CORONA Virus and Trauma in YOU
By: PTSD Trauma Recovery
CORONA Virus and Trauma in YOU
Extent fear around the Corona virus is trauma from the past, showing up in our face.
Do you remember the time of uncertainty in your life? The time when you were walking on the eggshells around your abuser, not knowing if you will be ashamed, hurt or fall into isolation again or even survive? That was the time when your nervous system was detecting danger and tried to protect you by going into freeze, flight, fight or faint mode.
Maybe it wasn’t abuser but you faced a cancer, or you lost someone dear in your life or you went through very unpredictable and fear filled time in your life. Maybe you were facing obnoxious boss or a coworkers at work with a fear of what will day come or you were bullied in school. All suppressed, ignored, minimized, not talked to traumas in past are relived in a times like we are living today.
Corona virus – is a time of uncertainty. And your nervous system goes by default what remembers from the past. It goes into freeze, fight, flight – all states of fear. It tries to protect you to survive, and that’s why most of us trauma survivors can not regulate in a time of uncertainty. We are ready to hide, to jump, to act, to numb, to panic, to isolate, to plan and to control when we are sensing a similar threat. Different story, different scenario but threat is the same. It is a threat of the unknown. And unknown means we are going to be victimized and hurt again by someone or today by something – Corona Virus.
How to respond? – you can only do and focus on you now. It is not selfish. Just start with you. Thank your nervous system for protecting you when you feel fear and anxiety and say as you would to your child or a pet, gently:” thank you for protecting me. I am scared, yes, but I will not be ashamed, hurt or alone this time, and I will survive. We survived worse. Do you remember?”
Then make a plan for yourself. Trauma survivors needs to have some sense of control- period. Start eating more healthy to boost your immune system, detox from news, buy groceries or flu med if this will make you feel more secure. Full list is bellow – keep reading. Whatever you need to make your inner manager safe and in control. You need cash in your home because you think the bank will close, go and take some money from the bank if you will feel more relaxed or buy food or anything else you think you will have a control over- in moderation only. And then again remind your nervous system: “ You see, some things I can control now and you can relax. We are not in danger. The world survived through much worse, and we will be fine. We are survivors, and we build more resilience then millions of others maybe. We will be fine.”
Blessings and soul hugs from me. Ana Mael.
For more holistic approach how to deal with Corona virus right now, Mastin Kipp shared some great tips and I am sure this will make you feel a bit more in control.
OK – here we go…
1. You’re going to be ok
First things first… you are going to be okay. I know the news makes it seem really scary out there, but just know this… you are going to be okay.
2. Fear suppresses the immune system
You see, fear/stress and anxiety suppress the immune system. (reference here)
The more calm and emotionally regulated you can be, the better.
In Polyvagal Theory, we call this a “ventral vagal state”. When we are in that cam, centered, ventral vagal state, that is where health, growth and restoration are possible. (reference here)
The immune system is also strengthened when you are in a safe environment. (reference here)
So, the first two things I want to share with you is that it’s really important as we go through this coronavirus experience as an entire country and world, that your internal emotions are regulated and that your external environment is safe.
Try long exhales, the Headspace App or an online Kundalini Yoga class. You could also try the Muse headband, which I am loving.
3. Don’t watch a lot of news – it’s bad for your health
Try to limit how much news you watch.
Watching the news can have negative psychological effects including anxiety and stress. (reference here)
So, since we know that stress can suppress the immune system, try to limit how much news, etc you are watching right now.
Also, don’t believe everything you see on social media. Make sure to check in with your doctor about what’s real.
4. This is a good time to get a Functional Medicine doctor
This is a great time to find a Functional Medicine Doctor (make sure they are an MD or a DO) who can work with you to boost your immune system and other amazing stuff.
I recommend the Institute for Functional Medicine as a resource to find a practitioner.
You could ask your Functional Medicine doctor if getting some high dose Vitamin C IV could help, show them this article about it.
5. Don’t travel unless you have to
Right now, I’m hearing that in the United States, too many people have the coronavirus to stop it from spreading into the whole country. So, what this means is, we don’t want to travel for at least 3 weeks or so. (This can change day to day). This means, if you can, try to stay home and stay regulated.
Get enough food/water, etc to be inside for a couple weeks.
6. Practice Social Distancing
This isn’t the time to go to the movies, the gym the yoga center or that seminar. Right now, it’s time to NETFLIX AND CHILL 🙂 If you do go out, please make sure to keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others. Wear gloves and a mask. You can still go outside for a walk, etc… but keep social interaction to a minimum.
7. Create Virtual Spaces To Co-Regulate
Since we don’t want you in total isolation… now is the time to get togethter with friends and family virtually. On Facetime, Skype, Zoom, etc.
8. If you are a practitioner, have virtual sessions with clients
Yay for the Internet! Instead of having clients come in for therapy, coaching, etc… switch over to virtual sessions on Facetime, Zoom, Skype or phone calls.
9. Use this as a time to work on important goals you’ve procrastinated on
Have you been putting of business ideas, online content or course creation? Now is the time to get all that stuff done, especially if you are off from work/school or are working from now.
10. Coronavirus can live for up to 3 days
That’s right, if someone who has COVID-19 presses and elevator button or opens a door, the virus can live for up to three days, so be mindful of the surfaces you touch.
11. Wear gloves and a mask when you go outside
Because coronavirus can live for up to three days and can be passes through the air and through touch, make sure if you are out and about, to wear gloves and a mask.
12. Disinfect objects before they come into the house
Make sure you wipe down all surfaces of objects, mail, boxes, boxes, etc when they come in your house. Hydrogen peroxide can be used, or alcohol.
13. The elderly populate is most at risk
There are a lot of stubborn baby-boomers right now who think that traveling, etc is no big deal. If you know one, tell them this is important and not to travel and to stay home right now.
14. You may not have symptoms, but you might have the virus
This is why it’s so important not to travel or go too many places right now. You might not be sick, but you could be spreading the virus around.
15. Use Listerine to reduce the possibility of coronavirus getting to your lungs.
Believe it or not, Listerine can be a great preventative measure to kill coronavirus. Gargle 2x daily in the AM and before bed and don’t swallow the Listerine. (reference here)
16. Listen to the CDC as your #1 source of news/updates and what to do.
Click here for the situation summary from the CDC that is updated often.
It’s clear that the President and the News are getting some thing wrong about coronavirus, make sure to check-in with the CDC for the up to date, real deal information.
17. How to get a coronavirus test.
The CDC has updated information regularly on this page about how to get tested for coronavirus.
Finally – let’s talk about day-to-day habits and lifestyle choices you can make.
My friends at the Institute for Functional Medicine put together a very pragmatic article on how to take best care of yourself right now.
You can click here to read it, but I have also included it below.
18. IFM: Boosting Immunity: Functional Medicine Tips on Prevention & Immunity Boosting During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak
With the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease in the news, The Institute for Functional Medicine would like to remind you that there are several steps you can take to reduce your chances of being exposed to respiratory viruses and to boost your immunity in the event of exposure. The following information outlines what you can do to help keep yourself and your family safe.
Prevention Strategies in Alignment With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Hand washing: The most well-established way to prevent respiratory infections such as influenza and coronavirus is frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water. Scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizer: Handwashing with soap and water is the best way to reduce germs, but if they are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol can help to reduce the spread of infection. Note: avoid any products containing triclosan, a known hormone-disrupting chemical.
Covering your mouth and nose: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; if your hands are not free or you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your bare hands.
Not touching your face: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, which can help provide the virus with a route of entry into the body. Since the average individual touches their face an average of 15 times per hour, remain vigilant!
Keeping surfaces clean: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill. Surfaces to consider include doorknobs, phones, computer keyboards, remotes, and other surfaces that are frequently touched in rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen.
Stress reduction: Chronic stress can negatively alter immune system responses, making you more likely to get sick. Identify your personal stress reduction strategies and practice them regularly.
Sleep: Sleep has a big influence on immune function, so it is essential to get plenty of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and maintain consistent sleep hours—turn off screens, ensure the room is cool, quiet, and dark, and set a reminder to help yourself go to bed on time.
Exercise: Moderate, regular physical activity helps to boost immune system function by raising levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, increasing circulation, and decreasing stress hormones. Establish and follow an exercise program to not only help prevent respiratory infections but also to improve cognitive and physical resilience.
Nutritious foods/diet: Research indicates that brightly colored vegetables and fruits boost immunity better than most supplements. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables—aim for 10 servings per day. Include fermented vegetables or other probiotic-containing foods.
Natural Means of Boosting Immunity
Most over-the-counter medications only treat the symptoms of viral infections; most don’t actually help the immune system fight the infection. Although there is no research to determine what is effective specifically for coronavirus, the following are some natural modalities you can utilize to both address symptoms as well as boost your immune system if you do come down with an illness:
Self-care: When battling upper respiratory infections, top priorities are plentiful hydration and rest. Drink plenty of fluids; homemade vegetable or bone broths are also extremely beneficial. Various herbal teas/hot drinks can help with hydration and reducing symptoms; good choices include peppermint, ginger, eucalyptus, chamomile, and hot water with lemon, honey, and cinnamon.
Sore throats: Salt water gargles are excellent for loosening mucus and helping fend off bacterial throat infections. Hot teas and lozenges containing slippery elm are excellent demulcents (to relieve minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes) for soothing irritated sore throats. Two tablespoons of honey in hot water can also help to soothe and decrease throat inflammation and pain. Chamomile and peppermint teas are also helpful for soothing irritated sore throats, as are teas or infusions made from marshmallow root and licorice root, both of which can act as soothing demulcents.
Respiratory congestion & sinuses: For respiratory congestion, use a humidifier, vaporizers, or steam inhalers, or spend time in steamy baths or showers. Vaporizers and inhalers can also be used with decongestants or essential oils such as eucalyptus, menthol, peppermint, or frankincense. Nasal xylitol sprays are very beneficial, as is nasal irrigation using a neti pot or nasal irrigation bottle. Buffered saline is easy to make or can be purchased in packets and eliminates any irritation to delicate, irritated mucous membranes.
SUPPLEMENTS, NUTRIENTS, AND FOODS TO SUPPORT IMMUNE FUNCTION
There are several nutrients, plant-based botanicals, and supplements that can boost immune function and provide symptom relief during illness and may help to shorten the duration of illness. For preventing and treating viral upper respiratory infections, consider some of the following:
Vitamin C: Vitamin C may help to prevent infections, including those caused by bacteria and viruses. Regularly administered vitamin C has been shown to shorten the
duration of colds, and higher doses of vitamin C during an illness can also act as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is one of the most important and powerful nutrients for supporting the immune system. Numerous studies have shown that it helps reduce the risk of colds and flu. Unfortunately, a high percentage of the population is deficient, so daily supplementation (ideally in the form of vitamin D3) offers the best protection.
Vitamin A: For short-term use and particularly for those with moderate vitamin A deficiency, supplementation can be extremely helpful in supporting the body’s ability to fight infections, particularly with regard to respiratory infections.
Zinc: Zinc plays a significant role in boosting immunity. Often available as lozenges, zinc can help to reduce the frequency of infections as well as the duration and severity of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset.
Selenium: Selenium, a key nutrient for immune function, is also an antioxidant that helps boosts the body’s defenses against bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. It may particularly help to protect against certain strains of flu virus. Selenium is easily obtained from foods, with the richest source being Brazil nuts.
Honey: Honey, preferably raw, is a good demulcent (it relieves minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes), has antioxidant properties, and has some antimicrobial effects. It is helpful for coughs and sore throats and can be added to hot tea.
Elderberry extract/syrup: Elderberry can be helpful in reducing cold duration and severity. With regard to flu, it has been shown to help prevent infection with influenza viruses as well as demonstrating potent antiviral properties that can aid in reducing flu duration and symptoms. Caution in using elderberry may be needed in some people with autoimmune diseases, however, due to the way it stimulates the immune system.
Garlic: Garlic contains a variety of compounds that can influence immunity. Some studies have shown that both fresh garlic as well as aged garlic extract and some other garlic supplements may reduce viral upper respiratory infection severity as well as function in the prevention of infection with viruses that can cause colds.
Probiotics: Probiotics contain “good bacteria” that not only support the health of the gut but also influence immune system functioning and regulation. Studies have shown that probiotic use can decrease the number of respiratory infections, particularly in children.
Remember to get out there, take action and make it real!