Coronavirus: Resources for Staying Sane and Healthy

There is a lot of fear surrounding the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Much of it is unhelpful. Here are some practical measures we can take to counteract the spreading anxiety, boost our immune system, and stay healthy (mentally and physically!) 

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Counteract fear

You could say there is a pandemic of fear. Fear is like a virus: it is contagious and spreads very quickly. Fear lowers our immune system so it’s not helping us right now.
 
Help yourself and help others by stopping not just the spread of the Coronavirus but also the spread of fear and anxiety.
 
Whenever you feel anxious come back to the here and now and remind yourself that you are perfectly well right now.
 
Use an affirmation to stay in this mindset so you can deal with any changes to your life with calm, intelligence, and confidence.

Choose one that makes you feel calm and grounded and reminds you to leave conjecture and anxiety behind. 

Here are some very simple but powerful affirmations:
  • All is well.
  • I am perfectly alright right now.
  • I am safe.
  • I am well and happy. 

Become aware of whenever a feeling of anxiety rises in you – catch it! If it is 10 times a day say your affirmations 11 times. If it is 999 times a day it doesn’t matter, say your affirmations 1000 times. 

Each time you manage to choose calmness, grace and kindness for yourself over fear and anxiety you’re making a significant difference for yourself and all those around you. 

Laugh

Studies have shown that laughter significantly boosts the immune system. It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells as well as infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
 
Here is my favourite funny clip ever, just thinking about it makes me laugh! (It’s Michael McIntyre at the dentist – which doesn’t sound very funny … but trust me, you will have the best time watching this.) 
It’s crucial for our health that we consciously de-stress and not let worry and fear of the Coronavirus overwhelm us. Stress, worry, and fear actively weaken our immune system and open us to the very thing we’re trying to avoid by stressing and worrying about it…
 
So go and do things that make you happy. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. 

Exercise

When we’re exercising we have a physiological response that combats anxiety. There are many studies that show that physical activity can help boost immunity (such as flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways).
 
There are a myriad of excellent Youtube videos for which you don’t need any equipment. I personally use this one. And here is a very gentle Yoga class on Youtube that is truly de-stressing and relaxing.

Live online resources

There is now a fantastic range of live classes being offered online.

Here are some I have personally tried and can genuinely recommend:

Yoga

Everyone’s favourite yoga teacher, Paul Teodo is offering live online yoga classes every weekday. Catch the replay of his first yoga class here, setting a motivation of courage in these current tumultuous times, and then getting your sweat on! (Yoga is so much more than just gentle stretching – you’ll see!) 

Dance

Mark Kanemura, a former backup dancer with Lady Gaga, is offering a 10 minute dance session live on his Instagram that is high energy and great fun.

Sing

Singing is joyful and healing as well as a fun way to connect to a global community. James Sill set up a fantastic free weekly online singing event called The Sofa Singers
 
And The Lifefulness Project does a daily singalong with a special guest that is streamed live on facebook. Or if you sign up they will put you on a big video singalong with people in your area.

Meditate

Become aware of what fear feels like for you. It might not be as explicit as a wave of panic, it might be low level anxiety. Where does it sit in your body? Are your shoulders stiff, are you feeling sick in your stomach, is your heart beating more quickly? 

Meditation can not only help us to relax and feel calm. It’s also a great tool to look at our subconscious and become aware of the thoughts we are thinking and how we’re acting on them. So meditation can be an effective way to work through any fears and anxiety we’re feeling. 
There are many resources for learning how to meditation including Guided Meditations and How to Meditate Step by Step for Beginners.

Live online resources

Spiritual Practice

Rebecca Campbell (bestselling author of Rise Sister Rise) is offering soulful meditations and spiritual practices every day live at 15:00 GMT (8am PDT, 11am EDT) on her facebook and instagram pages. Here is a replay of her meditation to calm the nervous system.

Help Others

Helping others is the smartest way of helping ourselves, because it produces a feeling of purpose and connection. Two fundamental values we all crave and cannot achieve by thinking merely of ourselves. 

Why not copy this letter and put it through the door of an elderly or vulnerable neighbour. 

The sweetest, kindest, and coolest family in the world – aka The Bucket List Family – will help you help others.

If you know someone in need and plan to help them financially with the groceries, bills, and other necessities they will match your donation. Details on their Instagram post

Turn off the news

Be mindful what and how much news you’re watching and reading – be selective! Get news from factual, matter-of-fact sources, like the World Health Organisation and the Australian Department of Health
 
Check how you feel when you read the news. 
 
Because there’s so much uncertainty right now we’re probably checking and rechecking for updates and easily latch on to rumours. This sends us down the anxiety spiral.
 
Check with yourself in all honestly, which news from which sources is serving you?   

Give yourself permission to take breaks from the news. It might feel counterintuitive but it’s not sticking your head in the sand. It’s discerning to choose your mental health. You are much more use to yourself and others if you remain calm and grounded.

Remember, your chances of avoiding the Coronavirus are extremely good. All the school closures and event cancellations are largely due to the fact that the virus is containable. (With the flu virus we don’t even try.)

Read good solid statistics and articles that keep things in perspective such as how the virus was contained in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, how infection numbers might well fall sooner than we think, and how Covid-19 Coronavirus is actually much more containable than the common flu virus.

Take responsibility for your own mindset. 

Eat healthy

Eat more fresh fruit and veg, reduce sugar and alcohol, cut out junk food.
 
If you have been thinking about changing to a healthier diet now is the time. A plant based diet is generally considered one of the healthiest ways you can eat. 
Here is what that could look like: fresh fruit, and tacos filled with salad, avocado, and sautéd mushrooms. (All organic and vegan). Quick to make and tastes delicious! 
 
Here is a no-nonsense guide to plant based eating including recipes.

Can’t cook, won’t cook? 

There are great ways to have fresh healthy food delivered right to your doorstep, so all you have to do is heat it and eat it! 

Get lots of (good quality) sleep

Don’t skimp on sleep! Getting good sleep every night makes a huge difference to our health, both physically and mentally.
 
Make a point of deeply relaxing just before drifting off so the sleep you get is truly restful. Here is a sleep meditation and a body scan to help you relax and get deep restful sleep.

Healthy Gut

Did you know that there’s a strong link between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health and more?
 
Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, de-stressing by exercising and having fun, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water will all help your gut stay healthy. Taking probiotics (as well as a prebiotic) can also help.

A Final Thought

The Coronavirus might be an opportunity to make changes in our life that we’ve been meaning to do for a long time. Live more healthily, take care of our bodies and our minds, become more independent of mass media, help one another, and also enjoy life more! Now is the time.

Over to you

Have you found some great resources for boosting your immune system? How do you keep calm and joyful? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Coronavirus – 7 Resources to Stay Sane and Healthy”

  1. Fabulous post K, I shall enjoy going through the various links. I hope you’re very well, all fine for me here, just adjusting to not going out. Vitamin C is said to be good at this time of Covid-19. A lot of people are thinking that setting a daily schedule can help with home isolation, the online live broadcasts will be good for people setting aside that important time, not so easy for those with children at home though. At 15:30 every day a few of us on our street are going outside with a cup of tea and standing 3m apart having a chat. xxx

    1. Thanks for the fabulous update, Rach! Big yes to Vit-C, and echinacea and zinc too. And I love that idea of going outside and connecting, even though it has to be 3m apart! Physical distancing, social solidarity.

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