In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are feeling anxious and uncertain. Check your social media or turn on the news and you’ll see panic-buying at the supermarket and people wearing face masks when they have no symptoms.
All this tension might leave you feeling a little powerless, but there are a few things you can do to help strengthen your immune system and help protect yourself and your loved ones during this time.
The body’s immune system is incredible at helping to protect us from unwanted bugs and viruses but our immune systems can’t work properly without enough sleep. Research shows that sleep-deprived people can have suppressed immunity, meaning that they're more at risk of contracting viruses.
If you feel worried or you are anxious (about COVID-19, for example), you're more at risk of sleep problems such as insomnia. And if you're sleep-deprived, you're more likely to be anxious. The whole thing can turn into one big negative feedback loop, hurting your mind, body and soul.
Avoid traps like this by practicing a consistent evening routine. Try making a relaxing decaffeinated tea like chamomile before bed. Swap your phone out for a book and reduce blue light exposure before turning in. Use a journal to write down any anxious thoughts before closing your eyes. Getting a solid 7-9 hours of sleep a night will do wonders for your immune system and help protect your health during this time
2.Clean your phone and wash your hands often
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through close contact. Meaning things that other people touch such as your hands and clothing as well as your mobile phone need to be washed or sanitized regularly.
According to research, some viruses including COVID-19 can live on surfaces for up to 9 days. By disinfecting your phone regularly with a cleaning product that is 70% ethanol you can reduce the risk of the virus living on your phone and being transferred into your home.
Hand washing is another essential way to reduce risk. By regularly washing your hands using plenty of soap and water and for at least 20 seconds you can greatly reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.
3.Nourish your body
Just like a machine, our bodies need the proper fuel to function at their peak state and fight off viruses. Up to 80% of our immune system lives in our gut, meaning our gut health is vital to the overall health of our immune systems and our bodies. Opt for stomach superfoods like kimchee, almonds and yogurt or try drinking a little kombucha.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the idea of cooking, try very simple wholesome recipes with minimal cleanup. Embrace recipes that combine comfort food with ingredients that help improve our immune systems like simple salads or pasta and veggie dishes. Remember this is not the time to curl with a bag of chips. Now is the time to nourish and care for our bodies.
4. Move your body
Working out is often a great way to de-stress at the end of the day and a good way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. The gyms may be closed, but that doesn’t mean your workout routine should slip, especially if the weather is nice. Besides the health benefits, staying active will nourish your mind, and will help you avoid going stir crazy – just be mindful of social distancing!
If you’re looking to create a workout routine at home focus on the basics such as planks, pushups, squats, leg lifts, or bicycles and burpees. One of the best ways to build a workout is to do 4 rounds of 5 exercises for 45 seconds of work, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Choose exercises that target different areas of your body and you’ll have a full-body workout in less than 20 minutes.
By following the tips above you can help strengthen your immune system and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever is when our self-care practices are so important, as they can help combat the collective uneasiness we have all been feeling.