It’s been a tough year of lockdowns and lonely weekends, but social distancing takes a toll on more than your social life. Did you know that the stress and anxiety caused by isolating can affect your immune system? Stress lowers your immune system’s power to fight germs, and loneliness has been found to suppress the body’s antiviral response [1, 2].
After a year of social distancing, your body may be in need of a boost of immune-empowering nutrition. Here are a few ways to bring your immune system back up to speed while getting stress under control.
Meditation is a fantastic way to counter the immune-suppressing effects of lockdown stress. This ancient zen practice has been found to lower stress and anxiety levels and to increase feelings of satisfaction with your life—and it works whether you’ve spent a year locked down alone or in a house full of stir-crazy roommates .
Meditation has also been found to positively affect the immune system by reducing inflammation and increasing cellular immunity . And you don’t have to become a monk to experience the benefits of meditation. Meditating for just 10 minutes a day may reduce anxiety and help fight off disease .
Get More Vitamin C
Your mom probably tells you this tip every time you get the sniffles. And she’s right, of course! Vitamin C plays a huge role in keeping your immune system strong . But there are a few things you might not know about this super-powered vitamin.
Your body cannot produce or store vitamin C, so you need to make sure you’re getting enough of it every day . Even if you chug orange juice and devour greens, any excess vitamin C that your body doesn’t use will leave your system within a few hours.
To boost those C levels to the max each day, we recommended liposomal vitamin C. Liposomal supplements are much easier for your body to absorb, so you get loads of health benefits with each dose.* They also come in a liquid form that’s easy to sip or add to a drink.
Join a Club or Take a Course
Social distancing took away our social lives. You might not realize just how important those after-work beers and sunday brunches were to your health. Positive social interaction may actually keep your immune system healthy .
After a year of keeping at a distance, it’s time to put yourself out there again to reignite old friendships or to make new ones. It’s as easy as organizing a dinner with friends or coworkers.
However, if you’re still wary about meeting in public, you could join a club or take a course online. This is a great opportunity to make new friends with like-minded people, and the meetups are usually scheduled, so they’re easy to fit into your routine.
It can be difficult to open up to new people after so much time alone. But that’s ok! With a little practice, you’ll enjoy the immunity-strengthening and emotional benefits of sharing your life with others.
Working at home has some major benefits. Chilling in pajamas all day? Hell yes. On the other hand, working on your own time can seriously mess up your sleep schedule.
A recent study found that 70% of people working from home have had their sleep patterns disrupted . What starts with sleeping in becomes staying up late. And before you know it, you’re watching Netflix until 4 AM and waking up at 8:55 to make a 9 o’clock Zoom meeting.
A disrupted sleep cycle can make your circadian rhythm go haywire. And one of the primary functions of your body’s circadian clock is immune system regulation . Even if you manage to nab 6-7 hours of sleep here and there, your immune system can still suffer from a wonky body clock.
If social distancing measures have affected your sleep, try a natural sleep aid to get your sleep cycle back on track. A liposomal sleep supplement contains melatonin and other natural ingredients to help you sleep better. And it’s easy to mix into a cup of chamomile.
Keep Your Diet Fresh
When you stay home every day, it’s easy to fall into the same dietary patterns. Cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, meat and carbs for dinner… sound familiar? The food you eat might be healthy, but you can still become deficient in essential vitamins and minerals if you don’t have enough variation in your diet.
For example, essential nutrients for the immune system like Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B9 (folate) are not easy to get in a regular diet. Vitamin E is commonly found in certain nuts, and Vitamin K is present only in some greens and random spices.
Varying your diet is a fun way to try new dishes and get more of these nutrients. But if you don’t have the time or aren’t passionate about cooking, your best bet is to take a supplement for immunity. That way, you’ll get all the immunity-boosting nutrients you need without having to do the dishes.