During this uncertain time, it can be easy for your health and well-being to take a back seat while your stress increases and takes a toll on your mental and physical health. Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure, increase cholesterol levels and more. Our Lake Health Integrative Medicine team recommends these natural therapies for wellness and stress relief:
Get enough sleep and rest
Increased quality and length of sleep cycles can improve immune function. Lack of sleep, all-nighters and poor sleep quality may increase susceptibility to viral illnesses like colds and the flu. Consistent sleep and wake times can improve sleep habits. There are many apps that can help track sleep as well. Some people may also benefit from melatonin or diffused lavender essential oil to help promote sleep.
Manage stress and find ways to take care of yourself
Chronic stress can lead to lowered immune function through increased release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause a shift in the immune system to reduce overall effectiveness and limit formation of helpful immune cells and receptors. Reducing overall stress, along with increasing exercise, eating well and sleeping well, can strengthen your immune defenses.
Exercise can help boost immune function and reduce inflammatory molecules in the body. Exercising daily can also improve long-term immune function. Aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week including walking, running, biking or other aerobic activity. View exercise success tips from AHA.
Exposure to green spaces and the outdoors can enhance immune function. Consider it a free “multivitamin” for the body. Outdoor time can improve the low-stress “rest and digest” state which helps overall health. Combined with exercise and increased vitamin D levels from the sun, outdoor time is critical for mental and physical health.
Meditate and start practicing yoga
Meditation and yoga may have the ability to improve immune function by enhancing certain immune cells and hormones. Mediation and yoga can also help reduce overall stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep and have many other benefits. In times of social distancing, meditation and yoga are great ways to connect with yourself while strengthening your mind, body and spirit. Learn how meditation boosts health and well-being from AHA.
Learn a new hobby
Engaging in a favorite hobby or even learning a new one can help combat stress. There are many hobbies that have some research to support their stress-relieving abilities including gardening, playing music, writing/journaling, art, cooking and more. Today is a good day to revive favorite hobbies and activities.
Our Integrative Medicine services blend modern medicine with evidence-based therapies that address your body, mind and spirit. Call our wellness coach, Lydia Skiljan, at 440-701-7537 to find out how the Integrative Medicine team at the Brunner Sanden Deitrick Wellness Campus can help you better manage your stress!