Have you ever had one of those situations where you can’t do what you want, and feel trapped?
Well, that was me. Quarantine wasn’t any fun.
But now, a new day has dawned.
The world is my oyster.
Ok, maybe a little dramatic there, but you know what I mean. I’ve finished my two-weeks and am back to work at the gym. And since I never really got sick or experienced symptoms, I was luckier than some of my acquaintances who tested positive at the same time I did.
Don’t worry! Everyone has rebounded and is on their way to a full recovery. Not unexpectedly, our situation was the same as many other groups of people who test positive: some were sicker than others; the duration of symptoms varied widely, and there was no secret “cure” to feeling better.
So while I’m no immunologist, and even the experts are still grappling with the treatment of the virus, I thought I’d share a few of my observations from my perspective that might—or might not—help someone else.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Ah, old Ben Franklin sure came up with some timeless quotes, didn’t he? Not only that, but they are often great advice. The time to start thinking about your health and how you will respond to illness when it arrives (notice I said “when” and not “if”) is now. Your body is the ultimate defense line against infection, injury, viruses, bacteria, and a host of other threats.
In 2020, that means we are most concerned with COVID-19. As I mentioned before, I’m not a physician or epidemiologist, but a robust immune system can’t be anything but a benefit no matter who you ask. (Now, this is where my holistic, hippy-loving self can come into play, so stick with me. I promise I’ll keep my analogy short and to the point.)
Think of your body as a vessel for all of its various systems. So, picture your body as a vase. You have an opening at the top in which all the stressors you experience enter. These generally fall into three categories:
- Physical stress. Poor posture, injury, illness, obesity, exercise, lack of movement, sleep quantity, and quality.
- Emotional /spiritual stress. Work, relationships, family, depression, anxiety, sleep quantity, and quality.
- Environmental stress. Chemical, electronic, sunlight, low food quality, alcohol, drugs, air quality.
You can see that these stressors (like most things) can be both positive or negative. For example, we all know that exercise is good for us, but we could be injured or even sick if we overdo it. Sunlight: some is good, too much is dangerous. Are you giving a big business presentation? Some pre-performance jitters can help us stay on our game, but if we can’t manage the stress, it becomes a hindrance.
As these stressors continually fill up our vase and overflow, then we’ve got real problems. That’s why we have to be able to deal with the stressors as we accumulate them. Our vessel needs a release valve or an internal mechanism to eliminate the stress before it overwhelms us. An essential part of this is our immune system, and if we all started thinking about how we can support it, we would be better off.
So how do we support our immune system? By consistently practicing supportive:
- Nutrition, including supplementation when needed.
- Recovery, rest, and sleep habits.
- Movement and exercise.
I’m not going into detail about what those three look like (that’s for another time), but if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help.
I only wish more people would listen to old Ben Franklin and be proactive with their health. It just might make the difference in how they react to illness and other health crises that will eventually all face.