Relaxed woman breathing fresh air raising arms.

During these trying times our stress meter tends to tick up, but did you know increased stress levels will decrease your immune system? So what is one to do? Not only is it important to take care of our physical health (eat healthy, move your body, get rest and drink lots of water) but one must take care of their mental health.

So how do we take better care of our mental health during this pandemic?

1. Be sure all physical health is taken care of.

• Move your body

• Eat nutritious foods

• Take your vitamins

• Get quality sleep

2. Be informed but then get off the news, social media and emails that are constantly reminding you of the stressors around you.

3. Boost your mindset with positive articles, books, music and post readings.

4. Stay connected with those you love. During this pandemic, we are self-isolating and practicing social distancing, but picking up the phone to have a conversation is A-OK!

5. Get outside and get fresh air! Getting some real sunshine and fresh air will do wonders for your mental health — just adhere to the CDC’s recommended 6 feet of distancing.

6. Use the flip-it mindset. Every time you have a negative thought, flip it into a positive thought. Rewire your brain to shift into positive thoughts.

7. Get that online health coach, life coach or fitness trainer you have always wanted to connect with. Now is a great time to have professional support to help you focus on improving your overall well-being and stay safe inside your home.

When we are constantly in worry mode, our mindset triggers our stress hormones to rise. When our stress hormones rise, we switch into what is called “fight-or-flight” mode. When we shift gears into chronic stress mode, this causes inflammation in the body and the body can start damaging healthy cells, tissues and organs. This causes DNA damage and leaves scarring in the body. Chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation can lead to several diseases, leaving the body’s immune system weak and susceptible to illness.

Limit stress to improve your health — all from the comfort and safety of your own space. 

Anna Marie Frank is a brain health and wellness expert, author, lecturer and human-potential coach. The views expressed are her own.

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