With COVID-19 still running rampant across the globe, now is definitely not the time to be neglecting your health or your immune system. If you are displaying signs of weakened immune response, such as frequent colds, high stress levels, issues with digestion, fatigue, and slow-healing wounds, you may be wondering why this has happened in the first place – and how to fix it. Here’s what you need to know.
You’re not washing your hands often enough
As everyone knows by now, regular handwashing is an essential strategy for preventing the spread of COVID and many other viruses and bacteria. The question is, how often are you actually washing or sanitizing your hands? Along with washing them upon returning from a trip outside of the house, you should also be doing so after playing with your pets, handling money, and coughing or sneezing. If you aren’t, your immune system is certain to suffer for it.
You’re not getting enough exercise
Spending too much time sitting has been linked to a higher risk of developing a variety of different diseases, including diabetes and cancer. If you are forced to work behind a desk as a part of your job, do your best to get in at least 30 minutes’ worth of moderate exercise every single day. Better yet, invest in a standing desk and reap the benefits while you work.
You’re not taking enough time to relax
Too much stress isn’t good for any part of your mind or body – your immune system included. Did you know that stress encourages a spike in the body’s cortisol levels? Cortisol can damage the cells necessary for fighting infection, leaving you vulnerable to a host of illnesses. Finding ways to relax and de-stress are, therefore, essential to maintaining your health and general wellbeing. A great idea is to take a relaxing bubble bath or shower with a few drops of essential oils for immune system health mixed into the water.
You’re drinking too much alcohol
It’s true – alcohol impairs the functioning of a person’s immune system. This is because, similarly to stress, it damages and slows down the cells that play a crucial role in warding off infection. It is also known to kill off the healthy bacteria that exists naturally in the gut.
Due to the fact that your body focuses on breaking down the alcohol in your system, it is distracted from everything else that may be going on, allowing bacteria and viruses to sneak their way in much easier than if there was no alcohol present in a person’s system.
Your mental health isn’t what it should be
Ever since the pandemic made its presence known and social distancing became the norm, more and more people have reported suffering from anxiety and depression. The reality is that mental health has a direct and drastic impact on your physical health. There are various studies that demonstrate how feelings of loneliness can trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response in the brain and negatively affect immune system functioning as a result.
If you are trying your best to social distance but to the detriment of your mental and physical wellbeing, now may be the time to consider getting a pet to alleviate the problem.
Now that you know why your immune response isn’t at its best, you can make changes and improvements to strengthen it. Here’s to healthier, happier living!