To curb the stress, worry, and fear and reduce our risk factor for future illness and disease, we must recognize the fact that the responsibility lies in our own hands. If we raise our standards and claim ownership for our actions and choices, we can significantly protect ourselves. Here are just a few things you can do to help yourself, and others during this period of confinement and uncertainty:
- Avoid the “sitting disease” – prolonged sitting is one of the most underrated health threats of modern times. Being confined at home will lead to many people having the tendency to sit down more than they normally do. Surfing the internet, watching box sets, and playing video games are just some of the things people will be doing more of. Keep in mind, people who spend much of their day planted in one place have an 88 per cent increased risk of type 2 diabetes, a 14 per cent increased risk of heart disease, and a 25 per cent increased risk of an early death. In addition, for every hour spent watching TV, your life span is reduced by 21.8 minutes! If you are working from home, stand up most of the time. If on the phone, walk back and forth. When you do need to go outside, take the stairs (up and down!) instead of the elevator. Balance on one leg when washing your hands or brushing your teeth. If you have a balcony, walk/jog back and forth. Take a morning and evening “virtual commute” (20-minute walk outside).
Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in a 2 x 2 meter prison cell. His morning exercise routine included running in place for forty-five minutes followed by two hundred sit-ups and one hundred fingertip push-ups. No excuses! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
- Protect your sleep – I mentioned this fundamental aspect in a previous post and can’t emphasize it enough. The best way to strengthen your immunity to any natural coronavirus, and many other illnesses is by protecting your sleep. When your sleep is restricted to only 4 hours for a single night, there’s a 70% drop-in natural killer cell activity. In addition, sleep loss has been found to be the number one factor in determining whether you become sick after being exposed to a cold virus. Put simply, if you’re sleep deprived your resistance to viral infection and illness is significantly lowered.
- Go on a Media Diet! – Stop spending hours watching, reading about, or scrolling through the tsunami of negative information on every news channel and in every newspaper. It will only make you feel more depressed, anxious, and fearful. Mainstream media – the merchants of chaos with their product of doubt, deceit, and fear – should be ignored at all times. If you do need to know what is going on in the world, then restrict yourself to looking at the news only once a day. The rest of the time feed you mind with uplifting thoughts and feelings. Read inspiring books, biographies, and listen to energizing and upbeat music or podcasts. If your relationships have become stagnant or distant, use this time to reconnect with your loved ones.
- Educate yourself – this is a time for learning, for practice, to prepare for what’s ahead. This time is a gift for you to learn that new language, write that book you’ve been putting off for several weeks or months, and if you’re a business owner, to sit down and take the time to work on your business, to innovate, to envision the business that you need to become in order to succeed in the new environment. If you use this time wisely, you can take both your business and your life to another level.
- Be a lighthouse – lead, don’t follow. This is a time for you to shine, to inspire, to transfer faith, to be a “difference maker.” The psychological impact self-isolating (remember, we are social animals) and/or the fear of the unknown can have on many people can be quite devastating. So, if you know family members, friends, co-workers, and even neighbors who may be feeling lonely, overcome by fear, or finding this time incredibly stressful, then reach out to them. It will not only make them feel better, but you’ll also feel great too! A quick phone call, encouraging words by text message, Skype call, or short letter as an attachment by email are just some of the ways you can stay connected and give support to others in need.
When you bring unwavering certainty to vulnerable people through the power of your faith, you will be sending a message that needs to be sent over and over: we are all in the same storm…not the same boat! Unite, show empathy and compassion, and make humanity something we can be all proud of once again!
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Serve others. And do what is right, not what is easy!