The Grateful Exercise
Whenever I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed I do the grateful exercise. It really truly lifts my mood so I thought I would share.
Here are the things I am grateful for during these unprecedented times:
I am grateful I live in Canada which is taking the threat of the Coronavirus seriously and imposing strict regulations to stop its spread. I truly believe because of this we will conquer this threat and create the plank the Health Minister is talking about.
I am grateful that most Canadians are adhering to the rules of social distancing and staying home.
I am grateful for those who have had to go to work on the front lines exposing themselves to possibly catching the virus. This includes medical and hospital staff but also those that are keeping our grocery store shelves stocked and serving us at the check out.
I am grateful for my friends, family and clients and the long conversations in which we are indulging.
I am grateful to social media, Facebook messenger and skype that allow us to communicate with those we love who are not close by.
I am grateful for the “love you’s” at the end of those above conversations.
I am grateful for the musicians, entertainers, comedians, etc. who are putting out free concerts and amusing us with their funny posts.
I am grateful that we can still go out for a walk without being arrested.
I am grateful for employers who are sending their staff home and paying them as they realize that people need to pay the bills.
I am grateful for the generosity and kindness of all those who are looking out for their neighbours, friends and those who are in need. For example, those that rely on food banks.
I am grateful for the free cable channels that Cogeco provided to keep us entertained.
I am grateful for news that keeps us informed of what is going on but also that I can easily turn it off and distance myself from the bad news.
I am grateful that I know how to cook healthy vegetable packed foods that will keep us healthy and strong.
I am grateful that I have a safe place to live.
I am grateful for all the practices I have learned over the years that keep me sane and grounded. These would be affirmations, yoga, meditation, pranayama (breathwork), mantras, and mostly, savasana (relaxation).
I am grateful that even though the world is going through a crazy time I still feel optimistic about the future.
I am grateful that out of this isolation the planet has begun to heal itself. So amazing that it didn't take long for the rivers in Venice to become clear and fish to appear that hadn’t been seen for years.
I am grateful that there are people who will miss me during this exile.
I am grateful for the sun today.
I am grateful for the emails that are not selling something but just trying to help people. I realize we all need to make money but during these uncertain times do we need to be selling 24/7?.
I am grateful for changes that this crisis will evoke in the spiritual consciousness of some of the people in the world.
I am grateful for love, kindness and compassion
I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from this collective experience.
Please add what you are grateful for in the comments section and please share if you found this post helpful. And remember that during this crazy, difficult time there is so much to be grateful for.
Building Love and Compassion
I first read the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman at least 10 years ago and thought it was one of the best relationship books I had ever read. I chose it for the first book in our self-help book selections because it is all about cultivating and showing love and compassion for others. The book is based on the premise that we all have our own way of expressing love. One person might feel loved when being complimented, another when giving gifts. Misunderstandings arise when our love languages aren't in sync.
Here are some revelations from the book that I would like to share with you:
Are you being inundated with news of the spreading corona virus and the warnings that we are heading for a worldwide pandemic?
Aside from washing our hands what else can we do to protect ourselves?
The answer is to create a strong immune system. Here are some ways to boost our bodies natural ability to fight disease.
1.Wash your hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizers kill good and bad germs. The “all germs are bad” hypothesis leads to a weakened immune system. We need live bacteria for a healthy gut microbiome which determines the strength of our immune system. Our ancestors ate dirt on their veggies and didn't use strong chemicals to sterilize their environments. A new study compared a small town in Norway with a high incident of asthma, viruses and colds to one in Russia whose populations were unusually healthy. These towns were close to each other and similar in many ways. Results of the study determined that the Norway town members kept all their doors and windows closed and lived in a sterile environment. Bleaches and harsh chemicals were used to achieve cleanliness. They were not exposed to any live organisms and their health suffered. There are also studies that indicate that families with dogs have stronger immune systems because dogs bring in all kinds of bacteria from the outside. I am not saying to never clean but water with a little essential oil is a totally fine way to clean.
2. Keep moving – moving stimulates our lymphatic system. In fact, it is the only way to get the lymph moving as it doesn’t have its own pump system like the heart. Moving reduces stress in the body and lowers cortisol levels. Movement also helps with weight management and inflammation. Yoga and mind/body modalities are especially important.
3. Practise good sleep hygiene - go to bed before 10 p.m., try to go to bed at the same time each night, stay away from stimulating substances such as caffeine, alcohol and screen time, and wear a night mask or sleep in total darkness.
4. Avoid sugar, avoid sugar, avoid sugar! There is nothing that negatively affects our immune system more than white sugar. Stay away! If you need to use a sweetener choose honey which has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is full of antioxidants.
5. Eat a clean, healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds and organic meat. Stay away from processed and chemical laden foods. Toxins kill those good bacteria, destroying our gut health and causing a weakened immune system.
6. Increase your consumption of vitamin C through food but also through supplementation. Especially if you are feeling symptomatic then begin taking 1000 mg of C every hour or to bowel tolerance. 7.
7. Make sure you are taking enough Vitamin D3. Deficiencies are rampant in North America and studies show a correlation between low D and cancer, immune diseases, and mental health. Get tested and then make sure you are taking enough to be at the top end of the range.
8. Other supplements that boost immunity are Vitamin A, and E. If you are dealing with high levels of stress the B vitamins are important.
9. Look also at the adaptogen herbs such as ashwaganda, astragulus and tulsi or holy basil. They help with stress as well as being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and are readily available at your local health food store.
10. There are other anti-virals that work such as oil of oregano, ginger, propolis, garlic, eucalyptus and peppermint oil, bone broth, coconut oil and echinacea. There are many good remedies with a combination of these factors in them you could try.
Last tip: gargle with salt water, or apple cider vinegar diluted in some water at the onset of a cold.
Susanne Jakubowski is a holistic nutritionist, yoga teacher, Thai Yoga Therapist, and cancer survivor.