It’s been a crazy week. From grounded international flights here in the UK and panic stock-piling of basic staples, quarantines in the EU, school closures and cancelled sports seasons, the world is in some turmoil and enveloped in fear!
Here are some key tips I’d like to share with you:
The fear has spread faster and farther than Covid-19.
And as fear causes excessive stress, and we know that stress depresses our immune function. Each hour of stress lowers the function of your immune system for 24 – 48 hours, and leaves you without protection.
Fear is highly contagious. Just as viruses are passed from person to person, so are emotional states like fear.
So in addition to handwashing, covering your mouth if you cough with disposable tissue (and washing hands after), and avoiding unnecessary close physical contact, one of the most important things you can do is to regulate your nervous system. This will lower your stress response.
The fastest and easiest way to calm your body and your mind is to deepen and slow down your breath. Do this by focusing on inhaling into the lower belly first, about an inch below your navel, on a slow count of four on the inhale, and on the exhale.
Think of something you are grateful for or appreciate as you breathe, something that is going well right now for you – it can be something as simple as observing a beautiful sunny day, or the flowers on your desk or on the green as you get to work.
Let every mention of coronavirus be your cue for a new habit of deepening your breath.
Just as you might limit your exposure to crowds, limit your exposure to other people’s fears by limiting time on social media and listening to endless news updates. Once or twice a day is plenty.
As we practice social distancing, here’s a quote I love that I came across from Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky:
“Let every hand we don’t shake become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.”
Many people have been asking what herbs they should have on hand. For your protection, the following list of herbs and herbal combinations may be useful to take. Please note that it is not necessary to take ALL of them. Some you may already have in your pantry:
Drink plenty of HOT water through the day
Drink fresh ginger tea
Take some vitamin C – tablets or amalaki fruit
Take Echinacea twice daily
Or Take Goldenseal twice daily
Or combo: Echinacea + Goldenseal + Cinnamon – ¼ tsp with honey twice daily
Take medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Shitake, and Cordyceps
Astragalus is great too.
Avoid sugar, alcohol, and all milk/dairy products, these tend to increase mucus (damp) in the body. From research of Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors working in China, COVID-19 most often presents as a damp, toxic pathogen. Becoming an inhospitable host to damp pathogens means keeping your microbiome healthy.
Eat warm, cooked, whole foods that you can easily digest. Avoid iced drinks. Include black pepper, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and cumin, turmeric, garlic, ginger, oranges, sprouts, lemons and lots of green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.
Good oils such as coconut and olive oil.
Keep meat produce to minimum too.
Eat your biggest meal at lunchtime, eat a light supper and avoid eating after 6pm.
Lubricate your nasal passages with some olive or sesame oil – get a dropper bottle and lubricate twice a day, when you wake up and before you go to sleep.
Get some sun. Keep warm and comfortably wrapped up.
Be sure to rest. Rest, read, relax.
Prioritize sleep. Seriously. This is where we build resilience.
Exercise every day, preferably in the morning. A combo of gentle movements and breathing like yoga is best. If you are going to the gym, make sure you wipe down all equipment and mats before and after your practice.
As far as herbs that are traditionally used for respiratory conditions, colds, and flus: Ayurveda, Western herbal medicine, and Chinese herbal medicine have been around for millenia, and have seen people through a number of different epidemics.
The treatments are individualized, depending on the presentation of symptoms and people’s basic physical constitution. If you need to get in touch, please do, and we can arrange online or phone consultation.
Keep calm and joyful!