Our Second Line of Defense Optimizing our immune system + diminishing stress
We are all struggling with the pandemic in one way or another.
Too many things are out of our control. There are uncertainties as to how best to approach this dilemma and the unknown of how long it will last.
We all understandably worry about our health and what the future may bring.
But, we do have control over how we respond to this challenge.
From my literature research, I’ve developed a structured program with evidence-based strategies that are easily implemented so you can take back control. Most of these strategies are FREE.
Simply, we need to rigorously adhere to our 1 st Line of Defense (protective measures) while developing and strengthening our 2 nd Line of Defense (bolstering our immune system + diminishing stress) with a healthy dose of optimism that is firmly grounded in reality.
Do you have a main stressor and uncertainty?
- Protecting yourself and your family?
- Your financial future?
- Relationships with friends and family?
- Homeschooling kids while trying to work remotely, feed and entertain the family, and juggle other responsibilities while controlling the stress levels of you and the fam?
- Your lack of control over many/all of the above?
While everyone is a bit different, after the obvious protective measures, our 2 nd Line of Defense (using evidence-based strategies to limit the stress in our lives while boosting our immune system) is an obvious goal that we can control for the foreseeable future.
Please go to myrelaxer.com to sign up for the free eBook and get started.
How do we best implement our 2 nd Line of Defense?
There is no silver bullet. We must do all the little things to make a difference.
To reiterate: There is no single magic pill, supplement, or single hack to boost our immune system. It just takes time and multiple different strategies. “Throw the kitchen sink of solutions at your immune system.” The only way.
Many of these strategies are listed in this update. How to best implement them is the essence of the Simple Scientific Strategies eBook and the daily One Minute lessons. Get both by signing up here. (I have arranged to provide this content FREE to everyone until May 10. No purchase necessary, BTW.)
These strategies have a “multiplier effect.” All of these approaches work together in synchrony to strengthen the immune system while diminishing the effects of stress, so we need to understand and implement all of them for best results (or most of them for good results). There is no quick fix or magic supplement. This takes effort in different areas:
- Moving-Avoid prolonged sitting (kryptonite to immune system and mood). Walk at least 2X/day for 20-30 min each (several times a day is better) but keep moving at other times. Get the “Pedometer” app and keep track of your steps. Stay active. This should be # 1. Avoid others on your walk/wear a mask. Avoid prolonged sitting. Exercise other ways if you can. Android: Pedometer. iPhone: Pedometer++ I’m tracking my steps every day and feeling great. Try it.
- 8 hours of good sleep with same lights out and awaken times. How to’s are in the eBook and subsequent communications. See below.
- Gratitude-Being grateful and expressing it, verbally or with a list. List is better. Just write down 3 things a day in a notebook. Proven to work. For more, I suggest Robert Emmons’, PhD, new book: “Gratitude Works”. Also, highly recommended: The One Minute Gratitude Journal by Brenda Nathan ($7 on Amazon Prime). Gratitude is a key to all the positive things life has to offer.
- Attitude- A positive attitude makes everything else easier. Thinking about doing those things we can do (all of these) takes our mind away from those things we can’t do anything about (whether opening policies are too lenient or stringent). This is huge in keeping our focus positive.We can change the way we respond to this threat. We can control some things in our life: all of these recommendations to boost our immune system while reducing
stressors to our body and mind. So, let’s do it! We all need to do our part in generating that courage to change the things we can.
- Food-Avoid sugars/simple carbs as much as possible as pro-inflammatory cytokines (bad) are generated. “Super Immunity” by Joel Fuhrman M.D. available at Amazon if you want to drill down on this topic:
a. Veggies are great. Fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt) help your “gut buddies” strengthen your immune system.
b. These foods boost the immune system:
(More detail in eBook + lessons)
1. Greens-esp. cruciferous veggies
4. Berries– Polyphenols in berries are all excellent.
6. Seeds + nuts
c. I know fresh veggies may be difficult now, but frozen berries and veggies are almost as good.
d. Avoid processed food when possible even with logistical challenges.
e. Eat at the same times and eat evening meals at least 3 hours prior to lights out.
f. Gut flora is important, so Pre- and Probiotics are helpful. The intestinal biome directly affects the immune system, and eating the right foods is good for our bodies but especially good for our “gut buddies” that strengthen our immune systems. We need to feed them the good stuff. Also, “Good food = Good mood.”
- Human touch and affection boost the immune system. Snuggle your way to health. Express your love. Receive love. Both are awesome for the immune system. Includes pets also. Human touch releases oxytocin, the “bliss” or “love” hormone that causes us to feel our best.
- Accomplishing tasks does too. Set a schedule with block time for certain items. Aimlessly approaching the day and handling whatever comes up is not a good strategy.”The purpose of life is life with a purpose.” Make overcoming coronavirus your purpose”.
- Stay hydrated. Limit alcohol. Try THC edibles instead of liquor if legal in your locale.
- Sunshine and being outdoors. Sunshine is huge to our immune system. Putz around outside instead of hanging out inside. Outside lowers cortisol (stress hormone which lowers immunity). Proven. If warm enough, show lots of skin to the sun. We feel better being outside. It is time to feel better.
- Meditation: Works to calm you (Stress is major kryptonite to your immune system).Google up guided meditations and get into it. Starter: I still use this one from the master: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Eq1tetWUeM
a. Relax in other ways + meditation: Music? Reading? You know what your relaxation triggers are. Use them all. More on this later too.b. The letting go of an intruding thought and dismissing it gracefully in meditation (those intruding thoughts always occur) give us practice to dismiss those negative thoughts that keep arising during the day because of coronavirus, so meditation is not just to chill, it is to develop those skills to survive the rest of the day with those tools. Your ability to deal with stress is enhanced.
- Avoid digital overload including watching too much TV/internet time/cell phone. Check-in for the latest, but don’t spend time with the same news over and over. Avoiding TV/internet reduces stress, reduces prolonged sitting, avoids a negative attitude, and worry.
- Supplements: Watch this video
Just substitute “human touch” for his description of “massage.” The other basic and free recommendations in this list are vastly more important than a single supplement even if a supplement does work in some way. Also, supplement with Vit C and D and a multivitamin. (There is some controversy as to the effectiveness of these IF one consumes all the right foods. Most of us don’t.) DO NOT USE SUPPLEMENTS AS AN EXCUSE FOR UNHEALTHY EATING. An update on CBD supplementation is planned for mid-May update.
- Be present for your spouse and kids. Park your cell phone and focus on other individuals near you. Set times to connect with outside friends, but most of the time: Be present. Coming out of this with solid relationships should be a major goal for all.
- Laugh. Jimmy Buffet says it best with a memorable lyric from “Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude”: “If we couldn’t laugh, we’d all go insane.” So tee up some comic relief in a hilarious movie or record the Late Show and view it early evening the next day. And laugh. It is good to relieve stress and good for you. And it enhances your immune system also.
- Realize this situation (self-isolation, stress from the unknown, sacrifices, money worries, etc., etc.) is a major inconvenience but it is temporary and will be over at some time in the future. Be positive but understand it may last a while. We need to get into shape for this journey, …mentally, physically, and immune wise.
Our 1st Line of Defense- Prevention
Follow all guidelines for you and family on social distancing, hand washing, not touching the face, etc., etc. Self-isolating and not having any exposure is best. We about to enter a new phase of this Coronavirus Crisis or Challenge. The virus will continue to be spread by Silent Carriers who have no symptoms. We have been sheltered from the virus until now, but soon as things begin to “normalize” and we break quarantine, the chance of exposure will increase dramatically, even with protective measures.
- No exposure to anyone else is best if exposure can be avoided. “Stay Safer at Home.”
- Be “MINDFULLY PARANOID” about potential sources of exposure. This may mean avoiding any contact with others beyond the immediate household (“others” include parents, children, grandchildren, everyone) for now. This situation will be over at some time. There will be plenty of time then.
- Video conference with your fam and friends (as long as bandwidth holds). This is the
New (ab) Normal.
Masks: “Masks in Public” need to be the New Normal. Wear masks every time you leave home. “Don’t leave home without it.” The virus droplets can be spread by normal talk. Wearing masks serves three important functions:
- Protects you from the spread of the virus
- Protects others from the spread of the virus
- Keeps you from touching your face until you can wash your hands again.
- Reminds you to be cautious in dealing with others
- It sets an example for others to follow the “mask in public” policy that everyone needs to adopt.
- Patronize merchants that require employees to wear a mask and encourage customers to do the same.
1. The most important thing you can do is not to expose yourself to the virus, including the grocery store.
2. Going into the store is astronomically more dangerous than pick-up (if that service is available). The virus can remain on surfaces for prolonged periods and can remain airborne even if the sick person is not present.
3. Try to limit your trips by planning ahead. At home: After getting the groceries or mail follow these instructions to avoid inadvertent contamination.
More information is available in the eBook. Download here and receive bi-monthly updates and strategies all of which are Free.
- There are lots of unknowns at present
- Continue to maintain an overly cautious approach until some of the unknowns become known.
- Continue to adhere to preventive measures (1 st Line of Defense)
- Implement a strong 2nd Lind of Defense
- Feel confident that you are controlling those things you can control
For the how-to’s on the above strategies, download the Simple Scientific Strategies eBook here.
Print it out and read during chill downtime before bed (when digital screens are best avoided).