Immunity Boosting Tips for a Faster Recovery
Isn’t it ironic that the last decade of the twenties is so fondly remembered as an era of change and growth? I wonder what we’ll say about this one…
As we do our best to make sense of this time, the world can feel like an increasingly stressful place. It’s one reason I’m so focused on teaching tools for managing the overwhelm of uncertainty.
It was with this in mind that I drove the 3.5 hours to a neighboring state for an intensive 4-day training with 50 other coaches and therapists, all eager to enhance our knowledge.
Yes it was in person, but the daily covid testing requirement was reassuring, and I was relieved to have passed on day one, two and three. Then on day 4, excited about completing the training I woke up extra early and quickly did my test. I failed.
It took a moment to register – I didn’t feel bad, in fact, I felt fine physically. Emotionally, on the other hand, my head started spinning.
Initially, I struggled with a combination of worry, disappointment and fear as I tried to get my head around the mad swirl of emotions. I sat in my room for some time to get centered and decide the best way to roll out the news, pack my belongings and hit the road for the long drive back.
After the awkward information was shared, I waited to see how my body would react, hoping symptoms would hold out until I got home. Eventually, I arrived safely but stressed as my thoughts continued to swirl. Over the next few days I felt flu-ish and tired as I struggled not to feel sorry for myself.
Under the circumstances it was hard not to feel alone. And the sadness stayed close at hand as the week of isolation went on. I found myself slipping back to old patterns of looking to others for what ultimately only I could provide, massive self-compassion.
As I finally gathered the energy to shift perspective, I was able to see the gift in it. I still felt the sadness, but I now reconized it for what it was; a symptom not a sign. This is how our brain works, assigning meaning to feelings after the fact. But this time, before I ended up down a rabbit hole I was able to course-correct. It’s just sadness, a normal emotion, not a sign of failure.
As I focused on feeling better using every immune-boosting tool in the book, I was lucky to have avoided most symptoms and recovered in less than a week.
Here are some tips to help you boost your immunity, weather mild to moderate Covid symptoms and even reduce the biomarkers associated with aging.
List your resources. Who can you talk to? What can you do to feel better? Some ideas: breathwork, cuddling with a pet, prayer or mantra, music, favorite movies, gratitude journaling, herbal tea.
Power up your diet. Regardless of your POV on meat, dairy, gluten or organic, there is one truth no expert negates; sugar is no friend to the immune system. So if you’re tempted to add ice-cream to your list of resources, you might consider a low-sugar alternative. If you really want to up your game, check out this short article on healing foods.
Check your expectations. At this point, so many people have had Covid, that they may not worry about you unless you’re in a compromised position. I realized this was probably a good sign, that people saw me as resilient not that they didn’t care.
Prioritize sleep, while staying as close to your daily routine as you can, even an abridged version is a good way to feel as close to normal as possible.
Don’t attempt to problem solve. When you’re sick, tired or in pain everything seems more challenging. And if you let your mind worry-wander, those feelings will just intensify. So put your problem-solving urges on hold until you’re in a more energized physical and emotional state.
Give yourself a break. If you’re too tired to work, clean, cook, etc. Let it go. I once dated someone who returned to an engineering job during a course of pain meds for a recent surgery, thinking he was towing the line. He was falling asleep at his desk, and his boss was understandably pissed. Lesson: If you’re showing up, other people assume you’re there 100%, no points for heroism.
Finally, and this is the clincher, use cold water therapy to boost immunity. Fancy as it sounds, it’s as easy as turning the water from hot to cold for a minute at the end of your shower. I’ve been doing this practice for over a year, and it’s done wonders for my immune system. It sounds counterintuitive, and if you have any underlying health issues check with your doctor, but otherwise give it a try!
The Roaring Twenties was indeed an era of change and growth, but that outcome was driven by the confines of prohibition, oppression, and lack of resources. In short, it didn’t start out that way. We too can use this time as a call for resilience, as we prioritize what’s most important. So much of life is out of our control, but we can choose to prioritize building the resilience to deal with whatever comes our way.
In the meantime, I invite you to check out this free exercise for active integration, and movement combined with self-assessment and journaling prompts as a way to get in touch with your inner source of strength.
If you have tips for building resilience or a speedy recovery, please share in the comments!