With cold and flu upon us—and Delta or other new coronavirus variants continue to circulate—feeling stressed about the health and safety of yourself and your family is completely understandable. What you may not realize, though, is that the brain and the immune system are in constant communication in a delicate balance that can be disrupted by any kind of physical or emotional stress (including worrying about the future).
Here are 12 ways to BeProtected!
with daily relaxation techniques. Along with a nutrient dense diet, stress management is your first line of defense to keep your immune system strong. Setting aside time each day to de-stress is vital to your health and well-being. At BeBalanced, we use relaxation therapy in the form of audio tracks. These brain states are known to lower cortisol levels, improve focus, concentration, insight, and memory, as well as promote deep sleep, deep relaxation, and increased healing.
from your TV, computer, and cellphone at some point during your day. Setting aside time to unplug from technology can do wonders for your mental and physical health and can keep you grounded in the present moment. Instead, read a book, take a walk, meditate, or take a hot bath.
for all that you’ve done to take care of your health up to this point, making you less vulnerable to illness. Practicing gratitude has been linked to many health benefits, so now’s a good time to dust off your journal!
by washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, being in a public place, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
to not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
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to those you love, spending time laughing together. Laughter can strengthen your immune system, boost mood, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. However, if your loved one is sick, it is best to avoid physical contact as much as possible.
for at least 20-30 minutes each day. Regular, moderate exercise, such as walking or practicing yoga, can help your immune system fight infection. Exercise can also boost your body’s feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better.
with organic, whole foods. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients. Other foods particularly good for your immune system include fresh garlic, which may help fight viruses and bacteria, and bone broth. Avoid sugar at all cost. Sugar has is known to lower your immune function for several hours after consumption.
to yourself and others. Kindness releases feel-good hormones, eases anxiety, and reduces stress.
in bed early every night, so you’re sure to get a full eight hours of rest. Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Chronic sleep loss even makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond.
Stress has a direct impact on your immune system, particularly chronic stress, making you more susceptible to illness. When we are under chronic stress, our brain sends defense signals to releases an array of hormones, including cortisol, that not only gets us ready for emergency situations but severely depresses our immunity at the same time. Some experts claim that stress is responsible for as much as 90% of all illnesses and diseases.
At BeBalanced, we are literally in the business of keeping you healthy and well, and therefore take both your physical and mental health very seriously.