3 Tips for Living Clean & Staying Well During COVID-19
The whole world is facing a common enemy. You’re probably thinking, “coronavirus,” and you’re partially right. But we’re actually talking about something that is far more damaging long term: stress. The world we lived in was already stressful enough, but with the government orders to stay home came the social pressure to “be productive,” and “better yourself.”
“This mind-set is the natural endpoint of America’s hustle culture — the idea that every nanosecond of our lives must be commodified and pointed toward profit and self-improvement.” - Nick Martin
None of this is helpful! So we want to remind you that there is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING more important right now than your health and immune system. Let’s take back the reins with these tips for living clean & staying well during COVID-19.
But first, here’s a little information on stress and how, especially during COVID-19, it’s detrimental to your health:
- Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When we say “any kind,” we mean it. Your body can’t distinguish between emotional and physical threats. So, your body responds to them all the same, whether it’s a life-threatening stressor, or a battle with your 2 year old.
- When the body feels triggered, it’s defenses kick into high gear in an automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction (physically prepping the body to run or fight).
- The sympathetic nervous system only has two settings - “fight-or-flight” OR “rest-and-digest.” When your body is in fight-or-flight mode, it’s unable to rest-and-digest, which means parasympathetic activity dominates so healing and regeneration can occur (digestion, detoxification, elimination, immunity building, etc).
- The more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder to shut off.
When you’re constantly in stress mode, it disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
So how do we combat stress?
We take a minute to slow down. To breathe. To SLEEP (the CDC names this as one of the most important things you can do to combat covid). To remind ourselves what we’re grateful for, and that this too shall pass. The coronavirus has affected the world in some very different ways. For some, this has been a welcomed moment of calm, to just stay home and watch movies. For others, it has been earth shattering to not know how they will continue to support themselves. Regardless of which category you are in, you can always find something to be grateful for and you can always find a moment to breathe.
Reducing stress starts from within. Make time to meditate, pray, journal, breathe, sit still, be grateful, watch the sunset, snuggle your pet/pillow/partner/baby, whatever makes you feel peaceful. There are also a lot of things externally you can do to help yourself destress.
Here are some of our favorite tips for combating stress, living clean and staying well during COVID-19:
There are MANY individuals on Instagram who have taken it upon themselves to provide free workouts via Live videos. Not only does it provide a good sweat, but it also provides a great way to feel like you’re coming together with a community. Some of our favorites are @aubrewinters @barrewitherin @itskelsitaylor, we also love the @fiton app.
- EAT HEALTHY
With so many conflicting opinions on diets out there, we just want to officially state for the record that it is ok to eat whatever makes you FEEL good. We liked this Nutrition.org article for some basic ideas on what to try to eat, and even some fun tips on how to include homeschooling into ordinary activities like meal prep. We also love watching @msjessicacollins and her pantry raid meals.
- LIVE FRESH & CLEAN
Keep your environment bright, green and clean. Studies show that having a clean, bright space can automatically improve your mood. Now that you’re being forced to spend more time at home, consider updating your walls with lighter, brighter color palettes. Update window coverings perhaps to let more light in. And think about investing in some houseplants! Companies like @thesill will ship directly to you. We also highly recommend using products made with Hypochlorous Acid (or HOCl) to keep your environment clean.
Your body is a powerful, self-healing system that you are in control of. However, you need to take good care of it in order to get the results you want. If you are a parent, or someone who is prone to always saying “yes,” please remember to put on your own oxygen mask first. You can’t help anyone else if you aren’t operating at your highest potential.
We’ll leave you with this; we believe everyone should practice #selfcare everyday. Even if it’s just one act of kindness you show yourself for one minute each day, we challenge you to try it and see for yourself the positive impact this will make in your day and the ripple effect in your life if practiced daily.
Photo credits: Desiree Johnson, Anna Sees, Darius Bashar and Fabian Møller