As more and more of us go into self-isolation, keeping sane and boosting your immunity are key. We self isolate to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean you can't boost the immune system and have some fun while you're at it. These three things are free and can be done anywhere.
We know we need sleep, but in times of stress our bodies require even more. Sleep helps regulate your immune system, and not getting enough of it decreases the amount of antibodies our body produces. Antibodies help fight infections by binding to foreign substances that may invade the body, such as pathogens. Studies have shown that chronic sleep loss can cause immunodeficiency, so make yourself a chamomile tea, wind down at night and try to get a full eight hours. If you're having trouble sleeping be sure to limit your exposure to blue lights before bed, have a hot shower or read a book.
Yes - dancing can help your body fight off infection. When we dance our body produces cytokines and increases blood flow. Cytokines are small proteins that are released by the immune system. They work by mediating and regulating the immune system. Plus dancing is super fun. Turn off the lights, put on some disco and dance like nobody's watching (because they're probably not). If you’re alone, FaceTime a friend and have a virtual dance party!
Laughing reduces stress and increases the production of natural killer cells. NK cells are white blood cells, or 'lymphocytes', that belong to our innate immune system. They work by rejecting virally infected cells, so consider these guys your virus fighters. Helping them out by laughing is a breeze. If you're struggling to find the humour, refer to the step above, FaceTime a friend whilst dancing or jump on TikTok and do as Gen Z does. The laughs will come - trust me.
In all seriousness, COVID-19 is significant and self-isolation is key. Stay informed with your health department's latest recommendations and help out those in need wherever possible.
Chloe Wilkinson is a clinical naturopath specialising in all things skin. Sign up to her online Skin School Masterclass here (launching soon).