We often don’t think of self care as a way to support our immune system. The word is so overused that it has become associated with everything from luxe spa vacations to an extra slice of cake after dinner. It can be confusing to decide which activity will be the most beneficial and least expensive.
Plus, there is a tremendous amount of guilt associated with taking “me time” (especially during a crisis), but focusing energy on our mental well-being is just as important as our physical health. A good rule of thumb: it is less about “things” and more about “actions”. How are you going to nurture and nourish your mind and spirit today?
With social distancing regulations still yo-yoing, I’ve put together a list of my Top 5 simple self care rituals for immune support that you can implement from home, right now.
Let’s dive into some self-care that will support your immunity — without feeling like a diva!
Just Say OM
Stress is a silent killer. Women especially get so used to our bodies being under stress that we stop noticing it — it becomes the new normal. So my first self-care suggestion is to stop thinking!
Easier said than done, right?
That is where meditation can help. Like most people, if you struggle to sit still for a full 20 minute, twice a day practice, just start small. Taking 5 minutes to focus on your breath and quiet your busy mind will lower your stress levels.
Put on some soothing music if you can’t stand the silence, or coordinate with a girlfriend to meditate together over the phone or Zoom. Or outsource your thinking to a meditation mentor and give a guided meditation a go!
Here are two guided meditations I created: My Guided Meditation for Abundance and Prosperity and My Heart Opening Meditation focused on Love + Connection. You can also try apps like Calm or Headspace that have short, simple guided meditations that will ease you into the Ahhhhhh.
Ditch The Doomscrolling
Technology is great for keeping us connected with each other, but it can also be a huge downer. Especially right now with everything happening in the world, it is easy to fall into the proverbial social media Rabbit Hole. This behavior is what people have termed “doomscrolling”, and I am definitely guilty of it too!
We all want to stay informed, but all those snarky memes, Twitter feuds and YouTube news recaps take a toll on our mental health. We’re instinctually wired to look out for threats, and your Facebook news feed probably feels like it’s filled with them. Clinical psychologist Dr. Amelia Aldao recently told NPR that all the “grim content can throw a dark filter [on] how you see the world.”
To break this bad habit, try this tip I just love from NPR: Swap ‘vicious cycles’ for ‘virtuous cycles’. Close those intrusive apps (or set a timer for how long you can scroll) and connect with things that bring you joy instead.
Soak Up Some Sunshine
One thing that brings me a lot of joy is getting out in nature. Whether it is dipping my toes in the ocean or hiking through a park, I always feel invigorated being outdoors. It can be tough though to plan a day trip right now, so make sure to start your day off by taking a short walk outside, even if it’s just 5-10 minutes. Not only will you get fresh air and some Vitamin D from the sun, but exercise is a proven immunity booster.
And if you’re lucky enough to have some green space (or even a view of green space), why not lay down your yoga mat and run through these poses from Yoga With Adriene designed to help relax and rejuvenate the nervous system and start your day off in a positive way.
Give Your Space A Makeover
Again, a change of scenery is in order, my friends! Give your home environment a good once-over. Now I know that cleaning doesn’t sound like self care, but clutter gets in the way of more than just your physical space. Clutter actually stops the flow of energy through your home. It may sound pretty woowoo, but you know that’s my jam. Energy is meant to flow. If it’s stuck in your home it can cause the same feelings of unrest and brain fog that can manifest in your body when energy is stagnant and stuck. When your space is organized and refreshed, your mind will be too!
Open the windows and air out your space. Buy some fresh flowers to brighten up your bedside table. Switch out your bed linens for something new that makes you feel fabulous slipping under the covers. (Sleep is important self care for immune support too!)
Plus, there are so many hidden dangers in our homes when it comes to toxins: from household cleaners to glue, paint, detergents, mattresses, plastic food containers and even shampoo and personal hygiene products. It’s important to periodically check what we’re bringing into our homes and, indirectly, our bodies. If you need some more tips to help you trash the toxins in your home, click here.
Detox Your Beauty Routine Too!
There’s no need for self-care to be expensive or indulgent. One of my favorite practices is dry brushing, and the brush like this one costs around $20. Dry brushing is a simple, yet crazy effective way to detoxify your lymphatic system by massaging your skin with a soft bristle brush.
Your lymphatic system (AKA your skin) plays an important role in your immune system by distributing a watery clear fluid called lymph to all your cells, tissues and organs in your body. This fluid helps you fight infections, circulate your blood flow and basically keeps everything running smoothly. Your skin is actually your largest organ and it’s oh so easy to access. So it’s the perfect conduit to help stimulate the drainage of excess fluid.
Plus, it feels great! You can support your immune system and reduce cellulite while exfoliating. Now that’s win-win. Here’s a simple video to show you how.
I also really love a detoxifying bath. Good hygiene isn’t just about your appearance; it also helps reduce your risk of illness. I love to combine a cup of baking soda and a cup of sea salt into a hot water bath, and then soak for 30 minutes to pull out all the toxins.
I love to do this at night, right before bed-time. As soon as you get out of the tub, wrap yourself in cozy PJs and drift into a peaceful night’s sleep.
Which of these simple self care practices for immune support will you try first? Are you guilty of doomscrolling your mornings away? Let me know what steps you’re going to take first in the comments below!
LOVE + a big hug!