on laptop

Stay Connected, Stay Healthy, Stay Positive

The coronavirus outbreak is challenging our communities like no other virus in recent memory. Due to the highly contagious nature of the virus, we’ve been advised to practice ‘social distancing’ to protect our most vulnerable populations and to prevent strain on our healthcare system that a rapid increase in cases would provoke. 

One thing is for certain, our lives have been turned upside down.

In shared anxiety, we instinctively are guided to do what we were born to do – comfort and connect.

However, at least for now, our opportunities to connect have been dramatically reduced. We’ve been instructed to not congregate in groups or hang out in public places. Oddly enough, the one thing we can do for our communities is maintain distance. 

In the absence of weekly calendar events, working daily with our coworkers, joining friends for coffee or our favorite restaurant, it is imperative to maintain our ability to comfort one another and remain connected.

What to do?

Stay Connected

Humans are social creatures, and we will continue to seek connectedness. Here are a few ways to remain connected while practicing social distancing:

  1. Use the video chat or face time feature of your phone or the camera on your computer to speak face to face to people you cannot physically be with. If you do not know how to access this feature on your smart phone, ask someone to verbally walk you through “how to”. Now is not the time to be shy about stating your needs. People want to help.
  2. Think about how you can remain connected with family, friends, and neighbors without compromising your health or theirs. Can you speak to nearby neighbors from the mailbox or over the fence or across the street?
  3. If you are healthy and capable, seek out people in your community who are alone or vulnerable. Reach out and ask if you can do their grocery shopping, pick up supplies, or walk their dog.
  4. If you live alone, are sick, or are quarantined for whatever reason, now is the time to create your “team” – the team of people you can rely on to ensure your needs are met. Again, put pride aside and tell people what you need.
  5. Create a daily schedule and check in with friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors regularly. 
  6. Spend quality time with those in your midst.  Use this time to nurture and improve existing relationships.

Stay Healthy

Certainly, eating well and exercising are necessary for healthy living, but even more so, they help keep and support a strong immune system. 

Staying healthy keeps you well and helps to prevent you from getting sick. Your stronger immune system can more successfully fight foreign invaders off or help you recover quickly.

As we age, immune senescence begins. Immune senescence is a term to describe the tendency for an aging immune system to allow more infections, cancers and diseases to take hold.

As the co-founder Michael Stanwyck recently wrote in a Whole Life Challenge newsletter: 

“Basically, something you do multiple times a day—eat—is your first defense and one of the most potent things you can do to “medicate” yourself for health and, for good measure, prevent sickness."

What to eat?

  • Lean protein
  • Lots of vegetables
  • Some fruit
  • Essential fats
  • Little starch
  • Nuts and seeds

Choosing to eat the best possible food available will provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and much needed energy thereby boosting the immune system. 

What to Limit?

  • Sugary treats
  • Hydrogenated oils commonly found in snack and fried foods
  • Alcohol 
  • Flour based products

Stay Positive 

During this time of uncertainty, you may feel overwhelmed and disconnected. Focus on the here and now. Stay positive.

  1. Keep things in perspective. Recent data indicates most people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms. Even though media coverage is increasing, it does not necessarily mean the threat to you or your family is severe. 
  2. Stay analytical when viewing or reviewing information. Instead of allowing the steady stream of news to consume all your time, choose to check in with trusted news sources only 2 or 3 times per day. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a webpage dedicated to information on the coronavirus outbreak. Also, check in with local or state public health agencies or even your family physician. 
  3. Keep stress in check. A few times a day, simply stop. Take a moment and just breathe. Close your eyes and focus on inhaling deeply and slowly exhaling. Repeat 10x.
  4. Leave your phone on the charger. Get outside. Go for a walk. Breathe in fresh air. If you live close enough to a park or a trail, go for a long walk or bike ride. Being in nature is one of the best ways to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, improve mood, and remind you that all is not doom and gloom. 

We are living in unprecedented times. We get to decide how we will live through it.

Stay connected, stay healthy, and stay positive.

About the Writer

Kelley Rakow, Health and Lifestyle Coach

Information presented by W(h)ealth should not be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Consult a doctor and/or medical professional before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.