We are living in a bizarre time. Things have changed so drastically in a matter of a few days and the arrival of this new virus has forced us all to stop in our tracks.

It is a time of heightened emotions, fear and uncertainty. But it also begs each and every one of us an essential question. The question is: what is your priority?

Sit in silence

While we are all sitting in the confinements of our homes, we are trying to make this new reality work for us. For how long? Will things resume as before when it all ends? No one really knows…

Feeling trapped, insecure, lost, and desperate are all real and valid emotions, and going through them all might be an integrative part of our collective healing. There is no need to try and push these feelings aside. Instead, let us use this time to learn to welcome each feeling that presents itself to us. Let’s try and go through them without the need to label them as good or bad, pleasant or uncomfortable. Feelings are like waves, they ripple through our beings and if we just let them run their course freely, they will leave the body just as easily as they made themselves present in the beginning.

The gift of time

The world has stopped in its tracks. It’s as if someone has hit the “pause” button and everything is on hold.

We have been given a unique opportunity to use our time wisely. To reassess how we live our lives, our priorities, the everyday decisions we make and the habits we have created along the way. We have been given the chance to reawaken ourselves from our dream-like state of “go, go, go and do, do, do”.

For all those things that you wanted to do from home but never had the time for – now you have the chance to do them all. Will you do them?

Your home as a prison or as your sanctuary

It really is a matter of point of view. But that point of view can make such a difference of how you will experience this time. So choose it wisely.

Create a mindfulness practice around your home. Treat is as an extension of yourself, as it now will show you even more how you deal with yourself, and with your loved ones. The focus is on turning inwards.

Spring cleaning

It is the perfect time to cleanse your home from anything that does not bring you joy, to quote Marie Kondo. Clean your closet, the shelves and the dust that has been collecting over winter. Open the windows and let the fresh, brisk air fill your lungs. Let it move through the rooms and sweep up any lethargic, dull air trapped in your living space.

Go further and work on cleansing yourself too. Be mindful of what you feed your mind with. Stay on the current with what’s happening, but don’t overindulge in news or allow for fear and paranoia to take a hold of you. Prioritise your mental health. Be mindful of your emotional state. How we feel can influence our health as well. Stress has a direct impact on our immune system, so whenever you notice that you’re stressed, tune in. Do some gentle yoga, meditation or just go for a walk in the forest by yourself. Yes, it is important to practice social distancing at this time, but stay in touch with the people that bring you joy and laughter. Thankfully the internet can keep us all connected.

And finally, cleanse your body too. There is a lot of talk about boosting your immune system to fight off the virus, but remember that to fight disease better we need to have clean body and organs. So avoid snacking on processed foods, or consuming excessive amounts of sugar (in the forms of white pasta, bread and sweets), salt and alcohol. Focus on eating a variety of colourful whole foods, that are filled with nutrients.

Immune boosting or immune building

I also want to address a common misconception that I hear a lot these days.

There is a difference between immune boosting and immune building foods and supplements.

Immune builders are helping the immune system to function properly. They are generally safe and are also called immune supporters. They can improve the immune system of people that are deficient in these nutrients. Examples of immune builders include:
– probiotics
– protein
– zinc
– vitamins A, C, D and E as well as complex B vitamins
– selenium
– Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s

Immune boosters on the other hand don’t build new immune cells, but stimulate the existing system. These stimulants are NOT safe for everyone, especially not for people with autoimmune diseases. Examples of immune boosters include:
– echinacea
– astragalus
– beta-1, 3-d-glucan
– reishi
– cat’s claw and other immune boosting herbs and supplements

Rearranging our priorities

I am fully aware that this is a critical time for us collectively. And I also know the very real challenges this time will pose on many of us – on our health, financial security, and mental state. I am not trying to put on rose tinted glasses and pretend that nothing is wrong. But I also think that this offers us all an unprecedented opportunity to do the right things. To realise how connected we all are – as humans but also with everything else on this planet – and to start to act accordingly. And to plant those seeds of change first in our hearts and minds, then in our homes, and then slowly let their branches go through the windows of our houses and intertwine to make one big connected tree of life.

We are being given a chance to start again, and to change what is no longer working. Each and everyone of us is a part of this change, and everyone of us is making an impact.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

P.S.: As a way to connect further I am starting live cooking sessions on my Instagram account. If you’re interested in participating and cooking together with me and others, join me this Thursday, March 19th at 18:00h (CET) for my first live cooking session.

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