With COVID-19 tearing around the globe and over a million people getting sick, a natural question that arises is how to maintain a healthy immune system. If you’re looking for ways to boost your body’s natural defenses, here are a few of the simplest, and most effective ways to keep up your health in the midst of a pandemic.
Become the First Line of Defense
It’s important to start by considering a few of the most basic actions you should take during an outbreak, including:
- Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly.
- Practicing social distancing and completely avoiding close contact with others who are sick.
- Using tissues or your elbow when you have to cough or sneeze.
It’s also important to stay calm. High stress can compromise your immune system. Look for areas of your life that are feeding stress (e.g. a friend who is always spouting terrorizing, unfounded coronavirus facts) and work to maintain peace and serenity in the face of that stress.
You Are What You Eat
It’s tempting to binge eat junk food as you sit on your couch all day, quarantined, alone, and fighting those nerves — but resist in the name of your health.
Instead, try to develop healthy meal routines like embracing meal prepping, creating thoughtful grocery lists, and cooking in bulk in order to keep your healthy food intake up and allowing your body to reap the benefits.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Exercise is critical, especially during a quarantine. Make sure to take time regularly to get your butt up off the couch, pop on some jogging shoes, and get some fresh air and sunshine.
You don’t need to run a marathon — and you certainly can’t visit the gym at the moment — but even taking a stroll in the brisk spring weather can do wonders for both a weary soul and those stagnating muscles.
Get Good Sleep
Good sleep is critical to good health. It’s recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day.
In addition, try to get high-quality sleep by:
- Dedicating your bedroom specifically to sleeping — e.g. no snacks or Netflix in bed.
- Using blackout curtains if your sleeping space gets too much light while you’re resting.
- Avoiding blue light by ditching your phone, television, and other electronics well before going to bed.
- Using an essential oil diffuser and a calming oil like lavender in order to promote more relaxed sleep.
If you can focus on the quantity and the quality of your sleep you’re getting, your body will be able to get the rest it needs and remain in tip-top condition.
Finally, in the modern world, social distancing does not have to equate to being a hermit. On top of that, socialization is a huge boon to a healthy mind and body.
With that in mind, use electronics to connect with others. Look for apps like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom to remotely hook up with friends and family. You can even look for online games or host a watch party as you strive to maintain that human connection and reap the health benefits of socialization — no matter what form it takes.
Following Health Best Practices in a Pandemic
So, the next time you feel those coronavirus fears creeping back in, fight back by investing in your own body’s natural defense systems. Look for ways to exercise, sleep and eat well, and socialize distantly.
If you can manage to stay calm in the face of the fears, you’ll be able to enjoy a better quality of life — even in the midst of a pandemic — and your body will be as ready as ever to fend off any germs it may come into contact with.