Are we having fun yet?
At the risk of sounding trite this article focuses on common sense ideas for self-care and using the time that self-quarantine creates. Practicing social distancing and self-quarantine is vital to how the virus spreads and to whom.
Asking people to practice these ways of living, even on the short term can be a real burden for many individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Social distancing may negatively impact many people, especially those who are vulnerable in society. There is structural and social inequities built in and around social distancing recommendations. Steps need to be taken to improve the community response to people who face food insecurity, domestic violence, and housing challenges, along with the many other social disadvantages.
The goal for now is to create sustainable practices and focus on resiliency. Almost anyone can do these things at various levels. If a majority of people just take one day at a time to self-quarantine and make the best of the time, it is possible to change the outcome that is predicted and maybe find some good in the current state of affairs.
Decide a plan on how to use time to connect with others, and not just stay planted on Facebook or Instagram or binging films. The Internet is a source for lots of activities including entertainment, face-to-face time, groups emerging to help people or any number of DIY plans.
Download a meme app and use some of your phone photos to share feelings about the news, or life.
Look up the online playlist for WGRN – Central Ohio’s community radio station and live stream interesting programs that can provide up-to-date information on sustainable living, politics and how-to navigate the crazy events of today’s world. Try When the Biomass Hits the Wind Turbine Episode #43 on Natural Gardening to get acquainted with this great radio station.
If community radio isn’t a good fit then search for a reliable news source and keep that as the daily main news source.
Write notes to friends and family or use online chats to regularly connect with people who might like to in touch.
Step up self-care
Spring is a great time to try harder to get more rest, and soothe the brain from the daily news. And don’t forget to add some drinking water to the daily self-care routing.
Keep stress down: When the body is stressed it releases adrenaline and cortisol, actually stopping individual parts of the immune system from working. Take a walk (where there are no people or at least not many). Use the mobile phone to capture nature photos to download as a restful way to bring nature indoors. Run in place to relieve stress. Listen to a guided meditation.
Cut back on smoking and eliminate alcohol use since both of these habits can make the body more susceptible to infection.”
Food is medicine for sure and a healthy diet can help keep the immune system strong. Gut health can increase by taking a probiotic or snacking on some kiefer, fermented sauerkraut, or kimchi. At the same time limit foods with added processed sugars, refined grains, fried food and highly-processed snacks.
Eliminate fast food. No matter what the ads say, virtually all fast food is not listed in the “healthy” food category required to help the immune system fight infections or disease. Create a menu (with everyone who will be eating) for seven days and incorporate some of those cans of food or bags in the freezer that have gone unused because they require preparation (cleaning the freezer might be a good idea too). Plan to make extra food for freezing to extend the recipes to more then seven days.
Set the table for a meal and have everyone eat together. Take turn sharing ideas of things to do when it isn’t possible to leave home.
Try skipping red meat for a week and focus on eating foods rich in vitamin D (fortified milk, fatty fish, eggs), zinc (beans, nuts, and tofu), beta-carotene (sweet potatoes, spinach), vitamin E (almond butter and peanuts), as well as foods with adequate amounts of protein. Protein is found in most plant-based foods and by incorporating things like the combination of beans with rice adequate protein is achieved.
Pick some wild food (not where the ground is sprayed with chemicals or salted over winter). Dandelion (the entire plant) is a great addition to a salad and is an immune boosters. Visit https://www.growforagecookferment.com/what-to-forage-in-spring/?ck_subscriber_id=432227214 for 20 more common Ohio plants that grow locally.
Start some lettuce seeds or other plants for a spring garden. Growing food doesn’t always require land. Use old cooking pots or anything that will hold soil to sow a few seeds. Working in the soil is a proven stress reducer.
Look online for herbs to grow this spring and summer that help strengthen the immune system and are delicious when added to raw or cooked food. Lots of sources are out there locally and online.
Disruption is normal…embrace it.
This is a time to expand thinking, work on health, think about learning new skills, and perhaps how to trade skills for things that are needed. This is a time to practice sustainable living and test individual resiliency – give it a try as a way to improve health, and enjoy life in a new way. Besides, who wants to be normal anyway?