We are facing unprecedented times. This disruption and looming threat of a new coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the globe. Governments worldwide are having to rapidly deploy draconian measures to close borders, shutter non-essential businesses and enforce home quarantine to protect its people and attempt to contain the impact.
What does this mean for each of us?
In Canada, we have provincial guidelines. Recommendations to home quarantine, to ensure social distancing (6 ft indoors, 2 ft outdoors) and limit outings to only activities that are considered essential. Public gatherings are not allowed and as of Saturday the Ontario Premier has limited groups to fewer than 5 people.
Based on the above conditions, we are all having to find new ways to exist, to engage and to endure. There are many activities, habits and practices that may be helpful through this challenging time and are consistent with our new reality.
Here are my top 12 healthy habits and tips to wellbeing in the era of COVID-19;
- Set a schedule: Be consistent with your daily routine. We are creatures of habit. In an uncertain time, with visibility of only 3 days (yesterday, today and tomorrow) by having consistent daily exercise, eating plan, work schedule and sleep pattern we can build much needed structure within our daily lives.
- Find Security within: Let your body be your sanctuary. Breathe. Meditate. Connect with your deep self. Be kind and allow yourself to express your deep emotions. Connectedness is the key not calm. Security can be achieved even when you feel stressed. In times like these, we must remember that safety and security can be found from within.
- Breathe: Pause. Draw in a deep belly breath. Eyes closed. Through your nose (smell the rose). Fill your belly with oxygen (diaphragm down, belly expands out to fill your hands). Hold in, fill your lungs with air and find mental clarity. Exhale through your mouth (blow out the candles). Release the carbon dioxide from the base of your lungs and let it carry out your negative thoughts and emotions. Let your breath be your tool to regulate your nervous system and gain control of the fight or flight response. Nervous system regulation is the path to your cognitive clarity and improves immune function.
- Sleep: Set a consistent schedule for sleep. Prepare with a nightly ritual and routine. An Epsom salt bath with essential oils like lavender and a scented candle. Reading by a dim light. Shutting down screens, avoiding negative news or stressful thoughts. Set a to do list for the next day so that your mind is not busily planning in the midst of the night. During sleep your brain resets, restores and allows for optimal function of mind and body. A good night sleep is key to immune health, emotional wellbeing and your cognitive vitality.
- Be Active: Stay active doing what you love. A daily work-out routine is possible even from your own home. Engage your core. Challenge your body. Be active outdoors. As the weather warms, a jog or bike ride is a great way to get a work out in. Daily exercise is key to a healthy mindset and strong immune system.
- Let Food by thy Medicine: Eat your superfoods for optimal immune health. Vitamin C rich foods like kale, red peppers, kiwis and tomatoes are particularly important for immune health. Zinc can be found in foods like oysters, lentils, hemp seeds and eggs. See my nutritional tips for Immune health here.
- Boost your Immunity: There are certain vitamins and minerals that may provide additional support to boost immunity. There is some research for supplementation of Vitamin C 500mg to 2g and Zinc 15 to 50mg daily. Vitamin D3 can be taken as a daily supplement but too much is not recommended as there is conflicting data in the setting of COVID-19. Typical daily doses of 1-3,000 IU will help to ensure healthy levels of this important immune factor. In addition to viamtin C and zinc, we have combined other immune supernutrients in our Immune Support to offer additional anti-oxidant herbs and botanicals such as; quercetin, ginseng, astragulus and echinacea.
- Be in Nature: Spending time in nature is good for your mind and body. Coronavirus travels in droplets and transmission is less likely outdoors than indoors. While social distancing is still important, we can feel secure on a nature walk or bike ride. Transmission is very unlikely if you keep a distance of 2 feet even when passing by others. Humidity, heat and UV radiation from the sun are all factors that weaken the virus or limit spread of droplets. Natural light is good for your immune system and sleep cycle. Looking out to the horizon on a nature walk will help you overcome visual strain from longer hours spent on screens.
- Find Virtual Connections: Social distancing not isolation is the key. Even while we are hunkered down at home we can find meaningful connections with others. Video conferencing and telecommunications can allow virtual visits. A daily check in with friends and family, especially those who are alone or vulnerable can help make their situation less lonely. Strength comes from connections.
- Help where you Can: Now is the time to think of the most vulnerable amongst us. Those at high risk like the elderly or immunosuppressed need our support. Those living alone or with mental health issues will benefit greatly from a gesture of kindness and connection. Our frontline healthcare workers are running out of the essential protective equipment they need to safely perform their jobs. Masks, gloves and sanitizers are desperately needed at the frontline of this global pandemic. Donations can be made as part of the PPE DRIVE here.
- Resilience: This moment will define our generation and those to come. Our ability to transform, adopt to new circumstances and innovate to solve the challenges imposed upon us will define our recovery. Resilience is key to our success. To be resilient in times of trouble takes an open mind to change and a hopeful eye to the future.
- Hope: Hope for a better tomorrow. Switch your mindset to optimism to help you plan for better days ahead. Positivity and hope can help you navigate daily challenges as you pave your way to the other side. Every day, think of at least one thing you hope for on the other side. Keep this vision of hope so it will light up your darker moments.
Consider these 12 tips to help you navigate through to the other side of this pandemic. Together we will see it through to a new normal. The journey will require resilience and innovation to help ensure we are stronger and more secure for our future.
In order to adapt to a new Virtual reality, we have launched a new virtual health platform and updated our web-based services. You can read more about these initiatives below:
- Virtual Health Consults: Visit us virtually! We are pleased to offer the most secure, confidential and integrated solutions for Virtual care. Our new Virtual Health Platform was launched to enable continuity of care and access to informed medical advice. You can visit with our team, arrange in home self-testing for biomarkers of health, and address your health goals. A secure URL Link is provided to connect you with your provider. For a complimentary Virtual Consult please click here to schedule your visit. Please visit our website for information
- Check out our Enhanced Webstore: We have updated our webstore to offer subscriptions on your favourite PearlMD Skin Care Rx and Health Supplements. To help you get what you need we are offering a 10% savings on your
- Pearls of Wisdom: We are committed to continuing to provide important information to help guide you through this difficult time. Our Pearls of Wisdom Newsletter is sent out on a monthly basis with health information and updates on our latest treatments, technologies and events. You can check out our prior blog posts on our website here. To stay in the know, sign up to receive Pearls of Wisdom in your inbox here and be sure to opt in by confirming your subscription from the email confirmation in your inbox.
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Dr. Jennifer Pearlman
Dr. Pearlman is a medical doctor in Toronto, Canada. She is owner and Medical Director of PearlMD Rejuvenation a Precision Integative Medical Clinic offering expert medical care, leading technology and treatments to help patients achieve Ageless Vitality. Dr. Pearlman is an internationally recognized expert in Women’s health, hormones, aging and cosmetic medicine.