How to Boost Your Immune System During a Pandemic
As I write this, we are beginning day seven of the Coronavirus global pandemic. On social media, it’s evident that opinions are split regarding how to respond. Some feel that they should go on living life as they normally do, while others are in full support of quarantines and closures. Some people are entirely unconcerned, while others are panicking. Despite which category you fit in, the most important things you can do during this time are the following:
- Don’t panic. Remain calm.
- Keep your immune system boosted.
- Make fully informed choices.
There are numerous ways to boost your immune system, including a full list below. However, one of the first ways would be to refer to number one – don’t panic, stay calm. You may feel like that’s impossible, but I encourage you to try. Panicking is a very low-level energy vibration that puts you in fight or flight mode. This causes your body to weaken your immune system, which is the opposite of what you want right now. You want your immune system ramped up. If you only need one reason not to panic, this is it.
If you are a client of mine who has taken the energy leadership assessment, or if you have learned energy leadership with another practitioner, then you know that there are two types of energy – catabolic and anabolic.
Negative emotions such as panic, fear, and grief encompass catabolic energy. Feeling helpless or hopeless, alone, victimized, angry, and stress of any sort will throw you into catabolic energy.
The upper levels of energy are called anabolic. Anabolic energy levels encompass many types of feelings and ways of thinking that release catabolic energy. Often, an initial step in shifting from catabolic to anabolic energy is reframing the situation by noticing what’s going right and staying focused on what you can control. Another step could be to find ways to help yourself and others. Reaching an even higher level of energy could result in finding hidden opportunities in the situation. There are always opportunities, but those opportunities can never be seen from a catabolic viewpoint. A final useful example is focused self-care; taking your attention away from the maddening crowd to boost your immune system and turn on the healing response. As a bonus to reaching this state with anabolic energy, this shift can slow down and even reverse the aging process.
Here are some other tips to help boost your immune system:
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. Cutting back at minimum is a must.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables while avoiding processed foods.
- Get some exercise. Even if you are quarantined, you can still get exercise. Find ways to do that. You don’t have to stay inactive.
- Get adequate rest.
- Consider adding supplementation, especially a high-quality multivitamin, Vitamin C and Vitamin D. There is an enormous amount of information regarding supplementation available on the internet. Do some research and see what’s right for you. Then, if you are quarantined, order from an online source. Remember to disinfect everything that comes into the house.
- Minimize all stress as much as possible.
- Find a way to raise your energy level for at least 20 minutes every day.
Moving on to step three, “making fully informed choices,” it’s essential that you decide what is right for you. Ensure that you are well-informed, and then choose what you feel is best. This may not always be easy. Maybe you want to self-quarantine, but your employer says you have to come to work or you just can’t afford to lose the income. As more and more schools and businesses close, and the virus case numbers increase worldwide, making the best decision for all involved is getting tougher. Maybe you feel compelled to go out and help other people. While that is honorable, it comes with risk. You’ll have to decide what’s best for you.
A local yoga studio stated in a social media post, “The body is designed to heal. We will maintain normal business hours and class schedules!” I wonder if that business owner is prepared to accept the potentially far-reaching consequences of that decision. I wonder if they are aware that although the body is designed to heal, most Americans don’t do this very well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48% of American adults have one or more chronic health conditions. People with chronic health conditions have a compromised immune system and are at a higher risk during this pandemic. There are many variables, but the bottom line is that it’s impossible to look at a person and know if they’re infected.
There is a lot of discussion about flattening the curve of infection. I am in full support of this. I have chosen to self-quarantine since the pandemic started. It is not because I am afraid of getting sick. I have a very strong immune system. I have decided to self-quarantine for two reasons:
- I want to help prevent the spread of the virus (help flatten the curve).
- I realize how difficult it is to disinfect once you’ve returned from the outside world.
The way I see it, if I am out in public and my hands become contaminated, then I touch another surface, that doesn’t necessarily mean I will get sick if I take the proper precautions. But what if an elderly person (those most at risk for death) touches the place I contaminated and gets sick? That means I have contributed to the spread.
When I decided it was time to self-quarantine, I prepared by doing some grocery shopping. I didn’t buy toilet paper, to answer your question, as it was already gone. However, I bought two weeks’ worth of food. That shopping, plus what I already have in the house, should last over a month – longer if I am strategic. My shopping cart was not overflowing. My intent was not to hoard but to buy a sufficient amount of food for a reasonable amount of time.
While being in public, I found it challenging to be careful about what I touched. I thought, “I’ll just put my credit card in my pocket, and then I won’t have to worry about contaminating my purse.” Ladies, can you imagine the thought of trying to decontaminate the contents of your purse? But then there were my sunglasses and my keys. As I continued to follow the progression and pay attention to where and what my hands touched, I thought, “This is getting complicated!”
Once I returned home and unloaded the car, I was perplexed as to how to move forward. Do I wipe down the containers of food? After all, someone touched them to pack and ship them, and someone else handled them to put them on the shelf. And of course, checkout. I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I did my best to wipe down the items with a disinfectant. Then it came time to put away the grocery bags and start wiping the counters and other potentially contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs. I found this process to be incredibly difficult as I moved from one surface to another, realizing that I might be cross-contaminating a clean surface while trying to disinfect another. That’s why it makes sense to me to self-quarantine. I am fortunate that I can do that. Not everybody can.
However you decide to handle this is strictly your decision, and I’m not here to judge. I know some of you have compelling reasons for being out in public. My intent in writing this is to give you tips on managing the potential stress, boosting your immune system, and helping you make a well-thought-out decision.
Remember, your choice could come with severe consequences to you, your loved ones, and, potentially, the world… so choose wisely.
Stay safe, everyone. Keep your immune system boosted by implementing the, “do the five” advice provided here from the World Health Organization:
- HANDS… Wash them often
- ELBOW… Cough into it
- FACE… Don’t touch it
- FEET… Stay more than 3ft apart
- FEEL… Sick? Stay home
We will get through this! Our world has been through many harder and scarier times than this. We are resilient beings!