Boost your immune system by reducing stress

by Amanda Roe
Amanda supports clients in their recovery from trauma, anxiety and stress. For more information or to arrange a free virtual discovery session with Skype or Zoom call/text 087 633 1898 or email amanda@marketstclinic.com.

Dear readers these are very unusual times we are experiencing and I hope you are well.

Covid-19 has dramatically affected everyone in what feels like a blink of an eye. I am thankful that I live in Ireland and that the government took such rapid action, both in restricting movement in the hope of reducing the spread of infection and protecting our relatives, community and healthcare practitioners, and also in financially supporting those of us who are so suddenly out of work.

I feel fortunate to live in the countryside and be able to go for walks and work virtually from home. What I have noticed is that, for some, this is a much-needed, short-term opportunity to slow down, spend more time with family, practice self-care and de-stress.

For others, reduced freedom of movement and lack of earning has made life extremely stressful.

I write a lot about stress. It is something that the 21st century has accepted as a normal everyday occurrence. But it is worth noting that the American medical association refers to stress as the root cause of more that 60 per cent of all human illnesses and disease. The reason that stress has such an impact on our health is because stress makes the body work harder; it then uses more energy, more vitamins, more minerals and more hormones to manage stress and depletes the resources needed by the immune system. When the immune system is weak there are very obvious symptoms like chronic fatigue, headaches, grinding teeth, increased heart rate, digestive disorders, insomnia, anxiety and emotional or behaviour problems. 

When we reduce stress it leaves more nutritional resources for the immune system and the body better equipped to stay healthy and well. 

Stress comes in many forms including trauma, nutritional, physical, emotional, relationship, financial, and work-related.

We don’t know how long self-isolation will last but it is an opportunity to practice more self care and reduce stress so we can boost our immune system and stay as healthy as possible.

The foundation of stress management is to look after your body, mind and emotions, by reducing stress and getting enough rest, nutrition, exercise and fulfillment. 

You will have the most health improvements by removing stress, so make a list of the stressors in your life and ask yourself ‘What step can I do today that will remove one or more of these?’

Next prioritise getting enough sleep to recharge your batteries, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep and you will feel more energised if you set your sleep routine in sync with nature’s circadian rhythms.

This sleeping and feeding body clock shifts according to the climate, seasons, sunrise and sunset but it is a good idea to be in bed by 10pm to nourish your adrenal (stress management) glands. 

Third, bin the junk food and processed carbs and pack breakfast, lunch and dinner full of proteins, vegetables, essential fats and nutrients.

Fourth, exercise is good for our body, heart and head, so go for a walk, bounce on a trampoline, cycle, or join an online yoga group – there are so many options to choose from.

Last but certainly not least, identify the things in life that make you feel good about yourself and do more of the things that make you smile and laugh as that will reduce stress and boost you immune system too.

Best wishes and I hope you stay healthy and well.

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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