We like certainty. When things feel uncertain, it is normal to feel stressed. Part of protecting your health is being mindful - what are you thinking?

What Are You Thinking?

We like certainty. We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening and notice threats, and when things feel uncertain, it is normal to feel stressed. And while this reaction is there to protect us, it can cause havoc when there is a sense of uncertainty and conflicting information around us. What are you thinking?

Are you feeling some anxiety? Right now, many of us are worried about COVID-19. We may feel helpless about what will happen and uncomfortable with our apparent loss of control, and this uncertainty can remind us of times when we didn’t feel safe and the future was uncertain.

In times like these, our mental or emotional health can suffer without our realizing it’s happening. Take time to notice … what are you thinking? You might feel more on edge than usual, angry, or sad. Or you might find yourself feeling depressed and less motivated to carry out daily activities.

I want to encourage you that you are not helpless, despite what you are reading in current news. You can always choose your response. If you notice that you are struggling here are some things you can do to take care of mental and emotional health in the face of uncertainty:

Separate what IS in your control from what is not

Focus on what you can do. Wash your hands. Make sure you sleep. Check out other suggestions I shared earlier this month, and limit your consumption of news (it’s not encouraging positive thoughts, right?).

Do what helps YOU feel a sense of safety

This will be different of each of us, and I encourage you not to compare yourself to others. It’s okay if you feel safer when you limit your attendance at social events, provided you are isolating yourself out of concern for infection and not because of depression.

Get outside in nature!

Even better, take a walk in nature. There are numerous studies that have documented the benefits of being out in the sun where you can see the signs of spring and hear the birds and the wind in the trees. This one practice alone will boost your mental, emotional and physical health. If you didn’t read my suggestions for supporting your immune system, check it out here.

Challenge yourself to stay in the present

Do you find your worry is compounding – you are not only concerned about what is happening now, but also the “what ifs” in the future? When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently shift yourself back to the present. To do this, notice sights, sounds, tastes and sensory experiences in your environment and name them. This is called mindfulness, and coupled with deep breathing, it helps to reduce stress. Here are more approaches.

Stay connected with people and reach out for support

Talk to trusted friends or family members about what you are feeling. It’s okay to reach out to a mental health professional for support. You don’t have to be alone with your worry. It can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with someone trained to help.

Parents be aware that teens tend to feel emotions more intensely. If you have a teen who seems anxious about current events, read this article for some tips.

There may also be a physiological reason for your anxiety or depression. The microbiome (bacteria in your gut) is a key player in making the neurotransmitters that govern our feelings. When it is damaged by medications or eating foods to which your body reacts, your body will lack the neurotransmitters that it needs. Thankfully, the gut can heal and the microbiome can rebound, and I can help identify what is needed to support healing.

Life is full of uncertainty and change. It is important, as part of your overall wellness, that you take note of your emotional and mental health and mindfully take action to support yourself.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

Rather than get caught up in fear from all the reports of pandemic, you can be proactive and arm yourself for Coronavirus

Arm Yourself For Coronavirus

You cannot view any news media without coming across the latest development with the Coronavirus strain. It’s even being touted in political campaigns. What thoughts do these reports prompt? Disbelief? Concern? Fear?

How do you respond to the reports? Are you feeling that it couldn’t possibly be true, or letting your imagination run rampant and barring the door?

I’m not going to weigh into the debate about the accuracy of the reports we are hearing. Instead, I want to share some guidance on how you can support your immune system, because that is the aspect over which you have control in this crazy situation. I recommend you arm yourself against Coronavirus rather than succumb to fear.

Your Environment

Your can address risks in your environment by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, many times in the day
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces – doorknobs and light switches are often overlooked
  • Avoid touching your face – eyes, nose or mouth
  • Practice cough etiquette
  • If experiencing symptoms protect others by staying home or wearing a mask

Observation skills are key. Notice the environment around you and what you are feeling in your body.

Your Immune System

Your front line defense is your immune system. You often aren’t aware, but it is on the job every moment of every day. Your best defense in the face of daily threats is to support your immune system for effective function. Here are ways to boost your defenses:

Food – the goal is to keep the body alkalized

  • Skip foods/drinks with added sugar which depresses your immune system
  • Consume immune boosting foods – chicken broth, garlic and ginger
  • Eat lots of greens and non-starchy vegetables
  • Pass on the farm-raised fish in favor of wild caught
  • Skip the dairy products which raise acidity
  • Avoid refined carbs (flour-based foods)
  • Avoid alcohol which suppresses immunity

Supplements – because you can’t always get what you need from food

  • Supplement Vitamin C (1000mg or more), Vitamin D3 (5000IU), Magnesium (400mg)
  • Cod Liver Oil providing Vitamin A & Omega 3s
  • Elderberry Syrup which has been shown to block viral attachment in cells
  • Zinc Glycinate (30mg) to inhibit viral replication
  • Monolauren (600mg) to disrupt biofilms that disguise viruses from your immune system

Listening to the media can stir up fear, which also suppresses your immune system. Rather than wring your hands and wallow in “what ifs,” I encourage you to prepare yourself and your family and arm yourself for Coronavirus. Having a strong immune system is vital for wellness no matter what is threatening from across the ocean. The steps I have outlined above are not extreme, yet they can have significant impact.

And if you are one of the many in our population who suffers from acid reflux, I highly recommend you join my class. The effectiveness of your immune system is dependent on good digestion, and acid reflux is a sign that your digestion is weak if not broken. The good news is it can be fixed when you understand how it is supposed to work and provide the body with the building blocks to correct it.

Take a deep breath and evaluate your situation, then take the steps to prepare. You’ve got this!

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

 

 

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

 

Arm Yourself Against Illness

‘Tis the season – the flu season is being heralded all around us. Are you prepared? And how can you arm yourself against illness, be it flu or cold or other form?

Though there’s no guaranteed way to avoid getting sick, supporting your immune system is what I consider the best way (even ahead of vaccines). Here are 7 ways to arm your immune system:

Decrease Stress

Prioritize taking time daily to enjoy relaxing activities such as meditation or listening to music, which reduce physical perception of stress. When experiencing stress, your body releases hormones that can tax your immune system and raise your susceptibility.

Get Out In The Sun

The sun does more for you than raise your Vitamin D levels – it improves your circadian rhythm and lifts your spirits. So get outside, even in the cold. If getting sufficient levels of UVA rays from the sun is difficult in the winter where you live, explore getting a Vitamin D lamp or lightbox. These simulate noontime sunshine and can provide an alternate source of “sunshine.”

Exercise (Or Move) Regularly

Getting 30 minutes of physical activity daily will increase your blood circulation and can help strengthen your immune system. Movement helps antibodies and white blood cells move around the body faster so they may detect invaders sooner. Walking outside combines sun and exercise – win!

Eat Purposefully

No single food will fend off a cold or flu but certain nutrients can help protect your body from bacteria, viruses and other germs. Consider these foods:

  • Garlic and ginger – antiviral and antibiotic
  • Wild-caught salmon & cold-water fish – Omega3
  • Pumpkin seeds, grass-fed meat – Zinc
  • Brazil nuts, broccoli, sardines – Selenium
  • Bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, kale, citrus (fruit not juice) – Vitamin C
  • Reduce sugar which depresses the immune system for hours after consumption

Boost Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is crucial for healthy immune function and maintaining a positive mood in the winter. Therefore, have your blood vitamin D level tested and supplement it if your level is below 30 nanograms per milliliter.

Drink More Water

Hydration is key to whole-body health. Every system in your body needs adequate water to function properly. It’s not just liquids your body needs – water or herbal teas provide hydration.

Prioritize Restful Sleep

Clinical study has demonstrated that several days of partial sleep deprivation has significant detrimental effects on immune function. Adults should try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while those with a compromised immune system should get even more.

You can’t expect your immune system to function well if you don’t support it with the right building blocks. A vaccination won’t cover you if you are skimping in the other areas. Rather, it will initially depress your immune system.

So take a cue from the airline safety briefing and put your oxygen mask on first.

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

How to Boost Your Immune System Without A Vaccine

How to Boost Your Immune System Without A Vaccine

Let’s talk about how to boost your immune system without a vaccine and get you through the rough allergy and cold seasons.

Many of us look forward to the cooler temperatures and colors that appear in nature with fall’s arrival, but not so much the illness that often comes with the change in season. Have you struggled with allergies, asthma, sinus infections, a perpetual cold, or been laid low with the flu? That last one took me down for the first time last season and I don’t plan to let it sneak up on me again.

Read more

Got the Guts to Be Healthy?

We all know someone who is making an effort to improve their health. What steps are they taking? Exercising, not drinking sodas, and eating less processed foods are common first steps.

In my years of study and observation, I have come to the firm conclusion that health begins in the gut … and the flip side is equally true … that disease also begins in the gut. Read more

Why Ditch Your Sugar Habit?

Do you have a firm grasp on the amount of sugar you consume? Most people do not. It’s been said that the average person consumes more than 40 pounds of sugar in a calendar year, but I found more updated information indicating that the average amount is actually closer to 150 pounds — quite alarming, don’t you think?

When we think of sugar, sweet desserts such as cakes, donuts, candy, and cookies come to mind immediately. But there are tremendous amounts of sugar hiding in everyday things we consume, and when we consume them regularly, they add up fast. Read more

Give Me the Vitamin D-tails!

A “D” on your report card isn’t favorable, yet a good “D” level on your lab report is important. Wondering why? Vitamin D has been featured in many an article on health, but science has revealed more detail that I would like to share with you.

Let me start by clarifying that Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone. We call it a “vitamin” because it is not made in the body and must be provided from external sources. Most vitamins are taken in via food, but Vitamin D is created in conjunction with precursors of cholesterol in the skin with proper sun exposure. Given our reduced outdoor activity in winter and use of sunscreen, we are often deficient. Read more

Arm Yourself to Fight Illness!

We all know someone who has been sick in the past month – perhaps you, a family member, or a friend. The media is touting this as an especially bad flu season. What should you do to protect yourself?

Despite all the encouragement to get the flu shot, I do not recommend that as your primary strategy. The flu shot can actually hinder your immune system, as it comes with a nasty dose of mercury that is dangerous to your body. Read more

Arm Yourself Against Illness

We are approaching the Autumn Equinox and the signs of fall are all around. Yellow school buses roam the streets, leaves in some areas are turning colors, and signs advertising the flu shot are prominent.

Have you wondered whether the shot is the right choice for you? I believe you are wise to be an educated consumer and consider how you might boost your immune system to fight invading viruses without the negative effects of a vaccine. Read more