Fear and anxiety drains our natural defences; 3 things we can do about it.
As early as 1999, scientists were measuring the negative impact that anxiety has on human health (1). I’m sure that is no surprise to you.
I think all of us have had times where we felt the weight of the world on our shoulders emotionally — and not long after came down with the sniffles.
During this time of “post covid” extreme stress it becomes critical to keep our emotions and anxiety in check (2). Not only for the “mental health and well-being” of those around us but for ourselves as well.
Step 1; Change the channel.
Limit how much news you are exposing yourself to. I understand it’s important to keep “up to date” but checking for updates a couple times a day rather than once an hour will really help you keep your anxiety in check.
I’d also encourage you to just check reputable news sources and stay off social media. Social media not helping the accuracy of information that is available so do yourself a favor and just stay off social. If ever there was a time to take a break from social media, now is it.
On a personal note, I’ve started to listen to some positive podcasts that have nothing to do with science or health, even though that is my “world”. Putting more positivity into my brain is really helping me stay stable for those around me and sane (for me).
Step 2; Do everything you can to maintain your natural defence system.
This is something that is completely under your control. I’d suggest, in times of stress, rather than doubling up on how much toilet paper you buy, double up on anything you can put in your body that maintains your bodies natural defences.
In addition to our regular routine of “health building” supplements, my family and I have added even more to ensure our body is fighting back with everything it’s got. Here’s a short list of what I take personally.
In the morning; a glutathione precursor, fish oil, multi vitamin/mineral, green drink and vitamin D and then in the evening; 5HTP, magnesium citrate and curcumin. Every second or third night I add a probiotic just to keep my gut health in check.
Yes there is always more that you can add but I want to remind everyone that supplements are supplements and not meal replacements – get most of your nutrition from healthy, whole foods first and then add your supplements based on your health history and genetics. Clean protein sources is becoming far more important than in years past — the number of chemicals in our protein is getting completely out of control!
If you’re really keen on maintaining your natural defences then I’d also crank up the veggie intake and decrease the sugar. Which is never a bad idea.
Step 3; Keep on keeping on.
In our social isolation it’s tough to keep up our regular routine but as much as possible keep doing as much as you can in a responsible way.
I’m fortunate, as an essential service, I’m always able to continue to serve people who are in critical need of chiropractic care. You wouldn’t believe the number of people in crisis that have expressed thanks for us taking the necessary steps to continue to serve.
If your world has been “forever changed” through working from home here are some suggestions, not all of these will work for your situation but even if one or two fit your new lifestyle then it may be enough to keep you connected with people you enjoy and love.
1. Schedule virtual meetings or calls with colleagues to stay in touch and connected.
2. Join online communities or forums related to your work.
3. Make time for online socializing with friends and family.
4. Set up a standing coffee date with a friend or colleague to stay connected and socialize.
5. Take part in virtual events or classes related to your work.
6. Schedule regular breaks throughout the day and take the time to talk to family, friends, or colleagues.
7. Check in with your team in person, if possible, and make sure you have a social plan for lunch or after–work activities.
8. Try to take part in physical activities such as walking, running, or cycling, so you can stay physically active as well as socially connected.
What I missed the most.
Where I missed the biggest part of my routine was my workouts. With my gym closed it wasn’t easy to get a workout in.
I did find some incredible resources online from short body weight workouts (no weights needed) to Pilates classes and everything else you can imagine (foam rolling, stretching classes, etc. . . ).
Staying physically active is not only good for your body but great for your brain and immune response. You tube is a great tool to ensure you get proper instruction and some motivation too.
I did take the plunge and equipped my garage with some work out gear so I won’t ever be stuck again. But not everyone has the space or the desire to have a home gym. You’ll be amazed at what people have posted on line and in a pinch you’re going to find something to keep you active.
Remember the virus that caused so much stress and anxiety impacted all of us. The key to success is your personal health status. People with underlying health conditions didn’t fair as well as people who have always managed their health well.
Reports documented that people with a healthy nerve system and strong natural defence may still have gotten sick but they recovered with little to no need for hospitalization (3).
The reports are showing that it all depends on the strength of the person who gets sick.
Help yourself by staying healthy and keep the things in your life that build health going in a responsible way.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to my personal email [email protected] and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Yours in health,
- Worry, the cognitive enumeration and anticipation of potential future negative events, is associated with autonomic dysregulation, which may in turn have implications for the immune system. (Brain Behav Immun. 1999 Jun;13(2):80-92.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10373274
- Significant evidence suggests that exposure to traumatic and/or acute stress in both mice and humans results in compromised immune function that in turn may affect associated brain processes. (Brain Behav Immun. 2014 May; 0: 192–201.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3989422/