How to prepare for the dismount from social distancing.
As we have just entered the 5th week of social distancing in the UK, none of us really know when or how we will be functioning more like our “old” selves in the next few weeks or months.
What I do know, if you’re anything like me, is that never-before has health been as far up the agenda in terms of my priorities, (and I work in the wellness industry!).
This period has focussed many of us on how we could potentially live less busy lives and use the lessons from lockdown to create more balance and flow for ourselves and our families.
I have been sharing my 4 step Lowdown in networking groups. This is aimed at simplifying what’s going on and provides a strategy for the coming months.
Firstly, let’s look at how we can T.I.M.E.™ our dismount from Lockdown.
The C Word
There is much to take in about Covid-19 and it is easy to become overwhelmed.
I think there are some important key messages that will help us decide how we can manage our behaviour once we are not so restricted.
1. The covid-19 is much more like a cold than flu, in that it is much more easily spread. It is not as deadly as something like EBOLA, but this is much less easy to pick up.
· Hand washing is still going to be VITAL
· Soap is much more efficient at dissolving the oil layer around the cell of the virus. Wet hands first and you will do less harm to your skin.
· Use alcohol gels when out and about
· Although it may be tempting to wear gloves and masks, these need to be changed and handled properly to have any positive effect.
2. Other countries have successfully employed the “pod approach”
· moving between 2 or 3 family homes to be able to see family members
· much like extended families have been doing for the past 4 weeks.
3. If you are waiting for a vaccine, it is likely to be many months, perhaps a year to 18 months, before one will be available.
· Testing is likely to be available more readily, but even then, the efficacy of test kits is already being questioned.
4. All social distancing measures are in place not to protect YOU, but protect the NHS from overwhelm.
· We will not have “beaten” the virus
· This is not a “war” but a “manoeuvre” a “tactical operation”
· You will still be exposed to the virus after Lockdown ends
1. The elderly or immune-compromised are more at risk, however
· In many cases, younger people are suffering or dying because they have been exposed on repeated occasions to someone who is infected.
· The amount of exposure to the virus i.e. the VIRAL LOAD is a major factor to severity and outcome. Hence deaths of our key workers such as health carers and bus drivers.
· People with immune disorders are more at risk because their systems OVER-REACT to disease, putting them more quickly into a situation known as a ‘cytokine storm’
1. Although there is little in the news and some contradictory advice, the very best way to improve your resistance to infection is to boost your immunity. Some basics that you already know:
· Drink plenty of water
· Get good quality sleep
· Exercise 3 times a week
· Eat freshly prepared food when you can
· Find a good balance of Work/Play
· Take targeted supplements such as Vitamin A, D3 and C
If you are unsure of how best to support your health you can access the complete Immunity Booster package I use. Please visit the website for a discounted offer. www.pure21.co.uk/p21-immunity-boost.html
2. As we are likely to see many, many thousands of cases, if this occurs in your household:
· Isolate family members for 7 days if they have symptoms, don’t mix with each other but nurse from afar. (to reduce viral load)
· Stay home for 14 days until you are virus free or have been tested.
My daughter had the virus in February. She took over 2 weeks to recover and was really unwell. Her partner, living with her in their very small apartment, showed no signs of Covid-19 apart from feeling a little tired for a couple of days.
Does this sound familiar?
Is there someone you know that hardly ever catches a cold, has a temperature or an upset stomach, even when exposed to the same bugs as you?
It is likely that they are more resilient.
!. Their resilience is almost certainly from having a healthy gut microbiome.
· The microbiome accounts for 90% of your health
· It consists of all the bugs, viruses, bacteria and fungi in you and on you
· Maintaining a healthy combination of these is the root of a robust immune system.
· Reducing inflammatory foods such as caffeine, alcohol, high sugar, processed and packaged products is essential to an improved gut.
2. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest because:
· It has good amounts of high quality fats — e.g. cold-pressed olive oil
· It contains fresh, locally sourced in-season produce
· It has a large and varied range of fruit and vegetables
· Green vegetables raise the alkalinity levels in your body, which helps to fight off viruses
· There is an important social element to meals
· A glass of red wine a day has beneficial effects
3. Weight gain and obesity are linked to having an unhealthy microbiome
· As is type 11 diabetes and auto-immune diseases.
· Hormone balance is improved by having a healthy gut
Read more about how to get your gut microbiome into shape: www.pure21.co.uk
You may be one of the souls that are enjoying this period of Lockdown and would have responded positively to my question about your Lockdown experience. However, because of the global unrest, uncertainty, fatalities and exceptional circumstances, even your body will be in a hyper-vigilant mode.
1. Fear and anxiety raise levels of the flight or fight hormones in the body.
· These alter the state of the microbiome
· Cortisol and adrenaline reduce your ability to fight off viruses and infections
2. The media is exceptionally good at raising levels of fear
· Bad stories sell
· Sad stories sell even more
3. You may have some experience of one or more in the FEAR ZONE
· I am witnessing (or doing some) panic buying
· I am spreading fear stories
· I am getting cross and upset easily
· I am complaining frequently
· I am getting angry when I see people flouting the rules
In a similar way as we experience the grief process, as we become more familiar with the covid-19 situation our energy changes. As we reduce the levels of the STRESS hormones, we benefit from a heightened ability to stay healthy. You are the one that is in-charge of your emotional state, even if you are finding life difficult because of your situation.
1. ACCEPTANCE ZONE –
· I am no longer consuming things that are not serving me — food, fags, booze, news
· I think about information before I share it
· I am more aware of my emotions
· I start to give up what I can’t control
· I recognise we are all doing our best
2. GROWTH ZONE
· I am finding ways to help others with my talents and skills, happy to give.
· I have adapted to change and live in the present and look forward to the future
· I keep happy and spread good news and hope
· I am practicing self-care and am more empathetic to others
· I thank and appreciate other people
· I am kinder to myself and recognise that I will have good and bad moments
3. We are missing some of the mechanisms that provide us with the “feel good” hormones that are driving our emotions. Oxytocin is a hormone that stimulates the production of a molecule called nitric oxide (no, not laughing gas) which is good for immunity and fighting off viruses. New mothers have this in abundance. We can elevate levels by:
· Stroking a pet or looking at cute baby or cat videos!!
· Connecting with loved ones even just via technology
· Doing some restorative exercise such as yoga or Pilates, or even having a gentle walk in nature
· Making love
· Doing some deep breathing exercises
I hope you have received some good tips from my article… please do visit my website for free stuff, www.drgillbarham.com to read more, listen to my podcasts and sign up to my monthly news.
Dr. Gill Barham is an international award winning author, speaker, speaker trainer, broadcast presenter, Pilates teacher, nutritional expert and advocate for self–care.
Dr Gill Barham uses her experience and expertise to run UK Public Speaking and Wellbeing workshops and International retreats. These are designed to improve confidence in speaking from the heart and empowering midlife women to make the most of their “wisdom” years.
Gill studied music as her first degree before qualifying as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) in the UK. She has been studying functional medicine for the past 8 years and her transformational work has been recognised with a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the AUGP (Academy of Universal Global Peace) A Peace Award from the UPF (Universal Peace Federation) and she is a member of the ATL (Association of Transformational Leaders) Europe and the WAoFP (Worldwide Association of Female Professionals)
Connect with her here: www.drgillbarham.com