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Staying well and boosting your defences

Well, what a few weeks it’s been! Unprecedented times resulting in dramatically different lives for all. Businesses and activities curbed in one fell swoop. Finances dealt a massive body blow. The urgent need to adopt different ways of working and behaving. And not least the life saving hygiene measures we have all had to adopt.

I hope you and your families are all well and safe. I’ve had to stop all my ‘hands on’ acupuncture and therapy work for now and adopt a different way of working. Meanwhile I will continue to write posts on immunity, dealing with anxiety and ways to stay sane using my Chinese medicine and holistic experience.

Dealing with the pandemic

There is plenty of factual information available; hand washing and staying indoors is the best way to contain this pandemic. Personally I try to ‘embrace’ the peace and quiet and make the best of living simply. Thankfully the weather helps and the bird song, emerging green shoots and sunny blue skies are cheering.

What we eat, how we move, the quality of our rest and how we switch off from the news will affect our immunity and is something we can influence.

Indoor gardening growing seeds on the windowsill

Eat. Plan your (infrequent) food shop in advance. Embrace tins and dried foods. Seek out new recipes using store cupboard items. Sliced bread, lemons, milk, veggie mince (good luck finding it..!) and grated cheese can be frozen and used as needed. Select the largest variety of foods you can and fill your plate with as many different coloured fruit and vegetables. Make your meal look stunning! Swap sugary junk food for homemade dishes; heavy rich meals for light and flavoursome ones. Mushrooms aid healthy lungs and the alliums (onions, leeks, garlic, chives) are great prebiotic foods (good for gut flora). I drink a shot of Aloe Vera juice first thing every morning to support my immunity and guard against inflammation. I take bee propolis tablets (nature’s antibiotic) along with vitamin D and a herbal tincture. Thankfully I have more time now and reinstating this routine was a helpful once ‘the dust had settled’.

Aloe Vera gel Forever Bee Propolis

Buy Aloe now

Exercise. I never regret exercise after I have done it but frequently talk myself out of it. Just do it! A brisk walk outside (observing social distancing) and noting the changes in nature; sounds, smells and colours. It changes your energy even if you only have ten minutes. Online yoga, workouts or tai chi routines all help breathing and strengthen lungs. The ritual of following moves helps change my mindset every time.

Sleep and rest. We can’t fight lockdown but we can embrace the yin and yang cycle of day and night. The day ends with cool, calm and quiet. I had a bonfire last week and watching the red embers was very soothing. Mornings can start with daylight, fresh air, deep breathing and ‘blue light’ if you want to check in with family and friends on social media and share a joke or two… Activity and exercise wake up mind and body for the day ahead.

Meditation/mindfulness. There are plenty of free apps for this (do ask if you need suggestions). ‘Notice 5 things that are beautiful in the world around you’ works for me. Have a look at this activity calendar for April which I’ve been using. Some find clearing out a cupboard therapeutic and you may find forgotten gems. I love the look of a tidy storage area for days after (I am a Virgo, after all). Focus on something you can do – whether it be cooking, collages, painting, crafts, even filing your accounts. Sowing seeds and digging soil connect us with nature and the resulting in produce is tastier than the shops.

Gratitude. Lastly a thank you to the NHS staff, the delivery people, the food supply chains, the essential service workers and those building Nightingale hospitals in record time.

Stay safe and well. Love Heather x