I felt inspired to write this after seeing a negative news article about how it may take ‘many months to recover from a virus’. I believe there’s nothing more damaging to our immune health and physical recovery than reading this kind of headline. Often, our conscious minds reads this type of information and it quickly becomes our subconscious truth which means that we believe it and it becomes our reality.
So I want to bring some positivity and encouragement to anyone who may be reading this and doubting their ability to get themselves back to full health after a viral infection.
Getting out of the way
When we’re in balance we thrive, we’re full of energy, sleep wonderfully, feel joyful and think clearly. When we’re out of balance, whether it’s from an illness, poor eating habits, emotional trauma, stress or physical injury, our bodies are constantly working hard to bring us back to full health. Behind the scenes, and under the surface of the skin, there’s so many processes happening that have one goal in mind, getting us back to balance and creating homeostasis.
But quite often we need to get out of the way of our own healing and trust that the body is doing all it needs to do to get back to homeostasis. Just because you can’t see the healing process like you would with a wound, it doesn’t mean that your super smart interal systems (immune, endocrine and nervous) aren't doing exactly what they need to do. We also need patience. Ever heard the phrase “what you resist persists”? When we’ve been unwell and need time to heal we can become so impatient to rush back into our busy lives. Pause and consider why you’re resisting taking the much-needed time and the necessary steps to get back to full health.
The simple steps
Alongside trust and patience we can also follow some super simple steps to give ourselves an extra nudge in the healing direction. Aside from ensuring you have plenty of rest I've highlighted a few of those steps for you here:
I constantly bang on about this but I truly believe that the majority of us are chronically dehydrated. The body needs water, especially after an illness, to flush the lymphatic system and ensure effecient detoxification of dead cells from the body. So drink pure water, herbal teas, fresh juices to aid your recovery. Warm drinks are the most beneficial so that means herbal teas and fresh lemon, honey and ginger combinations. As an aisde, common symptoms of dehydration include; yawning, constipation, mild headaches, lethargy, low energy levels, dark-coloured urine and dry skin.
2) Feel good foods
When the body is concentrating on healing it doesn’t want to be overloaded with processed food and toxins. So it’s absolutely vital to eat a diet abundant in fresh vegetables and fruit for all their crucial mineral and vitamin content (and they’re also full of water so wonderfully hydrating). Processed sugar is your body’s worst enemy, especially when it’s trying to recover, it causes inflammation and slows everything down, so take it completely out until you’re back on your feet. This includes alcohol which is a huge inhibitor of the natural healing process in the body.
3) Let’s talk emotions
One of the biggest fears we have once we’ve been ill is worrying that it’s going to take us ages to recover. Fear dampens our immune response so let’s address those fears. Write them out, they look much less scary on paper, and really assess whether they’re true or not. Seeing as we can’t predict the future, how do you know it’s going to take you a long time to recover? Change your thoughts from “what if it takes me ages to get better?” to what if I’m back on my feet feeling better than ever in a few weeks?” Thinking positive is more than just happy clappy pseudoscience, the scientific community is heavily reasearching the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body, with incredible results.
4) Letting go of stress
Aside from fear, stress is also majorly damaging to our healing process. There’s no system, cell or crevice in the body that it doesn’t get its little claws into and disrupt. I know we all have a certain level of stress, especially in this ‘interesting’ year we’re having, but stress is something we have to be consciously aware of and act upon. I choose to manage my own stress on lots of different levels - I meditate and journal on an emotional level but l I also use the food I eat, herbal teas and juices I drink to sooth and de-stress my body on an internal level. Aromatherapy, epsom salt baths, yoga practice and plenty of sleep are also crucial practices I use on a physical level to de-stress.
5) Healing hands
Human touch is the cornerstone of our civilisation. The crisis of this year is that human touch has been taken away from us. Research has been shown that hugs with a loved one can be a huge immune booster. So don’t deprive yourself, grab friends, family, children, dogs and hug them tight. You’ll be doing wonders for yourself. Going further, I encourage you to book yourself in for a hands-on treatment, whether it’s a massage, a facial, a pedicure, something where someone is touching you with their hands and passing on that fundamental human healing energy, you’ll feel so good for it.
The last important thing I’ll leave you with is this - be kind to yourself. We can often be our own harshest critics, constantly berating ourselves and talking down to ourselves in a way we never would to someone else. Pay close attention to your internal dialogue, is it kind and caring or harsh and cruel?
From experience I know how damaging it can be when recovering from an illness to be impatient with myself, critical of how slow my body is working, irritable with my lack of ability to bounce back to normal. Let go of your fiercest critic, yourself, and you’ll feel that resistance melting away. Acknowledge that while you feel unwell now, you know it’s not lasting forever and you trust that your body is lovingly working hard to get you back to homeostasis. Every cell in your body loves and supports you, don’t forget that.