbage), sauerkraut (fermented in brine) and pickles in brine.
- Eat bone broth, which is so nourishing and healing for your gut. You can make your own, or purchase a reputable organic brand. I like Osso Good and Kettle & Fire (use Code: MenoMagic for 15% off).
- Take Supplements: If you aren’t able to find enough of these whole foods due to sparse shelves at the market, possibly supplement with a professional-grade multivitamin, and other supplements that could boost your immune system. Always check with your doctor before beginning any supplementation, especially if you are taking any other supplements or medications.
- Shop for Healthy Foods online: A great source for healthy and organic foods delivered right to your door is Thrive Market!
Some Immune Boosting Supplements include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Other ways to boost the immune system:
- Get plenty of rest and sleep! Aim for 7-9 hours each evening and get to bed by 10 pm for your best sleep.
- Drinks lots and lots of water! At least half your body weight in ounces. Herbal teas count, as wells as unsweetened flavored seltzers.
- Gentle exercise. You may not be able to get to the gym, but if you have access to YouTube, then you can do just about any type of gentle exercise in the comfort of your own home. Yoga, mat Pilates, Tai Chi, stretching and more.
- Eliminate smoking and vaping. Health experts say smoking and vaping weakens the function of the lungs and could leave people more susceptible to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Use high quality pure essential oils in your home to boost your immunity and stay calm.
Here are two blend suggestions from The Aromahead Institute:
Reduce airborne germs with this spicy, piney diffuser blend! It not only makes your room smell amazing—it strengthens immunity with every breath.
Spicy Pine Diffuser Blend
- 4 drops White Pine (Pinus strobus)
- 2 drops Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
- 2 drops Clove Bud (Syzygium aromaticum/Eugenia caryophyllata)
Use this blend in an aromatherapy inhaler to help with anxiety:
Dana’s Calming Inhaler Blend
- 5 drops Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens var roseum)
- 5 drops Plai Central (Zingiber cassumunar)
- 2 drops Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
- 3 drops Hemlock spruce (Tsuga canadensis)
Add to a blank Aromatherapy inhaler.
How to remain calm, mindful and happy:
We are obviously feeling a good amount of stress with concerns of the Coronavirus Pandemic, including feelings of fear, helplessness, and confusion. We have to be diligent regarding our health and that of our loved ones while trusting that all is being done to keep us safe. Stress and anxiety can lead to serious health issues, so while we must address what is happening in the world around us, we must also find ways to alleviate its’ effects on our minds and bodies. This is so very important when we are talking to our kids and grandchildren as well.
Here are some ways to reduce the stress you may be experiencing. The whole family can do them together!
- Deep Breathing exercises. Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Here is my favorite: The 4-7-8 Breath by Dr. Andrew Weil.
- Meditation: Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. There are even free Apps you can use. I like Stop Breathe Think.
- Gentle Exercise: Again simple daily workouts with Yoga, Pilates, and walking can boost those serotonin levels and reduce anxiety.
- Gratitude Journaling: Focusing on and appreciating all of the good in our lives provides us with the ability to open ourselves up to more abundance. If you begin each day with writing down the things that you are grateful for, it has set your tone for the day in the most positive way you could ever imagine. You can also do this just before bedtime, which can make for a more peaceful sleep.
- Read Inspirational books. Some of my favorites can be found here: Inspirational Books
- GET OUTSIDE! You can practice social distancing while still spending time in the fresh air and sunshine. Vitamin D is a natural immune booster. Wiggle your toes in the sand, take a hike, maybe some forest therapy aka Shinrin Yoku, or explore areas close to home that you previously never had time for.
- Cut back on watching the news. Stay informed, not inundated.
- Consider supplementing with known stress relievers like Magnesium and L-Theanine or Adaptogen herbs such as Ashwagandha and Maca root.
- Take a hot bath with Epsom salts.
- Have a positive mindset. There is true science behind this!
**If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and/or addiction issues during these trying times, please read and share this guide for mental health: Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health
What we can do to keep from going stir crazy while enjoying our families and creating lasting memories.
We will be in close quarters for an undetermined amount of time. Hopefully, it won’t be too long, but maybe just long enough for us to get back to US. What I mean is, in the past decade or so, there has been a slow decline in communication and family dinners. We seem to have more social media and less social interaction. This really could be a game-changer for families. A chance to reconnect, communicate and create lasting memories. I’ve compiled a list of activities and websites that you and your loved ones can enjoy together.
Family Activities & Sites:
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems (my granddaughter loves this!)
Since we are trying to protect our seniors with social distancing, a great way to stay connected is to have a ZOOM Party with the grandparents, other loved ones and friends! You can login and connect!
Projects & Activities for the Parents or Grandparents:
- Transfer those old VHS tapes to a digital source.
- Clean the attic
- Spa Day! Use some organic products and have fun! Take a bath. Do facials. Maybe give each other a shoulder massage.
- Complete a project you’ve put off.
- Remember that hobby you never had time for? Well, you do now!
- Learn a new language online
- Be creative! Paint, knit, sew, write!
- 44 Easy Craft Projects for Adults.
- Read! Free and Liberated E-Books
- Read! Hathi Trust Digital Library
- Hallmark Christmas Movies!! (ok this one is for me! haha)
That should be enough to get you started! I will update as I find new resources.
This can be a truly blessed time if we have the right mindset. My hope is that we will look back on early 2020 as a time when we reconnected with our loved ones, changed our lifestyle for the better including paying attention to the health of our minds, bodies, and relationships, and experienced newfound gratitude for all those things which until March of 2020 we somehow took for granted.
Wishing each and every one of us a very Magical life. We’re in this together.
Cheers & Love!
Head’s Up My Magical Lady! My posts may contain affiliate links. By purchasing something through one of these links, it won’t cost you a penny more….but I’ll receive a small commission, which helps to keep the lights on! Thank you for your support! Cheers & Love! XO