We are following all of the guidelines put forth by Pinnacle Performance to
keep the community safe. We are open for in person and virtual appointments.
We ask that all person clinical appointments occur with masks and physical distancing of 6 feet
for the majority of the visit.
Thoughts on Wellbeing During a Pandemic
We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Pinnacle Performance. We would like to share some of what we are doing and recommending in order to stay healthy, boost the immune system and encourage resilience during this pandemic.
Functional medicine is the foundation of this advice. We focus on modifiable lifestyle factors such as nutritious food, restful sleep, movement, mindfulness, and stress reduction to improve resilience and provide immune support. Applying one aspect of this to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are ideas for stress modification. Many of us are experiencing new emotions because of the pandemic and the changes from physical distancing. These feelings can challenge the mind and body. It is helpful to name the emotion, allow yourself the opportunity to feel the emotion without judgement, and have the emotion move through you. Emotions need motion. It is important to acknowledge what we are going through. Examples of common feelings right now are grief and fear that can turn to anxiety.
You may be aware of the 5 stages of grief.
- Denial: This virus won’t affect me.
- Anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities.
- Bargaining: Okay, if I social isolate and distance for the short term everything will go back to normal, right?
- Sadness: I don’t know when this will end.
- Acceptance: This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.
Scott Berinoto, editor from the Harvard Business Review suggests we consider a 6th stage: Meaning: Find meaning in what is going on during the process and when we reflect back on it after it is over.1 This is challenging to accept but particularly hopeful.
Emotions are adaptive. Fear helps us survive. When something scares us, fear causes us to behave in ways that help us avoid danger. It is an ancient response as demonstrated by seeing a saber-toothed tiger (trigger), running away (behavior), living to tell our kids to avoid that part of the savanna (reward). When we ruminate or have a continual flow of news or information that builds fear and nowhere to run, we can develop anxiety.
Stress reduction techniques can help us deal with these feelings and promote health. Reducing stress is good for your mental health, it improves your body’s immune response and promotes overall health, especially during these uncertain times. Find balance in your thoughts. The precautions we are taking are important. We know this from the recent course of the COVID-19 viral strain in other countries as well as the history of the 1918 flu pandemic. This is survivable. We will survive. It is a time to overprotect but not overreact.1
In order to promote health, support a strong immune system, and build resiliency, utilize these stress reduction techniques:
- Avoid Information Overload:Set appropriate boundariesfor researching the coronavirus by limiting yourself to perhaps 30 minutes per day.
- Practice Gratitudeand stock up on compassion. Write an email, text or letter to someone who has had a positive impact on your life. Keep a journal of things you are grateful for on a daily basis.
- Come into the present.Focus on here and now. Try meditating or focusing on your breathing. There are free apps and online videos on mindfulness meditations and loving kindness meditations.
- Create aHomecoming Routine. Start with hand washing, perhaps showering, followed by routines that wash away the stress of the day such as lighting a candle or calming aromatherapy, making your home lively with music you enjoy or decorations that bring happiness.
- Celebrategood habitsand let go of what you can’t control. Infectious diseases like the flu and COVID-19 are going to persist, so when you are able to make positive changes in your daily habits, take a moment to recognize yourself. If you eat a new vegetable every day, add Vitamin D to your routine, or implement social distancing, take a moment to be positive.
- Exercise. In addition to distracting you from anxiety, exercise also changes your brain function and can decrease stress. It can increase the expression of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin. It helps to go outside near nature. Do what you love, i.e. dance, walk, juggle, yoga. Tie it to routines throughout the day, i.e. dance while boiling water, lunge while brushing your teeth.2
We hope some of these tips prove helpful. We look forward to meeting in person!
1 Berinato, Mar 23, 2020
Take Charge of Your Health.
Heal your body from the inside out, talk to one of our providers now to learn how our holistic approach can help you.