As I think back over the events in March I reflect on how much happened in such a short time. We had 2 teenagers in England as part of their transition year. They were having a great time unaware of the global spread of the corona virus. My husband and I had to make emergency decisions whether they should come home or remain with relatives. Ireland was making preparations to self isolate and countries worldwide were calling citizens home in preparation for closing their borders. March saw a lot of change globally and the Taoiseach talks of stricter measures to come as the nation continues to self isolate, maintain social distancing, work from home or adapt to closure of businesses and job loss.
It has become a time of uncertainty for all of us. Concerns for our ageing relatives and our health care workers on the front line treating patients with Covid-19 grow. Uncertainty can lead to raised levels of anxiety and stress so I want to talk about a few things that you can do at home to help to reduce anxiety, manage stress and support you and your families immune systems.
You may be surprised but establishing routine around sleep, food, exercise and doing something fun are key steps in helping your body manage our emotions and stress.
As we spent lots more time at home the temptation maybe to treat it like a weekend or extended holiday with late nights and lazy mornings.
These habits effect the balance of melatonin and cortisol our sleep/wake hormones and stress our natural circadian rhythms.
Most adults need 7-9 hrs of sleep per night to function at their best and children need more.
Establishing and keeping to a regular bed time and wake up time everyday in line with sunset and sunrise will support our hormones and nourish our immune system so it is in a better place to manage stress.
With schools closed it can be tempting for kids to skip breakfast and go straight for the TV, then demand snacks continually during the day. To manage this set a routine with breakfast within an hour of raising. Cereals, carbs and sugary foods deplete our nutrients levels so swop them for scrambled or boiled eggs for breakfast. Make a big pot of soup or a stew, so when the kids come looking for snacks they can fill up on real food, which will help with behaviour problems caused by junk food.
Physical activity and exercse boosts your mood and energy levels during the day and improves your sleep at night.
Do something fun each day, laughter actually boosts the immune system and decrease stress hormones. Watch a comedy or make exercise fun by having a disco with the kids. Research even proves that forcing yourself into a fake smile does reduce stress and improve your mood.
By focusing on these simple steps within your control it is possible to support your immune system and make this time more manageable, wishing you good health Amanda.
Amanda Roe supports clients in their recovery from trauma, anxiety and stress. For more information or to arrange a free virtual discovery session with Skype or Zoom call/text 087 633 1898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org