2 Self-care Tips in Challenging Times

Challenging times are upon us. Apparently, it’s wise to take the Coronavirus and economic chaos seriously. As of 23 March, 2020 338,724 cases of COVID-19 have been reported including 14,687 deaths. On 18th March, the numbers were 199,193 cases including 7,994 deaths. That means the numbers have almost doubled in just 5 days. The good news is that almost 99,003 of the patients have recovered from this plague. The mantra to follow is “Don’t ignore yourself in challenging times.” Most of Europe, the United States, and many other countries around the globe have come to a standstill with COVID-19 pandemic. If you have been following the various government advisories and advice from experts you probably already know –

  • Wash your hands with soap or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • See the doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of this virus.
  • Don’t panic and spread rumors.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Be informed and stay safe.

As the world continues to feel the effects of COVID-19, it’s worth remembering that this too shall pass. It is also equally important to realize that our human bodies are our last line of defense. A critical factor in whether or not you get sick is the strength of your immune system. And there are 2 ways you can bolster your internal army to ward off any untoward attacks.

Increase your intake of healthy food, water, and sleep

During times of chaos and increased uncertainty, it is easier than ever for us to slip on our dietary needs. We tend to stock up on packaged foods and other longer-shelf life, preservative-added food items. Ready-to-eat meals, kinds of pasta, frozen pizzas and other snacks, canned foods, cereals, sugar-filled biscuits, chips, energy drinks, peanut butter, granola bars suddenly make themselves at home in our refrigerators and kitchen cabinets. While some of these things may be necessary depending upon the level of quarantine your region is experiencing, none of these foods help you maintain or increase your levels of immunity. In other words, solely relying on processed and packaged foods is definitely going to worsen your immunity levels should a crisis arise in your family. Instead, find ways to stock up and increase your intake of healthy foods, mainly vegetables, fruits, and proteins. The essential nutrients you get from your daily intake of vegetables and fruits help in boosting your immune system and support healthy growth.

Here are some of the ways I do them:

  • Limit your intake of refined sugar and sugar substitutes. Added sugar can have harmful effects on our metabolism.
  • Increase your level of planning during these times.
  • Cut and chop all vegetables and fruits and store them in freezer bags in the freezer. Freezing veggies and fruits at home is a fast and convenient way to preserve produce at their peak maturity and nutritional quality. Note that freezing is not recommended for some fruits like bananas and some vegetables like potatoes or eggplants.
  • Blend all greens like spinach, kale, cabbage, amaranth, and fenugreek and store them in bottles or freezer bags. Shelf life for bottles kept in the fridge is 1 to 1.5 weeks while freezing them increases the shelf life to several weeks preserving the nutritional quality.
  • Balance your protein intake with a good amount of veggies. Just like the condiments we use, use proteins, especially from animal sources as “condimeats” instead of filling yourself up just on them.

Apart from increasing your intake of fresh and nutritional food, it is also very important to stay very well hydrated throughout the day. Maintain 8-10 glasses of water at a minimum. Drinking water has two benefits – it helps break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients and also helps maximize energy levels and physical performance.

The third element of this equation is getting adequate sleep. During this crisis, stress and fear affect our sleep patterns. Sleep is critical to maintaining immune function, body cleansing, metabolism, and other vital functions. So ensure that you are well-rested through the night and also schedule your afternoon naps to make you ready to tackle these challenging times.

Curtail the anxiety with meditation and EFT Tapping

Medical studies have shown that 85% of all diseases are linked to anxiety and stress. Anxiety and stress send distress signals to our body and weaken our defenses against any virus attack. Having healthy and nutritional food is only half the battle won. To win the other half, it is essential that we create and practice what I call “emotional hygiene.” This includes meditation, deep breathing, and a technique called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is a very simple and effective technique to let go of fear or stress, boost our immune systems and imagine a positive outcome for all. It involves tapping using your fingertips on predetermined points on your body to create health and vitality. You can easily look up on YouTube for free videos of basic EFT tapping, or you can consult an EFT practitioner for assistance. As one of my EFT mentors says, “Any tapping is better than no tapping.” So, don’t wait for the perfect EFT video or script for tapping. Just start. Create a 10-minute daily ritual that includes one or more of these techniques to take care of your emotions and your minds.

Use these self-care tips and share them with your family and friends. Take really good care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of the most vulnerable in your community. It is obvious this epidemic is going to change how we look at ourselves as a species, and we will be stronger and wiser when all of this is put behind us. Take care and stay safe!

This article was first published on Juggernaut, India’s premier digital publishing company. You can check out some of the other articles I contribute on this digital platform here.

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