Health and Wellness During the Covid-19 Pandemic
I know this has been a difficult time for many who are concerned about COVID-19 and the consequences from it such as financial loss from not being able to work or having to shut down your business, or the restlessness from having to stay at home and assuming a new way of life.
It is of course understandable if you are concerned about any of the above, but what if we take a moment to pause and use this time to reflect on what really matters- our health, sleep, environment, keeping our immune system strong, and connecting with our loved ones? We can use this world crisis as a reminder to focus on the simpler and more important things in life that many of us may have taken for granted. Below are some tips for you to stay healthy and keep your immune system at its optimal level during this time.
Reducing Stress During Covid-19
Stress produces elevated levels of a hormone called cortisol in your body which increases inflammation causing harm to your body and skin. This is no doubt a very stressful time for many, but don’t let the COVID-19 outbreak, cause a breakout and more. One thing I have been doing to reduce my levels of stress is meditating even if it is for five minutes a day. Here is a link to a 21-day meditation challenge you can join while you stay at home this month which is a great to help you reduce stress and give you a more positive outlook.
Another thing I would suggest especially if you are living alone is to connect with at least 1-2 people per day. Just because we need to physically distance ourselves from others does not mean we cannot connect with others including having a meal or tea over facetime. I was a bit sad at the thought of celebrating my birthday and cutting a cake for the first time in my life without my family this past month, and then a good friend of mine suggested I cut a cake over facetime with them and I am happy to say I got to celebrate another birthday with them!
How to Improve Your Sleep During Covid-19
It can be very difficult to have a set schedule when you are working from or staying at home, but it is important to keep a regular cycle nonetheless. Lack of sleep does not only causes your skin to age faster, but it makes you more susceptible to mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. One thing I have found is to have a morning routine that you are excited about and that gets you up. It can be exercise, your favorite cup of tea or coffee, a meeting with a friend or colleague, or a skin care routine. I will be sharing my skin routine with you on the next newsletter and on our Instagram page so make sure to follow.
I also suggest having an 20-30 minute relaxing evening routine which can include reading, journaling, meditating and getting ready for bed. I strongly suggest discontinuing use of your smart devices, computers and television 30 minutes before going to bed. If you are having trouble going to sleep, try meditating for 5-10 minutes, a warm bath with lavender, warm cup of milk, or melatonin.
Healthy Diet to Keep Your Immune System Strong and My Favorite Immune Boosting Supplements
In addition to eating plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables especially those high in vitamin C as noted in picture below, my favorite immune boosting vitamins to keep your immune system strong during Covid-19 are Vitamins C, D3 and zinc. Vitamin C dose of 1,000 mg is sufficient and in addition to keeping your immune system strong, it is also an antioxidant and can help prevent the aging process. Vitamin D3 is a vitamin most people are deficient in, and can help boost the immune system and also help regulate one’s mood. I would recommend 2000 iu/day, and if you are feeling under the weather then increase dose to 5,000 iu/day and then maintain with 2,000 iu/day. Zinc dosage should not exceed more than 40 mg/day. I would also recommend drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessive alcohol intake and smoking which can make your lungs more susceptible to Covid-19.
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We can let this pandemic get the best of us or we can make the best of it by taking care of ourselves, getting back to a healthy routine, reconnecting with our loved ones, and lastly taking time to reflect on what really matters in our lives.
– Sunanda Chugh, MD