Because it is the only one you are going to get this lifetime although you may be able to source some spare parts if you are lucky.
I have chosen Love.
So, lets start with loving our body.
Despite believing that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience, and that the most important aspect of the triune of humanness is the Soul or Spirit rather than the body or mind, I still think it is important as much as is possible to look after and work with what we have. We have a body for the purpose of experiencing life on earth. Having a healthy body makes the experience much more pleasant.
Humanity is fascinating to observe. The answer to why there was a stampede to the toilet paper aisle instead of the health food shop continues to elude me. But perhaps there is something important I am missing.
Our first line of defence against COVID-19 is Sanitisation and social distancing.
Our second line of defence is our Individual Immune Systems.
A fact that seems to have escaped most people. This is indicative of the general state of affairs when it comes to health. The prevailing attitude is “I can eat what I like, smoke, drink and not exercise, subject my body to constant, chronic stress, and when my body begins to collapse from the abuse, the medical profession will provide me with a treatment so I can continue abusing my body”. To be clear, I am not sitting here feeling superior and pointing the finger. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. Probably more so, because I know better and I still fall off the wagon into lazy eating habits.
As a race, humanity is so over-domesticated, most people have lost their natural instincts. All animals and birds know what to eat to sustain their life. Humanity doesn’t seem to. We have been conned by clever marketing and indifference to our bodies into believing that if it is in the food section of the supermarket it is fine for us to eat. Actually… NO.
We have chosen to ignore the fact that many chronic diseases in the developed countries are “life-style diseases”. Directly attributable to what we eat and how we live. We don’t want to acknowledge this because we are too busy. And it seems too much of an effort to change. Yes, it is an effort, but one that is worth it.
There are simple things we can do to support our immune system, and I am going to share some of the things I am currently doing to keep my body as healthy as I can.
Never under estimate the power of the mind. I know these are uncertain times. I know that 1 million Australian have lost their jobs this week. I know that businesses are having to close. I know there is a viral pandemic and people are sick and dying. I know life as we have known it is changing. But I also know that worrying doesn’t make anything better. In fact it makes life ten times harder because we suffer much more and we aren’t as open to opportunities as we could be. Most importantly, we are unable to appreciate what we do have by focusing on what we don’t have and what may go wrong. In my next blog I will talk about how to Not Worry in detail.
Fear in all its forms – anxiety, worry, stress – impact on the immune system. Majorly. I can’t emphasize this enough. A really good reason to work on reducing fear. There are many peer reviewed scientific studies to back this up. Fear puts our bodies automatically into fight/flight/freeze response. And one of the results of this is that our immune system is suppressed. Why? Because the body is very clever and very efficient. The immune system is not a high priority when you are faced with a deadly snake and you need to run, kill it or freeze, so the body redirects energy and releases chemicals to support you to take appropriate action i,e increased blood flow to muscles, raised blood pressure adrenaline etc. The relaxation and repair state is when your body and your immune system are at their best.
Start a gratitude journal. Each day write down 3 things you are grateful for and why.
Read books or magazines that uplift and inspire you.
I think everyone knows that fresh fruit and vegies (preferably organic or spray-free) are optimal foods for health. They are full of vitamins and minerals that our body needs to operate smoothly. Nuts, seeds and legumes are also beneficial. For some people it is important to eat meat. For others not. I tend to only eat meat once or twice a week at most.
What our bodies are not designed to do is work well on processed foods full of sugar, salt and chemicals.
I get it. It is much easier to snack on rubbish food than make some hommus or raw protein balls. Fortunately, I love cooking and thanks to cancer, I have time, but I still, if given the chance would happily reach for a packet of biscuits. The best way to get around this is to make sure there is always something healthy to snack on in the fridge, and nothing rubbish on the pantry. If you can’t go out… problem solved.
Sadly, I can be a bit lazy, so this is where smoothies and juices come in. Particularly smoothies. Throw a handful of spinach in with coconut/almond or rice milk, a banana, date, tspn of cacao powder and honey if you want it sweeter and blitz. Yuuum! I also add frozen berries and a variety of powders that I will mention in the next section.
If nothing else, try to cut down on the rubbish food and start eating more greens.
While this pandemic is strutting its stuff, I am taking;
Obviously I have significant underlying health issues which necessitates me going over and above in supporting my immune system, but at least take Vit C and zinc, and some digestive enzymes to support your body.
With plenty of good water and vegetable juices.
Keep, or get moving! Our bodies are designed to move, so move. Get that blood circulating through your body.
If you are going into lock-down soon, get a skipping rope or a re-bounder or something. Try Yoga – there are plenty of you tube videos showing you how. If you can’t get on the floor, look up chair yoga. Utilise the internet to look up exercises you can do in your living room. I go for a bike ride 3 times a day – it is something I can still do at the moment.
If you still can, get out into nature – it is extremely therapeutic and if you can manage to have a calm enough mind to feel the still, silent quietness of nature it will be beneficial to your mental health as well.
Everyone should be learning how to meditate. We are going to need to dig deep to get through the next few months and meditation will be enormously beneficial. It supports the immune system too. In particular by taking the body out of flight/fight mode and into relaxation and repair mode. If you can’t manage mantra or Zen meditations, try mindfulness or guided meditations. There is a multitude of them on the internet.
Build your own supportive network, support others and make sure you are supported too. This is really important and is going to make the coming months much more endurable. We need to actively build deep and supportive networks. Technology is going to be critical to keep us connected. Help older people to use facetime etc so they feel more connected. There are many studies that prove loneliness and lack of support is detrimental to our health. Use this time to get more connected.
I hope that some of what I say is helpful. You are probably going to hear more from me now I have settled into self isolation!
Keep well everyone…