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  • Rebuilding Resilience After 2020 and Keeping Your Immune System Healthy.

    31st August, 2021 | News
  • When news of COVID 19 swept the world, quickly escalating into a global pandemic, New Zealand and Australia enforced strict lockdown measures that changed life as we know it. Whilst economies, events and travel plans still experience the after-effects, individually the mental and emotional toll has taken also continues to be felt by many.

    For this reason, living through the enormous uncertainty of COVID 19 created collective trauma experienced by most across the planet this year.

    An event becomes traumatic when it overwhelms a person’s nervous system, stress resilience and coping mechanisms becoming too much for the mind and emotions to process.

  • How Have You Felt This Year?

    From a biochemical perspective, when the brain encounters trauma, it will activate the ‘fight or flight’ response (the sympathetic nervous system) as a way to try to process the event.

    The response is totally focused on resourcing to fight or flee from the threat, shuttling blood and energy to the heart, limbs, lungs and taking it away from the brain, digestive and reproductive organs. Therefore, our capacity to fight or flight mode to interpret complex emotions, language, thoughts and concepts is actually diminished.

    So, if you have had any moments this year of feeling stressed, anxious, unmotivated, overwhelmed, confused, scattered or forgetful, know that this is perfectly normal and expected under the circumstances.

    Beyond this our nervous system can enter another stage, called the “freeze” response, where it stops trying to fight or flee and instead tries to trick or confuse a threat by freezing in place.

    Emotionally this can present as feeling detached, numb, exhausted and/or disassociated. So, if you have felt any of these, this is normal, and is a result of your brain looking for a coping mechanism.

    If you have had any moments of feeling anxious, stressed unmotivated, overwhelmed, confused, scattered or forgetful, note this has been perfectly normal.

  • Returning to Baseline

    Once we perceive a threat or trauma has passed the nervous system works to cycle back through these stress responses and return to what's called our ‘rest and digest’ mode (the parasympathetic nervous system).

    This is where the brain is alert but relaxed and is allowing all normal and healthy promoting functions within our body to occur.

    It’s our aim therefore to help the body to return to this baseline, where it can begin to process the trauma effectively, build resilience and better cope with moving forward.

  • To start on this process, here are some recommendations to consider:

    Solidify the basics. Foundational wellness principles are of enormous benefit during these times, as they help keep the body energized and balanced. Focus on eating plenty of protein, and good fats to stabilize your blood sugar, lots of plant-based protein, fruit and vegetables.

    Keep your water intake up and drink herbal teas or green tea.

    Limit coffee and try to have plunger coffee. Load your freezer with soup. Set aside a day where you can prepare bases, either using vegetable peels with plenty of garlic, thyme and oregano, ginger and turmeric. Thyme and oregano are rich with antimicrobial compounds which can help your immune system.

    Strain and freeze your soup bases. Then when you need them, defrost, and add fresh vegetables. Your future self will thank you.

    Make sure you are getting at least seven hours of rejuvenating sleep per night.

    Move your body daily (in nature if possible)

    Utilize resilience -building supplements. Ongoing stress and/or trauma can cause negative changes to the structure and function parts of the brain, resulting in reduced resilience over time. Natural medicine such as magnesium, turmeric and saffron have been shown to combat these changes, helping to protect, and repair brain tissue and resilience.

    Create a mental health plan. Talk to Julia who will help you process trauma you have experienced and will provide you with tools to manage it.

    Feel your emotions. Allocate time to be purely present with whatever emotions you are feeling which can help enormously to process and let them go.
    Simply describe the feeling, texture or sensation of the emotion, without the mind having to interpret it.

    Create stillness. Quietening your mind and taking deep breaths during meditation calms and overwhelmed nervous system, helping you to return to baseline. Completing this outside in nature can also offer additional stress-reducing benefits.

  • Support your immune system by making sure that you take Vitamin D and meta zinc and Vitamin C powder.

    Make sure you have some family fun. e.g., a board game, or outside game with a ball or a walk-in nature with your family. Or a zoom quiz night with family and friends you have been unable to visit. I promise you it is loads of fun.

    Or start building a vegetable garden and propagate seeds for your garden.

    Press some garden flowers and make your Birthday and Christmas Cards with your children.

    Relax in a bath with oils.

    Your Rebuilding Resilience

    Seeking support at this time for your family and friends this is where I can create a specialized prescription using supplements, nutrition and lifestyle interventions that will assist your nervous system, protect your immune system and re-build resilience.

  • Looking Back to Look Forward

    2020 and 2021 certainly presented us with enormous challenges and still does. To some degree we all experienced trauma in response to this and your nervous system would have worked to process and understand this in its own way.

    Drawing on supportive tools and good nutrition you can begin to meet and process this trauma, helping your nervous system to return to baseline, and head in to 2022 feeling empowered and resilient.