Given our current health crisis things can be a little scary right now. Unfortunately, getting sick is a natural part of our daily lives. To that end, there are several things we can do to improve our health and reduce our risk of contracting anything. As a doctor of natural medicine, I want to do everything I can to help provide you with comfort and support during these trying times. I know how difficult it is to be trapped at home. However, social distancing is one of the best ways we can help stem the spread of the Coronavirus. While some individuals are at a higher risk than others to suffer severely from the virus it is important that we all do our part to eliminate any further spread. We all have loved ones who we want to help protect.
Improve Your Immunity
One of the best things we can do to improve our immunity is to make sure we are limiting our exposure to unknown contaminates. We can do this by washing our hands frequently, cleaning regularly, limiting our exposure to others, washing our foods properly, making sure our food is cooked properly, and avoiding cross contamination. While I am a firm believer in sharing is caring, germs are one thing we don’t want to share! Believe it or not we share germs more than you may think. For example, sharing a drink with someone or food. One of the biggest issues is through physical contact. Our hands touch just about everything! Unfortunately, they also touch our face more than 23 times an hour. Now, for those of you who think that is a small number that turns into 552 times a day, which becomes 16560 times a month, on average!
Most of us have been watching the news during this crisis. We have all heard from hundreds of health and wellness experts on why we need to wash our hands more. Yes, we definitely need to be washing our hands frequently. You will want to wash your hands once an hour while out and about (Please stay at home to limit exposure! I am referring to going to the store and any required trips) during this health crisis. At home wash your hands after using the restroom, prior to eating or drinking, if you are already sick wash every other hour. Anyone still at work will need to wash their hands more frequently than others due to the amount of interactions with possible carriers of contaminants. In the medical field we are required to wash our hands every time we enter and leave a room (moisturize your skin too).
Help Your Body Out
Another great way to help improve our immune system is by giving our bodies the help they need. This means reducing our stress levels, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and of course consuming foods that will help our bodies function to the best of their ability. I realize that most if not all of these things are easier said than done. With that in mind I will be doing my best to provide you with as many options as possible to help reduce your stress and boost your immunity as well as your mood. Given that a high number of you have kids at home I will also be providing some arts and crafts along with experiments to try at home. During times like this we all need to come together and help one another.
There are several things you can do to help naturally lower your stress levels. Some of my favorite ways are through movement. Personally, I love to dance like nobody’s watching (given my dance moves I make sure no one is watching). This activity uses music (which has been shown to help naturally reduce stress while improving your mood) and movement (exercise is another great way to increase endorphins and lower stress levels while improving your mood). For those of you who have access to essential oils, you will want to reach for citrus oils like wild orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and lime. Essential oils can help provide almost instant relief and they smell amazing! If you don’t have access to essential oils you can always go old school and use an orange (in medieval times they would press cloves into the rind of an orange to help keep illness at bay).
Another great way to reduce stress is via a SPA NIGHT! No need to go out and about, we can create magic right here at home. Personally, I have an at home spa night at least three nights a week (I may be upping that number in the next few weeks) and why not we deserve to pamper ourselves. Because I know just how beneficial this can be for your overall health I will be providing you with some DIY recipes you can do right from the comfort of home! If you are still feeling the stress some additional options to try are: meditation, exercise, a gratitude journal, and helping others. I want to stress that when I say you should help others I am not suggesting you go out anymore than you have to. However, there are several things you can do without leaving your neighborhood.
Hydration Is Number One!
Most people are unaware as to just how important water is to our health. The average human is made up of over 70% water (depending on age younger individuals contain more water). Clearly, water is an important part of our health and well being. With that in mind, you want to make sure you are drinking enough water. A good rule of thumb is to drink water if your lips are chapped. Chapped lips are often the first indicator that you are dehydrated. Now, this does not mean you need to go out and buy all the bottled water you can get your hands on (please cut down on the plastic). We are fortunate enough to have access to relatively clean drinking water. I am aware that it could be better, which is why it is always a good idea to install a water filter in your home.
For those individuals who have never been overly fond of plain water you will be happy to know that lemon water and green tea are better at keeping you hydrated longer. Not to mention they are also great for strengthening your immune system! Some other teas that can help improve your immune system include:
- Lemon Balm
Not only do these teas act as a natural diuretic they also come with their own additional medicinal benefits. I would highly suggest enjoying some of these tea options at home. In fact, I will add an additional herbal tea recipe in this post for you to have that can help protect your immune system and an additional recipe for those of you currently fighting off a respiratory illness. This way you will have something to protect you and an option just in case you have already been exposed. I will do my best to provide you with as many options as possible for both preventative and options to help fight off anything you may already be fighting off. It is important to note that it is the time of year in which we normally have an increase in flu cases of multiple kinds.
Make The Most Out Of Your Time!
Here are some great recipes that are sure to help you get through our current health crisis. I want you to be able to pamper yourself while you are at home so I will be including some DIY recipes that can help you naturally detox and reduce your stress levels. Here are some of my favorite recipes!
Destress Bath Salts
- 2 Tbsp Baking Soda
- 10 Drops Balance Essential Oil
- 2 Cups Epsom Salt
- 10 Drops Serenity Essential Oil
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil Fractionated
In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Prior to bath add 1-2 Tbsp of the bath salt mixture to warm water and let your troubles melt away.
Apple Cider Detox Face Mask
- 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Aloe Vera Juice
- 2 Tbsp Bentonite Clay
- 4 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 3 Drops Melaleuca Essential Oil
- 2 Drops Frankincense Essential Oil
In a small bowl combine clay, juice, and vinegar. Once combined add in essential oils. Apply to clean dry skin. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until dry. Wash with warm water to remove and repeat twice a week.
Airway Rescue Tea
- 2 Tbsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Dried Mint Leaves
- ½ tsp Manuka Honey
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 8 oz Hot Water
Bring water to a boil (I like to make a big batch so I can drink it all day, it’s great cold too). Let tea leaves steep for 3-5 minutes and remove (I like to use them in my garden they are great as seed starters). Add honey and enjoy!
Immunity Boosting Tea
- 1 Inch Peeled and Cut Fresh Ginger
- 20 oz Hot Water
- 1 Whole Lemon
- 2 tsp Manuka Honey
In a pot combine all ingredients. You will want to cut the lemon into slices and I remove at least half of the rind (it makes the tea bitter). Boil everything for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. It is best hot, but great cold too!
Citrus Mint Vitamin Water
- 2 Lemons Sliced and Peeled
- 1 Grapefruit Sliced and Peeled
- 12 Mint leaves
- ½ Cucumber Sliced and Peeled
- 1 Liter Ice Cold Water
In a pitcher of your choice combine all the ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours (leave mine overnight and I add coconut water for extra electrolytes).
Need a Helping Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!