Discernment: Out of Quarantine & Staying Healthy
Most of us have had enough of this quarantine! Enough of being isolated, wearing masks, watching the economy tank as unemployment rises to levels of the Great Depression, and enough of being scared of what the future holds.
It is impossible to predict what the long term effects are going to produce from this pandemic, but we can look at the next year and how to navigate a healthy return to “normalcy”. Although the fatigue is setting in for washing our hands, being careful with what we touch and how we are exposed, this is not the time to become complacent.
As we are opening back up again (thankfully!!), this is the most important part of our recovery for this pandemic and our economy. We can not afford to have another spike in infections and another shut down. So, let’s do this right!
First thing to consider is your own state of vulnerability.
Are you prone to upper respiratory infections? Bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic sinusitis, allergies? All of these can make you more susceptible, besides the chronic health conditions of degeneration that can make your immune system more weak and depleted. Are you elderly or is your child below the age of 7?
If you have answered yes to any of the above, or you are living with someone that would be a yes, then your re-entry from quarantine is a critical time for caution. As much as we all want to get back out there, this first level of opening back up again can be more problematic than any other time we have yet encountered.
The more “healthy” people in the population (young people with non-compromised immune system) are ready to risk exposure because they believe they are safe. And, most likely, they are to some degree. They are the perfect people to get back out there, get back to work to spark the economy, and start building natural immunity for increased (yet, still limited) exposure to whatever levels of COVID-19 are out there. Yet, those are the people that can be the asymptomatic carriers. They can, more than most, handle a low level exposure and be okay, avoid hospitalization and either stay asymptomatic or recover quickly.
These are the people that need to be the first out in the public so that we can build herd immunity to an effective percentage of the population. Although vaccinations will come, it will take about a year from now until they have been tested and are proven effective and safe. Until then, making smart choices is the best way to get through this next phase.
Here are the key points to keep in mind to stay safe:
- If you are vulnerable (elderly or compromised immunity) continue to practice all the social distancing parameters that have been in place. Know that it will be quite some time before we can really see if there will be another spike in infections as we come out of quarantine.
- Even through the re-integration of all the phases, the flu season is coming in the fall. With that, there may be another spike. So, for the immune compromised, it will be important to keep some of the precautions in place, probably until spring 2021.
- If you are not immune compromised (young and healthy without any chronic conditions are repeated infections in the past few years), slowly start to come out of quarantine while still keeping precautions in place. Know that you need to keep exposure minimal for the next month. After that, small levels of exposure should start to create some natural immunity and protect you from future exposure.
For Everyone: healthy lifestyle habits, during and after Quarantine
Many of my patients have been complaining of poor sleep and poor sleep habits during the unsettling times of quarantine. This is understandable. Our schedules have been turned upside down. Now is the time to restart healthy sleep habits. Go to sleep between 10-11pm and get 8 hours minimum of sleep every night. Sleep more if your body needs it! If you have trouble falling asleep, melatonin, valerian, St. John’s Wort are some good supplements to look into and see if they are a good fit for you. Read more about sleep here.
Eat a healthy whole foods diet!
AVOID SUGAR!!! Sugar is the biggest offender in our diet to our immune system. It can decrease immune effectiveness by 30-50% for up to 6 hours after ingestion. If you are going to eat sugar, do it on days you will not be exposed. Mostly, try to avoid white sugar, alcohol, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates and keep dairy low.
Eat lots of vegetables, whole grains and healthy sources of protein for you as an individual. Everyone is different in some of the specifics around diet but all of the above suggestions are true for most people!
We are not meant to be stagnant or stay inside. We need the sun to convert Vitamin D into its active form and without direct sun on our skin, we can’t do this. Also, Vitamin D is one of the best things for your immune system. We need to circulate our blood so the immune system can be stimulated and our lymph can clean up all that doesn’t belong. Exercise is the best way to increase circulation and stimulate our body’s ability to detoxify pathogens and increase vitality. No matter who you are, it is healthier to get outside for daily walks, bike rides, skating, hiking, whatever fits your personal situation, versus staying inside 24/7.
Practice stress relieving techniques.
Stress, most likely, is the root cause of all disease. Whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual stress, it diminishes the ability to be optimally well. Sit in meditation do deep breathing exercises, journal, practice yoga, pranayama, or whatever tool you have in your toolbox to de-stress from the worries of our present situation. Read about mindfulness here. Many of my patients have been benefiting from NET sessions via telemedicine or in-person. Read more about Neuro-Emotional Technique here.
We are going to get through this together! Meanwhile,…
Try to make this time of slowing down an opportunity to examine what belongs and what does not belong in your life – emotionally, spiritually, and material items. Clean your home and get rid of what doesn’t belong! A clean uncluttered home creates a clean uncluttered mind.
Many of my patients have lost weight, increased exercise, and are doing all the things I’ve suggested to them over our time together because of the spaciousness that is being provided with this forced slowing down from quarantine. For those of you who need a little help getting back on track, check out my virtual Detox, Reset Program here.
One of the best ways to live a peaceful life, is to become comfortable with the unknown.
Whether we are in a pandemic and quarantined or just living our regular lives, the unknown is always present to some degree, we just might not be as aware of it as we all are now. Make friends with uncertainty, build relationship with not knowing what the future holds. Live the moments in as fully as possible. And remember, the only thing we can really ultimately control is how we show up for all of life’s moments.
I hope that this information has been helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns or if there is any way that I can assist you in this time of chaos and uncertainty.
Sending love and blessings to all of you! Dr. Dorine Karlin