Because Ben is still seeing patients in his office, we have taken precautions and distanced from our closest family and friends. But as we rounded week 8 with limited social interactions (you can only stand outside so long before someone needs a snack or needs to use the restroom), we noticed a steady decline in our sanity.
We anticipated a small semblance of normalcy returning with the anticipated May 15 changes to the stay-at-home orders, but instead read the headline May 14 that we can expect the stay-at-home order to continue through August.
Social interactions are important for our mental health, for continued peace and cooperation in our homes.
Safely social distance with friends and family
I recently listened to Brene Brown’s podcast where she had Dr. Marc Bracket,the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. And what struck me most as I listened and contemplated how we’re being asked to hole-up in our homes without our social and family networks, is that we are social beings. We are designed to work as a village in support of one another. Dr. Bracket shared his clinical experience with patients coming into the hospital with no support system and dying alone, while patients with the same conditions, but had their support system, survived.
And social media, while useful in some respects, can lead to feelings of more social exclusion.
So wear a mask, practice safe social distancing, and improve your immune response by seeing your friends and family outdoors.
Get out in nature.
Speaking of outdoors, get outside!
The Dutch are studying the effects of phytoncides, antibacterial and antimicrobial substances that trees and other plants release into the air to help them fight diseases and harmful organisms. When we breathe these substances in, our health improves. These phytoncides have been shown to boost immune function, increase anti-cancer protein production, reduce stress hormones, improve mood, and help people relax.
So get out in Nature and breathe all those phytoncides in (and preferably without a mask, so long as it’s safe)!
And if you want to read more about the benefits of the microorganisms that live in and around our bodies and the benefits our bodies reap from the microbiota in and around our environments, you can read more here.
In Part 4 we’ll talk about our diet and exercise and their role in boosting our immunity.
In Good Health,
Dr. Ben and Allyson
Ben and Allyson are parents, practitioners of wellness and mindfulness, fitness aficionados, and foodies.
And together Ben and Allyson are revolutionizing wellness through Our New Life Revolution, teaching others to take back their life and their health!