Lockdown is here.
A lot of us won’t be used to staying at home.
These are hard times if your mental and physical health aren’t up to scratch.
* The COVID-19 situation evolves daily and so will my opinions. Always check the date on posts. Always fact check.
Here are some easy ways to feel good and look after yourself during isolation. Lockdown is a great opportunity to get healthy.
Inflammation is an important underlying factor for low mood, chronic illness and infection.
Scientists are now finding more and more links between depression and inflammation.
If you can reduce inflammation in your body, it’s likely to improve your mood, loads of other illnesses, skin conditions, weight and overall health. It could even help prevent you contracting Coronavirus.
This post will focus on ways to reduce inflammation in the body.
Says Wim Hof aka ‘The Iceman’.
If you dont know Wim Hof, get to know.
This man has acheived incredible feats, such as getting a group of people with chronic illnesses to climb Mount Everest in two days, in their shorts.
Wim Hof thinks it’s possible to control our own Autonomic Nervous System and our own immune response. Science agrees.
Scientists injected Wim Hof with an endotoxin (harmful bacteria), to cause flu-like symptoms and inflammation. Doctors then ran tests on Wim Hof and found he could fight off the infection in a few days with no medication, breathing techniques, exposure to cold and belief alone.
The same Endotoxin was also injected into volunteers trained by Wim Hof. The results were the same. In theory, anyone can do it. Obviously stick to breathing at home.
Here’s Wim on reducing stress with breathing and cold showers…
Stress causes inflammation in our bodies. Meditation can help reduce stress and therefore illness.
Meditation takes perseverance, patience and practice. Now is the perfect time.
The more you practice, the more you will get used to diverting your attention away from your negative thoughts.
Close your eyes. Feel your breath. Notice any thoughts arriving. Catch them and return your mind back to your breath.
When looking at the brain scans of monks and nuns who have dedicated their lives to meditation, there are remarkable changes on their brain scans. Trillions of neural connections changed their configuration.
The Root Cause
A lot of your bodies inflammation is likely due to the foods you are eating (takeaways full of saturated fats, ready meals packed with salt, poorly balanced diet).
You’re at home now, hopefully with access to fruit and veg, so cook fresh!
Scientists now suggest that bad, inflammatory gut bacteria travels up to the brain and is likely a factor in depressive illnesses.
Here are some depression friendly foods which might help increase your serotonin levels naturally:
Eggs, oily fish (salmon), soy based food (tofu), various nuts (unsalted), seeds (particularly chia and flax seeds), leafy greens like spinach and broccoli, all the fruit (pineapple is good).
Consider reducing meat and dairy.
While they have some health benefits, they can also cause inflammation, particularly when eaten in excess or if processed.
Your brain can’t function properly without water.
Green tea reduces inflammation (even cancer), many different herbal teas have numerous health benefits.
Ditch the fizzy drinks, as they are filled with sugar which increases the bodies inflammation.
Avoid or reduce your alcohol intake, as it lowers the immune system and could make you more susceptible to catching a virus.
Think stretches, cardio workouts, yoga.
YouTube is your best friend right now.
Whatever your physical health status is, generally speaking there is always some form of exercise your body can cope with.
Exercise reduces inflammation, and raises your mood via hormones.
Sunlight increases our Vitamin D levels.
This is important for our immune system and therefore our physical and mental health. Spring is here, enjoy it. Nature helps with mood.
And remember to always wear sun cream!
This is the prefect time to start a new project or pick up your old hobbies.
This will seriously lift your mood, so long as you don’t self criticise and enjoy the whole process, rather than thinking about the end goal.
If at first you don’t succeed, bin it and move on.