Tips to Improve your Health & Wellness in the Face of the Coronavirus Pandemic
In the days when it became clear how serious the Coronavirus threat was becoming, I started worrying, like so many others. My mind was spinning, so I decided to journal about my thoughts and fears. I find it really helpful to get my swirling thoughts down on paper. Next, I started making a To-Do List of possible actions I could take to help myself feel more prepared. After reviewing my list, I decided that my top priority was to focus on improving the health and safety of my family and myself. With so much outside my control, I decided to focus on the areas that I could directly impact.
Several people have asked me to share some of the things I am doing to help boost the health and wellness of myself and my family, so here they are. I hope you will find them helpful too!
I had my own ideas on the topic, and I did a bit of research, too, to hear what experts were recommending. The main message that I took away is that we should all try to focus on the fundamentals of boosting our health and our immune systems. According to Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, for healthline.com: “Making healthy lifestyle choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are the most important ways to bolster your immune system.” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/immune-boosting-supplements
Based on this, I decided to take the following actions to help boost our health and immune systems:
- Pay extra attention to healthy lifestyle basics and make any adjustments where needed:
- Make sure we are getting enough sleep (minimum of 7-8 hours for adults). Also, note that you may be feeling more tired than usual during this crisis, which is completely normal. If you feel that you need more sleep than you normally do, make your best effort to sleep more.
- Reduce or eliminate potentially unhealthy substances that can interfere with optimal immune system functioning such as alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, excess sugar/sweets.
- Drink lots of water. Try to eliminate sugary drinks such as sodas/soft drinks (including diet versions).
- Eat as healthy as possible. I made it my goal to plan and cook wholesome, nutrient-dense, and tasty meals. I have a list on the front of my meal plan folder that lists some of the healthiest foods. This reminds me to try to work some of them into our menu each week. My list of healthiest foods includes dark leafy greens (most nutrients of all), garlic, salmon, olive oil, ginger, beans, kiwi, berries, apricot, mango, papaya, bok choy, squash, kale, sweet potatoes, beetroots, and quinoa.
- I also try to include the following regularly: prep and offer healthy snacks daily such as vegetables, fruits, or nuts; make green smoothies; make turmeric tea.
- I made a batch of homemade chicken broth and a batch of chicken and vegetable soup. I froze both into individual portions to have on hand in case any of us get sick, as this is one of the healthiest and most appealing things you can eat while sick. Please see below for the recipe.*
- Take any needed medications regularly and as directed. This is always important, but especially so during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- Brush and floss teeth regularly. Flossing, especially, can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Be sure that we are incorporating some type of movement into our daily routine such as walking, biking, dancing, yoga, stretching, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator/lift.
- Take any needed vitamins. Before you begin taking vitamins, you should discuss your needs with your doctor to make sure there will be no interactions between vitamins and any medications you are taking. In my case, I am taking a daily multivitamin as well as vitamin C, D3, and a magnesium supplement. *Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I chose these vitamins after doing some research on the subject and then talking to a holistic nutritional counselor and my doctor. Please check with your doctor before starting any new vitamins or supplements.
- Make sure to incorporate humor and laughter in our lives daily. It is healing and great for stress relief. We watch comedies together and enjoy sharing funny videos and memes we see on social media or that friends and family send us.
- Consciously practice gratitude. This is a very positive habit that can reduce stress and boost wellness. Ideally, find a way that you can incorporate it into the daily routine of you/your family.
- Work with my family to improve our hygiene and sanitization practices as much as possible with the Coronavirus in mind. Here are some of the ways we are doing it:
- Make sure we are all washing our hands thoroughly and often. We did a training demonstration with both our kiddos to make sure they are doing it correctly. Naturally, they need lots of reminders. (But hey, singing the ABCs repeatedly with my 4-year-old daughter kills two birds with one stone!)
- Sanitize high-traffic surfaces daily. Work to improve our cleaning routine to make sure that we are sanitizing properly to kill as many viruses as possible. You can find more details here. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html
These are the actions that we are taking in our home to boost our health and wellness in the face of the Coronavirus. What are you doing? I would love to hear other ideas and tips!
Wishing you and your family all the best, wherever you are. Please stay safe and healthy!
I used this Chicken Noodle Soup recipe to make my homemade chicken broth & then soup. In my case, I did not put any noodles in since I planned to freeze it for later. If you choose, in the future after you thaw it and then warm it on the stove, you can toss in some noodles and cook them in the broth. Please note: do not microwave the broth or soup as this can kill some of the nutrients and healing properties. Trust me, after going to the trouble of making this from scratch, 100% homemade, please only heat it up on the stove.
In my case, I plan to just leave the noodles out altogether and serve it as chicken & vegetable soup if any of us are sick. As you are making your broth, you can toss in any extra vegetables or fresh herbs that you happen to have on hand and want to use up. Also, feel free to adjust the vegetables you use and customize it based on the preferences/tastes of you and your family. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-noodle-soup-recipe0-1941332