How to stay positive in difficult times
HOW TO STAY POSITIVE,
WORRY LESS, AND GAIN CLARITY IN THIS STRANGE NEW WORLD
In the past few days I have begun reading and watching more news again after a period of doing a “news-fast”. It provided me with a fresh new understanding of how toxic negative news is. It makes me feel down.
We humans have not evolved to consume an endless volume of negative news. Not that long ago people could only get the news from their region, because the rest of the world was far away and worldwide news spread very slowly. The world was simpler in the past.
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, we have also witnessed the gradual dissolution of our freedoms. I don’t disagree that these restrictions are important and well-intended in general, yet there are also some unreasonable restrictions that come from an incomplete understanding of the virus or an attempt to politicize the crisis.
For example, in some countries, dog lovers are not permitted to walk their dogs farther than a short distance from their home.
This pandemic has triggered a tectonic shift. Some democratic governments are even tracking people’s phones and credit cards to ensure that curfews and isolation rules are followed. There are road blocks and police checks on the roads, and I have heard of people being ticketed for trying to exercise and get fresh air while distancing correctly.
I am not saying we should be reckless. Social distancing and sensible steps to reduce COVID-19 spread are important. They save lives. However, we must be on guard to defend our rights and freedoms too. As a collective we can keep each other in check without being excessively policed. To summarize, some officials may try to abuse their newly found power to control others. I remember life behind the Iron Curtain, when we were told we were restricted from travel abroad to protect us from the evil forces of capitalism. Sounds weird, I know.
It appears that coronavirus will become a fact of life the same way other contagious diseases, cancer or car accidents threaten our lives. There is also a risk that if we do not jump-start life in the reasonably near future, stress, financial difficulties, unemployment, and depression will take an even bigger toll and result in lost lives too. We must also remember that there are other more common and preventable causes of death such as hunger. The difference is that coronavirus touches everyone, and humans are wired to be self-interested when it comes to survival.
I am not sure what the exact solution is, it likely lies somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of too little or too much control. My sense is that a big part of returning to our normal lives will be about living healthier and keeping our immune system stronger, and this is why I would like to present you with the following steps for good health.
14 steps for staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong
(Many of these tips could be applied to dogs too. 🐶❤️)
- Stop smoking if you do, as it predisposes you to severe complications.
- Stop eating junk/processed foods, and foods that tax the immune system, such as milk, dairy, and meats.
- Increase the amount of vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, that improve intestinal flora and immune function. They also make you less hungry and help with weight loss, if needed.
- Get your heart going for at least 30 minutes a day - fast walking, jogging, swimming, biking is a good idea. Increase your heart rate to 70-80 percent of maximum a few times during the course of the exercise. Beware of taking your dog along for a fast bike ride - here is why.
- Try to skip one meal a day as intermittent fasting has proven to boost immune function.
- Eat sensibly, increase fibre intake, and do your best not to overeat.
- Reduce sugars as they compromise the immune system. (Avoid too severe and intense exercise.)
- Avoid fish that are higher on the food chain to reduce your heavy metal intake.
- Take 2500 - 5000 IU of vitamin D3, ideally fermented, daily.
- Eat colourful fruits and dark green leafy veggies. They contain xenohormetic compounds that boost the immune system.
- Add nuts, avocado, and olive oil, as they activate sirtuins - defence boosting enzymes.
- Keep your household humidity up as it appears that higher humidity may reduce the spread of the virus. Higher humidity helps the mucous membranes stay moist and healthy.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep and use blue light blocker settings on your computer and smart-phone if working at night.
- Make sure that you get your essential supplements, the essential groups are the same as for dogs: Fermented vitamins, Omega-3s, probiotics and plant-based trace minerals.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM