How to care for yourself during the Coronavirus pandemic

How to care for yourself during the Coronavirus pandemic

How to care for yourself during the Coronavirus pandemic

We are living in unprecedented times during the Coronavirus pandemic. Fear of catching Coronavirus COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, has changed the world, the way it is run and how we live in it.

In an attempt to restrict the spread of the virus, we are being subjected to increasing rules and regulations on micro and macro levels – washing hands, wearing gloves and masks, social distancing, restriction of people gathering together, travelling, working, connecting, and if we are allowed to leave the house, having to declare our presence and leave our contact details wherever we go.

These measures were initially thought to be temporary whilst we prepared ourselves to grapple with a virus that seemed extraordinarily contagious and lethal but as time passes, even though our understanding of the virus has expanded to show it is certainly highly infectious – but perhaps no more serious for most people than a bad seasonal flu – the restrictions are being continued, or temporarily eased in some areas only to be tightened again.

We are being bombarded with so much news about the virus and the treatment and vaccines for it, but much of it is contradictory, even from experts in their fields, so it is hard to know what to believe, what is false and what is true.

So what do we do?

Do we get caught up in the fearmongering, the uncertainty, the circulation energy of the media, the emotional reactions to the constraints that are being put on us and the effects on our lives and our loved ones? Or is there a way to care for ourselves during the Coronavirus pandemic, even while all this is going on?

One of the most consistent facts that has come out of medical reports on the coronavirus is that infection is more likely to be severe if we have what are called co-morbidities. This means other health conditions that make a virus more likely to take hold and cause severe infection.

Based on current information and clinical expertise, the elderly – especially those in long-term care facilities, and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions – are at a greater risk of getting COVID-19. The elderly, a vulnerable population with chronic health conditions, are not only at a higher risk of developing severe illness but are also at an increased risk of death if they become ill. People with underlying uncontrolled medical conditions such as diabetes; hypertension; lung, liver, and kidney disease; cancer patients on chemotherapy; smokers; transplant recipients; and patients taking steroids chronically, are also at increased risk of COVID-19 infection[1].

Some of these factors we cannot alter, such as age, and we need to take care of our elderly with this understanding.

Others such as immunosuppression may also not be immediately addressable, but it is known that the elderly are often vitamin and mineral deficient and this contributes to their vulnerability to infection and ill health. And we can all support ourselves (at no risk and minimal cost) with Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc, all of which have been shown to support the immune system to help counter the virus[2].

The most prevalent co-morbidities or underlying medical conditions found in people who are hospitalised with COVID-19 are: hypertension, obesity, diabetes, chronic lung disease and cardiovascular diseases[1].

Most if not all of these conditions are related to our lifestyle, or the way we live. Chronic health conditions are now the leading cause of death and disability worldwide[3], and they are all affected by – and often the direct result of – the way we live: whether we smoke, drink alcohol, how much regular exercise we do and how much and what we eat.

It may be tempting to throw our hands up in the air at all this, stay home, turn on the TV and find some food to eat and something to wash it down with, but if we really care about ourselves and want to live well during this time, why not take the time to start to care for ourselves too?

So how can we do this in a simple, sustainable way?

There are many practical tips we can offer and there are many places on this website where you can find great healthy recipes; exercise techniques you can practise at home; ways to deal with your addictions to food, alcohol, cigarettes, other drugs and unhealthy behaviours; ways to support you to get healthy sleep; and ways to help you develop loving relationships at home and in life. These are all well worth exploring and putting into practice.

But the key component in all of this is the why – the why you would want to do it. Why start to take care of yourself now, if you have not been doing it already? Well, why not?

Coronavirus is an in-your-face example of what can happen to us if we don’t care for ourselves. ‘Letting ourselves go’, eating and drinking what we feel like, putting on weight, doing less exercise, staying up late watching TV, becoming more sedentary and unfit, are not generally thought of as diseases yet, but the Coronavirus pandemic is showing us that living in this way does make us more vulnerable to disease. So why wait till we get an acute infection to change our ways and turn our lives around?

At the end of the day we all want to live, and live well. Having chronic health conditions can make our lives miserable and at some point we have to say: enough. No matter how addicted we think we are to food, alcohol, cigarettes, TV, whether we think we are not worth taking care of, or whatever our reasons are for not taking care of ourselves, we can turn them around. All it takes is a willingness to do so and a firm commitment to only do things that are loving and caring for us. And the more loving and caring we are with ourselves, the less willing we are to do things that are not loving and caring for us.

All this love and care has a flow-on effect, for the more we love and care for ourselves, the more we love and care for everyone else.

The truth is that there is far more to us than meets the eye. Caring for ourselves is not just about avoiding catching Coronavirus or other illnesses and diseases. The self we are caring for is not just a physical body. We are more than merely physical; we are energetic beings. We are all interconnected and part of a grand oneness and everything we think, say and do affects not only ourselves, but everyone around us. The more we care for our physical bodies, the more we start to feel the truth of this. We start to feel that we are more than physical, that there is an energetic quality to us. And that energy may be loving and caring for us, or not. And we start to realise that we can be run by energies, and that these energies may inspire us to love and care for ourselves more, or they may not. And we become more committed to only entertaining the energies which are loving and caring for us, so that we naturally live in a way that is loving and caring, for us and for all.

If we don’t yet feel that love for ourselves, which lives inside all of us and has all along, reconnecting with our essence, our innermost nature, helps us to feel it again, to reignite that love and to start to live with love, from the inside out. The Gentle Breath Meditation™ is a simple and beautiful technique that helps us reconnect to the truth of who we are. And from that reconnection we can make our next movement one that loves and cares for us.

Why not start today?


References:

  • [1]

    Comorbidity and its Impact on Patients with COVID-19 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7314621/

  • [2]

    Immune-boosting role of vitamins D, C, E, zinc, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids: Could they help against COVID-19? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415215/

  • [3]

    WHO Facing the Facts #1: Chronic diseases and their common risk factors https://www.who.int/chp/chronic_disease_report/media/Factsheet1.pdf

Filed under

AddictionDiseaseHealth conditionsHuman bodyLifestyle diseases

  • By Dr Anne Malatt, MBBS, MS, FRACS, FRANZCO Eye surgeon, wife, grandmother

    A woman with a wealth of worldly experience and a richness of lived wisdom, I live and work in a country town, love my work and the people I work with, and enjoy time with my family and friends, walking, reading and writing.

  • Photography: Clayton Lloyd