What Tools are in Your Immune System’s Toolkit?
We all know that social distancing, washing your hands, and keeping your hands away from your face are great ways to prevent the spread of germs and thus stay healthy, but how can we boost our immune system to further help us stay well?
Believe it or not, we all have a powerful toolbox filled with some pretty amazing ways to strengthen your immune system helping you to stay healthy. So what’s in that toolkit?
- Meditation – Now is the perfect time to focus on your meditation practice. Mediation helps to activate numerous other systems that the body uses/needs to defend against viruses and other illnesses. It can also help to calm some of the stress and anxiety you might be experiencing right now.
- Movement – Moving is great way to deal with stress & stimulate your immune system. Whether you head outside for a walk, do some yoga in your living room, workout with a YouTube HIIT session in your basement, or play a game of whiffle ball with the kids in the back yard, the important thing is to get up and get moving.
- Rest – No more excuses… One of the benefits of being cooped up in the house for a few weeks is that we can take a little more time to rest. Give your body the opportunity it wants and needs in order to repair itself, allowing the immune system to become stronger.
- More laughter, less news – Too much news can be really unhealthy, but there’s no such thing as too much laughter. Laughter is great medicine and helps the body and mind to destress, which in turn is good for your immune system. So flip the channel to your favorite sitcom, comedy movie, or comedian.
- Nutrition – The food you eat plays a huge role in maintaining a strong immune system. Avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store as well as refined sugars (which suppress the immune system for 2-5 hours after ingestion). And make sure to eat lots of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables (they contain phytonutrients & bioflavoids which directly strengthen our immune systems) – eat them as a snack, use them to your favorite nutritious recipes, add them to smoothies, etc.
- Gratitude – A daily gratitude practice has been shown to produce mood-boosting hormones which helps to strengthen your immune system. Spend time everyday considering what it is you have to be grateful for. Whether you make a list, go for a gratitude walk, write a letter to someone you are grateful for, or just spend time reflecting on it personally, take some time to cultivate that gratitude.
The bottom line is you have lots of tools in your toolbox. Make good use of them and keep yourself happy and healthy!