Using the break for just about the only existing Corona prevention: Strengthen your immune system
Por: Susanne Blumenstein
«Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. (B.K.S. Iyengar)
The corona virus changed my life dramatically, but for the good. I started every year with the same intent to prioritize my wellbeing and quickly forgot it in the first weeks. Yes, I was one of those people, who worked the extra hour, although they felt tired. I had a long list of unhealthy habits.
Well, I thought it didn’t matter – until the virus came. It made me realize that one of the few things I could do to prevent an infection besides the common hygiene measures (protective mask, washing hands, distance) was to keep my immune system as strong as possible.
Theoretically I knew what supports my immune system 1 :
Eat healthy: a lot of fruits and vegetables, low sugar intake, whole grain products, with a
plate size that makes you feel satisfied, but not full
Moderate, regular exercise (e.g. walking at least 30 minutes a day)
Adequate sleep ..and after one week of simply observing my habits and their effects I knew what my biggest pain point was: Stress. The tension resulting from stress can occur for various reasons, in my case mainly through a very critical view on myself, worries, lack of sleep and the lack of breaks during the day.
The keys to change: One clear goal, consciousness and new routines
“Action expresses priorities.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Before jumping right into activity I took a moment to analyze my unsuccessful attempts and quickly understood that I never had a clear vision. I couldn’t tell you how a day where I would have prioritized my wellbeing would exactly look like.
So I sat down and mentally started to build up a picture of a day filled with wellbeing, of a day where I would say at the end: I feel relaxed, comfortable and balanced.
What came up was a very clear picture: My day would start with a heart meditation, continue with writing on my book, learning something about communication and marketing, a long lunch break filled with delicious vegetarian, self-cooked food, and end with Yoga or exercise. I wanted to allow myself enough breaks and use them consciously. In the afternoon I would dedicate about an hour to apply to vacancies. There would be two evenings a week I would dedicate to friends, one for my husband and one self-love evening. I would invest at least 30 minutes a day to grab some fresh air and enjoy nature.
Surprisingly that is pretty much exactly how my days looked like starting from that moment on – and that was one month ago. Feeling the joy and the sense of calm coming from my vision motivated me so much that changing suddenly felt easy.
Three hints made it even easier:
1. Reminding myself of my goal every morning after my meditation
2. Building a realistic vision that would include very concrete routines
3. Remaining conscious during everything I do
The last one was also the trickiest one, as the mind loves being in automatic mode. It helps me to take a moment before every action in order to ask myself, how that action would make me feel afterwards and if it was how I wanted to feel. Like that my cravings for ice-cream quickly ran away 😉
For sure I’m struggling on some days, but I look at the struggles in a loving way, because they are a sign that something is changing.
In a way I’m thankful for the break caused by the Coronavirus, because it was my call to action to take my wellbeing more seriously. All I needed was a clear, positive vision of how I would live wellbeing in day to day life, regular reminders, concrete, doable routines and a good strategy on how to remain more conscious in every moment of my life. If I can do it, you can do it, too. Believe in yourself!