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It’s been a few weeks now since we have been ordered to stay home and shelter in place due to the coronavirus crisis. I think most of us were in shock at first, while feelings of disbelief and fear swept over many. Some folks rushed to the store to stock up on toilet paper and food items while others climbed into a bottle of vodka to find a place of refuge. No matter where you found yourself the next day, let me just say, this is not about judgement, but a time to encourage.

By now the shock has subsided and those who kept their jobs are working remotely and many for the very first time. Unfortunately, millions of people have been laid off and are scrambling to find work. So, what can we do to stay healthy in possibly the most stressful time of our lives without spending money?

Three Healthy Hacks to Reduce Stress and Help Build the Immune System:

Drink Hot Liquids ~ During a time where we need to ward off cold and flu symptoms, we need to stay hydrated but with warm liquids not cold. Warm drinks will reduce mucus. Drinking hot water with lemon first thing in the morning will help eliminate toxins and if we are not working out at the gym anymore due to all the closures, this component is key!

Turmeric tea is a wonderful staple to have on hand these days because it is so powerful in boosting the immune system. Turmeric is also known for reducing inflammation, protecting the liver, and helps to manage diabetes and lung ailments. The best version is the natural root grated, but if that is not feasible there are some good organic powders available – not the one you might find on the spice aisle of your market, but online as a supplement for health and wellness.

Ginger Root is another great option to keep sickness away! The last time I did go into a store, I was intrigued to see the fresh ginger was completely gone! Seems like the word got out. If you find yourself nauseous from stress or not eating properly, ginger is great at eliminating nausea. If you have ever been prone to getting car sick, ginger candy is a great treat to settle your tummy. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties, may reduce joint pain and helps with indigestion and improves brain function. Ginger can also assist in fighting off respiratory infections. Taking ginger and turmeric together may help reduce our chances of illness.

Side Note: Speak to your physician before taking ginger and aspirin together. Both have blood thinning qualities, so be on the safe side and have the conversation.

Help Your Lymphatic System ~ The main job of your lymphatic system is to rid the body of toxins. There are two ways that I know of currently that work with our system and not against it.

Don’t be a Couch Potato! Sitting too long is detrimental. You may have heard the phrase; “Sitting is the new Smoking”. Why is that? Because our body needs to move for toxins to be eliminated from us in order to stay healthy. The very movement that your ankle makes when you walk helps pump your lymphatic system. When my children were small and got a cold or sinus infection, I would encourage them to walk, run, hop and jump. Instead of racing to the pharmacy for antibiotics, we got on the mini-trampoline and jumped for 20 minutes! This saved us a lot of time and money through the years. The jumping would unclog their sinuses and increase their endorphins because of the exercise. It was also a wonderful mood elevator! So, instead of sitting at the computer for hours on end, or watching the news and getting depressed, dance, jump, or Zumba your way down the hall!

Benefits of Massage ~ One of the people I miss most right now is my masseuse! One way to participate in self-care is by warming sesame oil and giving yourself a massage.  Now I will warn you, it’s best to use an organic sesame oil because the aroma is not as strong. Otherwise, you will find yourself desperate for Chinese food ~ ask me how I know this… So, heat some water, put it in a coffee cup or pan and place the whole bottle of oil in the hot water with the lid off. This will warm the oil to a nice temperature and won’t be too hot.

Start with your face and take the time to massage the forehead, temples, cheeks etc. Some people also massage the warm oil into their scalp. This will help to eliminate dry patches or itchy issues. You may discover that some dry spots or blemishes on the face will also disappear after you do this a few times.  When massaging the oil on your arms and legs take your time with long stokes. When you get to the knees and joints use a circular motion. This technique will also help with any joint pain you may be experiencing. When the stomach area is massaged with this warm oil, it will also help eliminate sugar cravings. When you have completed the full body massage, get in the shower and wash it all off. You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel afterwards! This mode of self-care is also stimulating your lymphatic system and helps to eliminate any toxins that have taken up residency in your body.

Sheltering in place doesn’t have to be a time of binge-watching movies, it can also be a time of reflection. There may be segments of imbalance that we have been living with for a long time. Perhaps this is our chance to re-evaluate the health of our physical and emotional states. Maybe, just maybe… we are on pause for a purpose and the universe is giving us a second chance to make this right.