For some of us the need to Self-Isolate may currently be or become necessary in the coming weeks due to the rapidly evolving consequences of the COVID-19 virus. It makes sense to be prepared and accepting of this fact, understand the importance of why and ultimately look for the silver lining and utilise the 14 day timeframe in a way that serves you best.
Home is the Remedy
2 weeks can make all the difference to working on other aspects of your health alongside supporting and boosting Immune Health. It’s an opportunity to nourish your body with home cooked meals and rest, both which perhaps will work in your favour to improve digestion, Adrenal and Nervous System health alongside improving Immunity.
Here are some tips for incorporating Naturopathic care during Self-Isolation:
– Treat it as a Reset for your Health and Wellbeing
– Sleeping well, Eating well, Exercising – these are the cornerstones of good health and a balance we are often trying to achieve in our daily lives.
If you are sleep deprived, now is the time to play catch up, particularly because sleep and the Circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune functions with strong evidence that sleep enhances immune defence.(1)
If you are a night owl, try winding back the time you go to bed by 15 minutes each night. Now may also be a chance to sleep a little more than usual – don’t feel guilty, just go with it.
If your diet hasn’t been wonderful of late, it’s a great time to clean it up since adequate and appropriate nutrition is required for all cells to function optimally and this includes the cells in the immune system.(2)
There’s more time to plan, prepare and cook meals from scratch – which means better control over what to eat. Keep it simple and healthy. Try a new recipe. Do some batch cooking. Use what you have on hand and outsource what you can.
Eat plenty of Fruit and Vegetables, when you can’t keep it fresh remember Frozen is just as good and Legumes can count as a serve of Veg. Also bump up the dried herbs and spices and especially use Ginger, Garlic, Onions or Leeks with several meals per day.
Also practice Mindful Eating – if you are working from home make sure to step away from your workspace and take time to enjoy your food without rushing by chewing each mouthful 20-30 times, this helps to ensure you are extracting all the nutrients from your food.
Remember to stay Hydrated and if you must have Caffeine switch it to Green tea.
If exercise hasn’t been on your busy schedule for a while, here’s your chance to incorporate something light. The Immune System is very responsive to exercise – a single session of exercise is an Immune System adjuvant that improves defence activity and metabolic health.(3) Keep it gentle and not prolonged just in case since illness risk is increased in athletes during periods of intensified training and competition. Do something that makes you feel good to help keep stress levels down, play with the dog in the yard, do some gentle yoga, just move organically!
Rest and Digest and Reduce Stress
Stress can impact immunity differently for individuals. The stress we may experience in response to the current affairs surrounding COVID-19 locally, nationally and globally is of course understandable. Processing the situation and supporting a healthy stress response is crucial as psychological stress is known to suppress immune function and increase susceptibility to infections.(4)
After periods of prolonged stress that persists for several hours per day for weeks or month s(5) we may experience a knock on effect known as Immunosuppression. It is all the more reason to be at home and gives us plenty of cause to nurture and nourish ourselves as best we can. We recommend Meditation which can be easily incorporated into home life. The stress-reduction and positive affect associated with Meditative practices can undo many of the Physiological reactions leading to Inflammation and reduced Immune Function brought on by negative emotions and stress.(6)`There are plenty of apps, YouTube channels and websites to provide you guidance to get started. Give it a try!
Get advice and extra support
Lastly, consider an online Skype or phone consultation if you require further assistance. If you want to start an Immune Support Supplement routine its always best to seek professional advice and check that there are no interactions with any Pharmaceutical and/or Prescription Medication you may be taking. On that note, remember to make sure you have stock of any Medications on hand.
If you are unsure about whether or not you need to Self-Isolate or require further information, contact the Corona Virus National hotline 1800 020 080 and refer to this LINK for some general information.