Posted By Miriam Campos Root
Here we are once again, faced with a second round of disruption to our daily lives in this winter and holiday season with restrictions and ‘stay-at-home’ orders. Our resolve is undeniably being tested and challenged. Yet, the new year offers a perfect time for us to reflect on the past year experiences, and to learn and evaluate our values, purpose, and direction. The last thing I want to do is belabor on topic of health effects due to isolation, but a reminder, will only help us to keep our health and well-being on the forefront of our priorities. I will be brief and then expand on the positive things I saw happening this past year.
Unfortunately, I have read minimal information on mainstream media regarding the potential risks for prolonged isolation including increased risk of chronic disease, higher risk of mortality, lowered immune system, blood sugar level disruption, decreased cognitive health, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, mobility impairment, increased stress, poor quality sleep, and increased use of prescription and anti-depressant drugs. This is a long list of harmful effects, and can result in serious health impacts if not addressed. Building a strong immune system is key to the prevention of any and all these health conditions. Starting with a whole foods diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, and fermented foods. Conscious lifestyle practices are just as important as good nutrition. Getting enough physical exercise, managing stress, staying well hydrated, getting a restful night sleep, and reducing your toxic load can build strong resilience to fight off any virus.
Now, an important distinction to make between being ‘lonely’ which is a state of mind and ‘being alone’ which is a state of being. They are not the same. A person can be alone and not be lonely. A person becomes lonely because they feel abandoned, or feel a lack of connection, or feel sad due to isolation. So, achieving balance, fulfillment, and contentment in our lives during times of ‘isolation’, we need to find ways to reduce or prevent feelings of abandonment, sadness, and lack of connection. Fortunately, there are many ways to accomplish this. Knowledge is power; the more information you have and learn more about your health, the better prepared you will be to manage adversity and support your mental well-being. Read what you can about wellness topics that are pertinent to you and your health. Understand and acknowledge your feelings, and identify what you have control over. Engage in self-reducing stress therapies such as yoga, meditation, praying, body work, aromatherapy, energy therapy, journaling, and forest bathing. Reach out to your support systems, explore positive opportunities, and most important, take the time you need to reflect, plan and implement. Be patient and pace yourself and allow yourself space to adjust to the constant changing times.
I have seen many wonderful things during these extraordinary times; families are closer creating a stronger family unit, families are spending more time connecting with nature rather than electronic devices, families are more creative with home projects and in the kitchen, communities are uniting and reaching more to those who are in need, and more communities are voicing their stand on health, social, political, and environmental issues. The awareness level of our nation and world has grown considerably over the course of this last year.
Let’s make this new year a year full of positive change, enlightenment, higher consciousness, and love!
© 2018, Positively Whole