Coronavirus: Why managing stress is very critical preventive measure right now
Over the past few days, many have reached out to me on dealing with fear, anxiety and panic that the coronavirus pandemic brings. Everywhere you turn today you hear or read about COVID-19, a new type of coronavirus that is causing chaos, many illnesses, deaths and crashing financial markets globally.
This situation has become so frightening, and we must all take precautions, as prescribed by the WHO and other medical institutions. Part of the precautions we need to take is MANAGING STRESS as a result of fear, anxiety, worry and panic, which is by far more dangerous in the long run for everyone than the coronavirus.
Please note that the current statistics reveal that only two per cent of the population that gets the virus may eventually fall seriously ill or die. This number in itself is very far from the number of people that generally fall ill and die every day for other non-coronavirus related reasons.
I’m not trying to downplay the pandemic but if we entertain panic, fear and anxiety, our bodies will switch to toxic stress mode which causes the blood vessels around the heart to constrict, and this means there will be less blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and 1400 neurophysiological responses will potentially make us more vulnerable to several other viruses.
Panic, fear and anxiety will cause the following:
A DHEA/cortisol ratio reversal, which means increased prolactin and ACTH, levels increase, which, in turn can compromise or shut down your immune system. This is the last thing you need right now!!
You begin to make irrational judgements and rash decisions as a result of several amygdala hijacks that will eventually put you in several cycles of flight and fight modes, which will eventually cause more, fear, panic and stress. This will also put you in a self-protection mode, which uses up all your body’s available energy, shuts down your body’s growth mode and eventually shuts down your immune system. This you also do not want.
Remaining in a constant state of flight and fight will instruct your brain to release over 1,400 neurotransmitters, two (Adrenaline and cortisol) of which have very severe effect on your body and brain.
Here are some effects of increased cortisol in the body:
1. Diminished immunity, which makes you vulnerable to wider range of diseases
2. Reduced glucose utilization which leads to diabetes and weight issues
3. Increase bone loss as a result of depletion of calcium, magnesium and potassium
4. Increased fat accumulation in the body
5. Impaired memory and brain cell destruction.
Stress, fear and panic can eventually affect your mental, emotional and physical health long term. All the negative news and statistics can also trigger a psychologically NOCEBO EFFECT (The opposite of the placebo effect): If you keep focusing on something negative the tendency is that it can come true. This can become a self-fulfilling prophesy for you.
Please don’t get into fear, worry, anxiety, panic and stress mode, stay positive by focusing on preventing the coronavirus and protecting yourself and your loved ones, which is the best you can do at this time.
Some Important Preventive Measures
– Trust that if you keep your immune system high your body will protect you
– Practice good hygiene: wash hands for at least 20 seconds, use sanitizer, and avoid large crowds.
– Drink water optimally – hydrate your system
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Put some distance between yourself and other people. At least 2 metres is recommended by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
– Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions consult more regularly with your health care provider for additional steps to protect yourself.
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your inner elbow when you cough or sneeze. Immediately dispose of used tissues.
– Frequently clean and disinfect touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
– Remember that the virus can live for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days—on surfaces, so just wash your hands with soap immediately you touch any surface or wear gloves when you touch public surfaces.
– Remember that the virus can survive on fabric, for 6-12 hours, wash immediately you take off your clothes. Normal laundry detergent will kill the virus.
– Eat healthy take food supplements and avoid processed and junk foods – keep your body strong. Use healthy foods to boost your immune system.
– Take vitamin C: Eat citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, kale, strawberries, kiwi, and guava
– Eat a lot of garlic and ginger.
– Take probiotics – eat yogurt.
– Take herbs such as ginseng, myrrh and turmeric.
– Get your Vitamin D- Eat Foods rich in vitamin D like wild salmon and mushrooms. Get the early morning sunrays
– Eat a lot of raw honey – This is an antioxidant
MOST IMPORTANTLY, MAINTAIN A POSITIVE MINDSET
Note that in countries with high numbers of people infected, not everyone was infected. Look at the ratios of infected to non-infected people. Why can’t you fall into the population of the non-infected? Take all the precautions stated above and by God’s grace and mercy, we will all be okay.
Will the COVID-19 recede in warm weather, as flu viruses often do? According to preliminary study by Chinese researchers, this could be true. Good news, we have warm weather all the time so Nigeria may be too hot for coronavirus to thrive and spread like it has done in other countries. However, please follow all the necessary preventive measures seriously and practice social distancing.
Go to Instagram and search for all my posts on the campaign #BoostYourDoseofDOSE and follow all the exercises recommended to build up your physical, mental and emotional immunity.