What we lost since the pandemic & what to do about it according to Chinese Medicine
A Sense of certainty & routine: The majority of Americans function through routine and knowing which tasks to accomplish on which days. There is a distinction between work & rest divided by the week and the week END. You have heard “these uncertain times” on a daily basis. The idea that life itself feels uncertain and others around you continually repeating the word only reiterates the idea in your mind. Uncertainty in Chinese medicine creates HEAT or in western terminology “inflammation” in the brain and cortisol levels tend to increase. Lack of structure and sense of control creates a lot of stress on the mind and body. Ideas to decrease heat in the body and give you peace of mind according to Chinese Medicine:
1. Pick a constant. Whether it is an educational class on Monday nights, meditating, exercising, or simply making your bed – choose one tasks to do daily at a specific time. This gives a sense of control and establishes a daily constant.
2. Increase Anti-Inflammatory foods. Due to the stress of staying at home it is easier to overeat, might as well eat foods with benefits. Anti-inflammatory foods: Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, anchovies, sea bass, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, avocados, green tea, olive oil, dark chocolate, and cherries. Additionally, increasing fibrous foods helps bind some of the heat in the body and drains it out through the colon. Cooling foods in Chinese medicine include:
cucumbers, watermelon, apples, asparagus, cabbage, melons, avocado – all of which cool the body and aid in heat-clearing.
3. Indulge in the great outdoors. Whether its biking, walking, or sitting outside there is a multitude of benefits for getting fresh air & sunlight. Not to mention, your brain gets acclimated to a new place that is outside of the house.
4. Communicating with family & friends – staying connected helps decrease stress & provides a break from all the scary reports on COVID and unnecessary scare tactics on television. Do not watch the news all day long, it will only play into your fears and anxieties.
5. Journal. Now more than ever there is a loss of expression and movement. If an actor cannot go to work, they lose a sense of expression, since acting is their main form. That goes for any profession. There is a large sense of grief and sadness. This pandemic is nearing the end & we will all make it out onto the other side. However, journaling can be a very therapeutic outlet for those who lost a sense of creation & expression. Additionally, releasing stress this way is helpful to the brain and clears the built-up heat. Journaling is great support when there is such a sadness in the air for all that we have lost during this time.
There is much more we have lost & gained during this unprecedented time. The good news is we will make it out onto the other side. Consider local businesses & the support of others when we are free from this lockdown. There will be a transition period of feeling “normal” again in daily life but this won’t be forever and emotionally we as humans will make it through.
We have lost, but additionally we can use these tools as we transition back into society — as the effects of this time period linger on. We will get through it.