Updated: Jan 19
Our emotions and our behaviors are energetically connected. It’s really important to reduce stress to boost your mental health. Easier said than done, right? In the midst of a global pandemic, racial reconing and tense political atmosphere, all this stress feels impossible to manage. And little by little it’s weighing on your immune system. So let’s talk about six ways you can boost your immune system. These tips are relevant all year long, but especially during COVID-19.
Belly breathing, can lower your stress levels, reduce your blood pressure, and regulate other important bodily processes. In the video above, I share the basic procedure for diaphragmatic breathing to really get a deep, belly, rejuvenating breath.
Eat to reduce stress
Turning to food during stressful times is common. But this can increase unhealthy behaviors or habit. High fat and sugar foods, can lead to an increase in appetite, overeating and weight gain.
Instead of stress eating, add these elements to your diet.
Folate (such as leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruit, brussels sprouts, and garbanzo beans) help produce the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine.
Omega-3 fats (such as salmon, flax, and chia seeds) have been shown to combat the stress hormone cortisol. And are anti-inflammatory.
Antioxidants help produce the stress-fighting chemical dopamine.
Something as simple as adding blueberries to your morning oatmeal can make a big difference as well. It’s is great for a serotonin boost.
Tip for working with fruits and veggies: Srub them, but avoid peeling. Most of the nutrients are in the skin!
Take specific immune boosting nutrients / supplements
Vitamin A – (fully formed, not beta carotene). This is safer from food sources.
Vitamin D3/K2 – It’s a fat soluble. Take it with your biggest meal of the day to increase fat absorption.
Vitamin C – At least twice daily. (Citrus, sweet peppers, broccoli all are good sources of Vitamin C).
Zinc citrate/ picolinate – Important role inflammatory response / immune cell development
Probiotic – The microbes are in charge! You have more microbes than cells.
Doing something physical helps get your mind and body out of the fight or flight / stress response, so your body feels better. Virtually any form of exercise or movement can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress.
The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy!
Mind-body exercise: yoga, pilates, or Tai Chi.
Structured activity: cardio, interval training, or strengthening exercises.
Unstructured activities: yard work, washing the car, gardening, and organizing or
cleaning your home are also great ways to get moving.
Practice sleep hygiene for deep, uninterrupted sleep
Create a bedtime routine to help signal your body it's time to wind down. This is how we make melatonin! Go to sleep and wake at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Try relaxing activities before bed such as: stretching, reading, meditating, drinking warm tea or taking a hot bath (with Epsom salt, which helps absorb magnesium).
Adequate hydration with clean filtered water!
When was the last time you drank water today? Beverages like soda or other caffeinated drinks often dehydrate you, so it’s important to incorporate plenty of water into your habits.
Want more helpful tips for improving your immune system and living a healthy life?
Holli will share special tips on proper breathing and how eating a nutrient-dense diet can reduce stress! To download a PDF of the immunity boosting tips click below.