Everywhere that we turn, there is more information about what we should and should not do in order to keep ourselves healthy during this challenging time. Now, more than ever, it is important that we are mindful about making choices that not only effect us, but the people in our community as well.
Our world has been changed forever. Life as we know it will never be the same.
We all have different ways of dealing with stress. We may either shut down, become combative, or avoid the issue altogether. It is not our innate reaction that is most meaningful, but what comes next. What do we do after we receive new information? How do we process it? How do we navigate the unknown?
The best thing that we can do is give ourselves a fighting chance, by using the resources around us. Unfortunately, some of us have more access to comfort than others. That is why we have to do the best that we can with what we have.
All in all, no matter what your life looks like, stress is toxic, and causes disease. (high blood pressure, insomnia, diabetes, chronic pain, depression, etc) That is why I have come up with a list of my top 5 things that you can do to alleviate the impact that stress has on your mind and body, so that you and your family can stay as healthy as possible.
Divayogi's Top 5 Ways to Stay Healthy:
1. Eat Healthy Food
While it may be tempting to grab as much comfort food as possible to go along with all your toilet paper, it is not the best choice for making sure that your immune system stays strong. Making healthy food choices helps to keep your gut healthy and your bowls regular. 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract, so make sure that you treat it like gold. Watch a video by my good friend who is an Integrative Medicine Doctor. DR. DV talks about gut health and ways to heal the microbiome
Eat no more than 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks a day.
Drink 8 x 8oz of clean water, daily.
Eat fresh fruits and veggies, whenever possible.
Avoid fried foods. Roast, steam, or saute instead.
Limit processed sugar. Sweeten with dates or eat fresh fruit in its place.
2. Go Outside Everyday
While we are in quarantine, we can still can outside to exercise in our yards and neighborhoods, or even sit right outside our door to take in some fresh air and much needed sunlight. This article from Harvard Medical School talks about how your body uses sunlight to produce Vitamin D for keeping your body healthy and immune system strong.
"Vitamin D's best-known role is to keep bones healthy by increasing the intestinal absorption of calcium. Without enough vitamin D, the body can only absorb 10% to 15% of dietary calcium, but 30% to 40% absorption is the rule when vitamin reserves are normal. A lack of vitamin D in children causes rickets; in adults, it causes osteomalacia. Both bone diseases are now rare in the United States, but another is on the rise — osteoporosis, the "thin bone" disease that leads to fractures and spinal deformities." - Harvard Men's Health Watch
Spend at least 20 minutes a day outside in the sun to help boost mood and produce Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D helps to keep the bones healthy by increasing Calcium absorption in the intestines.
Take a walk around the neighborhood. Practice social distancing. Wear your mask, and stay at least 6 feet away from community members.
Meditate. It helps normalize blood pressure and improve sleep. Try my free 21-Day Meditation Challenge!
3. Connect with People
We are tribal beings. Humans who have a sense of community and their place within the social structure experience better overall health than those who do not. A great description of this is given in Johann Hari's book, "Lost Connections." Watch his Ted Talk Here.
We are meant to be with one another. This is what my hashtag #healingincommunity represents. How are you making sure that you stay connected with the world in an authentic and interactive way?
A number of people have come up with creative and fun ways to stay connected in both the virtual and real world. Loved ones are dropping off food and saying hello from the bottom of walkways and outside of windows. Neighborhoods are coming out to the edge of their grass to exercise together while staying 6 feet or more apart. I have even seen videos where people in Italy were collectively singing from their windows out into the courtyards. Necessity is the mother of all invention. Of course, we have seen the use of platforms, like Zoom, sky rocket. I have been using it, daily, to host online classes, see clients, play games, and host a weekly public event, Virtual Happy Hour on Saturday nights at 7 PM with my co-host, Black People Ride Bikes.
Use Zoom, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger to video chat with loved ones. Our Community Elders love this. Voice calls are great. Video is even more personal.
Attend an interactive virtual event.
Host a virtual game night.
Take food/essentials to a Community Member that is considered to be vulnerable. Examples are people over 65, pregnant women, people with preexisting conditions.
4. Exercise For at Least 30 Minutes
As soon as the schools closed, I began switching all of my classes and clients over to the virtual platform, Zoom. It took me weeks to get it all in place, but it was so worth it. It took hours of preparation: total website overhaul, camera set-ups, sound, and more. Now, I host daily online classes at different times during the day. I have both paid and free classes, as well as private session time slots available.
And, I am not the only one who is doing this! There are thousands of teachers who are now offering their services online via: Zoom, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, You Tube, and more. The opportunities are endless!!!
Put on your favorite song and dance. Kids especially love this.
Play hide-and-seek with your housemates.
Every time a commercial comes on, get up and do push-ups, squats, and/or march in place until your show comes back on. Resist the urge to fast forward pre-recorded shows!
5. Limit Exposure to Media
We are currently being bombarded with information. This can lead to anxiety, stress, and feelings of hopelessness. It is everywhere. The radio, television, tablet, computer, and smart phone are all delivery systems for this hyper stimulation. Sometimes, multiple ones at the same time. The nervous system gets overloaded and the mind and body start to rebel and shut down. #unplug
Turn off the news after you get an update. There is no need to watch the same information over and over again. Consider watching once a day.
Wait an hour after you wake up before checking your cell phone for notifications. As soon as you plug into the matrix, you are taken outside of yourself and into the minds and agenda of whomever you are looking at.
Instead of tuning into media try learning a new skill, journal/write down your thoughts, de-clutter/organize your home, or play a non-digital game.
These habits are simple, but not always easy. The effort that you put in now, will make a difference in how you and your loved ones come out on the other side of this.