Staying Happy and Healthy during the Covid-19 Pandemic
We are social humans who thrive off of social gatherings, even introverted individuals need fellowship and normal human interaction from time to time. In fact, dozens of studies have shown that people who have social support and connections from family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer!
Social connections such as family gatherings, getting together with friends and participating in positive community, religious and workplace activities, not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways just as beneficial as adequate sleep, a good diet and consistent physical exercise.
On the contrary, a lack of social ties is associated with depression, lack of motivation, later-life cognitive decline and an overall decline of happiness. Unfortunately, Americans are the unhappiest they’ve ever been in 50 years, according to the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted in late-May by NORC at the University of Chicago. Only 14% of respondents said they were very happy, down 31% from the same period in 2018. This is not okay! But, during a worldwide pandemic, how does one go about boosting their happiness?
Here is what experts recommend:
Connect with people in other ways.
Even if we are alone in quarantine, we must not deprive ourselves of social interaction. Now’s the time to take advantage of the many ways we can stay in contact with others through social media, video call, group messaging and other forms of technology we can use to virtually be with people we love. We also need to make sure that we do not forget those who may be older and/or who may not be aware or know how to use these ways of communication through technology.
Getting outside in our natural environments has been linked to better general health and less stress, says Dr. Allison Buskirk-Cohen, associate professor and chair of the psychology department at Delaware Valley University. Exposure to natural environments allows our brains to relax more. A simple walk around the neighborhood, time spent in the garden or a hike with a canine companion can do a lot in lowering stress and relaxing the overall body. So, try to get outside today for some fresh air; it may be just what you need to lift your spirits.
Improve Sleep Health
A good night’s rest is crucial to both physical and mental wellness. Since being at home more, we may have become more attached to our devices in order to not feel completely isolated. But, we must not forget about the effects of blue light. Sleep disorders specialist, Harneet Walia, MD, sheds some light on this subject. “Checking your phone stimulates the brain so we are more active and awake.” Research has found a correlation between suppressed levels of Melatonin and exposure to blue light. Dr. Walia recommends cutting off screen time 1 hour before bed. Though we are discussing the effects of phones, tablets and TVs can also emit blue light that can contribute to poor sleep. Checking your phone right before bed can lead to distracting emotions, thoughts and anxiety and can delay REM sleep, says Dr. Walia. So, instead of scrolling or binging, pick up a good book or sip a nice cup of decaffeinated tea to prepare your body for a good night sleep.
Some other beneficial ideas to improve happiness and health during these times are:
Learn something new
Listen to a good book or podcast
Create a healthy new recipe
We have all been affected by the Pandemic in one way or another. Some of us may have even lost loved ones during this difficult time. For this reason, we must take this time to become more aware of our physical, psychological, emotional and mental health and wellness as well as that of our loved ones and those around us. Let’s work together to help make a healthier and happier world.
Food Allergies and Sensitivities in Children and Adults
Food allergies and sensitivities are coming up more and more these days and people are constantly complaining of “gut issues” or “digestive problems”. It is estimated that up to 12 million Americans have food allergies or food sensitivities. A food sensitivity is an inflammatory response of the immune system to a food trigger or allergen.
A legitimate food allergy or sensitivity causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It can cause a range of symptoms in both children and adults. In some cases, an allergic reaction can be severe and possibly life-threatening. On the other hand, food sensitivity symptoms are generally more subtle and are often limited to digestive issues and water retention.
The single common feature and most clinically important component of all food-induced inflammatory reactions is that they ultimately cause mediator release from various white blood cells. Food sensitivities make a person feel sick because there is a release of chemicals called mediators (such as histamines, prostaglandins, cytokines etc) from white blood cells. The release of mediators is typically triggered by an immune response (IgA, IgG, IgM, Complement).
What happens if you keep eating food that your body is allergic or sensitive to?
Over time, consuming something that your body is not happy with can damage the lining of your small intestine and can keep you from absorbing the right nutrients your body needs. As a result of this, most people suffer from digestive problems, inflammation, major fatigue, brain fog, blurred vision and ultimately a major decline in overall health.
Your Health Co supplies patients with food allergy and sensitivity testing to be able to pinpoint the allergens and educate people so that they may start healing their bodies from the inside out. Your Health Co. uses a testing method called MRTIII. Because MRTIII is able to identify more relevant inflammatory reactions than any other test or method, therapeutic outcomes are maximized with its use. “The MRTIII test, along with Oxford’s patented “Ribbon” method, is the only instrument capable of measuring the subtle volumetric effects of antigen challenge on individual white cell populations simultaneously (lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes, neutrophils).” –Oxford Biomedical Technologies
“The benefit of doing food sensitivity testing is you find out what is actually causing the inflammation. Sensitivities make your body retain fluid. For example, patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis hold fluid in their joints and addressing the food sensitivity alleviates excess fluid retention in the body and in turn may help lessen arthritis symptoms.” Says Global Wellness Expert and CEO of Your Health Pro.