Has the COVID-19 pandemic left you feeling anxious or vulnerable about your health? You’re not alone.

While there’s still a lot we don’t know about this coronavirus, what we do know is the condition of your immune system. How much underlying inflammation you have is among the biggest determinants of how you will respond to it and your odds of surviving it.

The simple truth is that strengthening your immune system and keeping it strong is your best strategy for weathering and surviving whatever comes your way.

Here are some simple wellness practices to support your immune system:

Be mindful of what goes into your mouth. Avoid processed foods, especially sugar and polyunsaturated seed and nut oils, foods contaminated with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. All these lead to inflammation. Instead, eat more nutrient-dense whole foods and healthier fats. 

Be mindful of what goes onto your skin. At least sixty percent of what you rub on it is absorbed into your bloodstream where it can’t easily exit. Over 10,000 chemical ingredients are used in personal care products, which can accumulate and create a chemical body burden. Stick to plant-based and natural skin care products made with herbs and essential oils. 

Be mindful of what’s in your physical environment. Your home can be a trove of toxins — everything from cleaning and laundry products to synthetic air fresheners to plastic off-gassing, flame retardants and chemicals used to finish carpets, mattresses, and upholstery. Stick to natural plant-based cleaning products, furniture made from natural and organic fibers, and where possible, avoid carpeting. 

Manage and lower your stress. Just five minutes of anger can suppress your immune system for up to five hours! Emotional stress that sticks around for weeks or months can seriously weaken your immune system.

It’s hard to live with the uncertainty that this pandemic has brought us, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn to accept what you can’t control and instead, focus on what you can. Practice letting go of attachments and being kinder, gentler and more compassionate with yourself and others.

By Donya Fahmy