The Impact of Your Attitude on Mind and Body During the COVID-19 Crisis
My main window faces the street and every day I see people walking their dogs. Maybe half a dozen people in all, giving their puppies some exercise. But for the last week, since California closed, I am absolutely in awe of the number of people walking. With dogs, without dogs, with children, alone, pushing strollers; It’s a wonder to behold, because along with the benefits of fresh air and exercise, these walkers boost your immune system.
And what, besides following the CDC and WHO guidelines, does more to protect you from COVID-19? Strengthen your immune system, which, simply put, is your body’s defense against disease. We already know that the coronavirus is most deadly among those with compromised or weakened immune systems. Maintaining / building a strong immune system can go a long way toward staying healthy.
That being said, you can only hike so far in a day. Gyms are closed, my two dance studios are closed, soccer games and other group sports are canceled. Exercising at home with YouTube videos is great, but again, limited by how much “no pain, no gain” one is willing to put up with.
But here’s the good news: There are 2 things you can do right now in the privacy of your own home to significantly improve your immune system.
1. Institute the 5-minute pity party.
I don’t know about you, but my first response to finding out that my ballet and ballroom classes were closed indefinitely was to call my best friend and complain. Loudly. For a good 15 minutes. Poor woman, I’m surprised we’re still best friends. Interestingly, when all my work was canceled, I didn’t have a breakdown, because at that point I still had to dance to help keep my sanity. But once dance classes were over, that’s it, I lost it.
That’s when I knew I needed to institute the 5-minute Feast of Pity. The 5 minute pity party is when you recognize that you need to rant, rave, complain, and generally have a FIT about any aspect of your life that has just been bombarded by the coronavirus. It doesn’t matter if it’s your job you can’t go to, your child who is now dependent on you 24/7 for all education, entertainment, maintenance, etc., or your gym / church / class that he can’t go to. , it’s time to release your anguish. Penalty fee.
Set a 5 minute timer. They have in it! In the safety of your shower, bathroom, parked car, wherever you have maximum privacy, let it all out. Shout if necessary for the injustice of it all, bemoan your despair over what appears to be a hopeless situation, and shout your woe to me to your heart’s content. But when the timer goes off, it’s over. Get up off the ground of misery and regroup. Continue with step 2.
2. Value what you can today for a better tomorrow.
There are actually 2 parts to this step. One is how you think / feel, the other is what you do.
A. Think / feel
Look around. What can you appreciate about your life here and now? He still enjoys running water and electricity, he still has a roof over his head. Don’t let thoughts like “Yes, but for how long?” meddle. You still have the health you enjoy. You still have your friends / family. You have unlimited access to resources over the Internet. Stop by whatever you can find to appreciate, value, and be grateful, because that one action will have a positive and dramatic impact on your immune system.
You see, when we think / feel negativity, our immune system suffers. And when our immune systems fail to function optimally, our health can rapidly deteriorate. So reinforce your positive thinking as much as you can. Become an optimist. Because optimists thrive, and you should too.
Be creative! What is the best possible use of the time you have now? Many are finding that with a little creativity they can continue some or all of their businesses using online platforms primarily from home. There are always projects that we put aside due to lack of time, how about we go back to some of them now?
Make daily (realistic) lists of what you want to accomplish and check off items as you do them. You’ll feel productive, like you’re not just spinning your wheels, and with that, your immune system will benefit. In the long run, so will your life.
In every crisis, there is the opportunity for new growth, new inspiration. Let’s keep our moments of dark despair as short as possible and amplify our moments of gratitude as much as possible so that we emerge from this challenging situation stronger and better than ever.