It's Time for 'Business as Unusual'
As we approach the two-year anniversary of the pandemic shutdown—which represents a hard, fast identifiable symbol or turning point—it seems a good time to reflect on the changes, if any, that have occurred.
You may have raised an eyebrow or even laughed at the “if any” mention in the preceding paragraph regarding change. Ha, she must be kidding, you may have thought.
But I’m not. Things don’t change unless we do.
The “return to normal” or “business as usual” mentality has already been debunked as a hoax or, at the very least, an illusion. [Of course even that depends on your definition of “normal,” but for the purpose of this post, let’s say “normal” simply means what existed before, or what we previously accepted as the way things are or should be.]
If you think about it, in reality there was illness and social and political unrest prior to March 2020. In fact we were pretty much at the height of it. So to wax poetic about the way things were is kind of crazy at best and unimaginatively deluded at worst.
For me, if we look at the events of the first few months of 2020 and the resulting global shutdown, it was an inevitable wake-up call that things needed to change. Although historically global disasters and pandemics have occurred, our present-day technology makes this pandemic the first time everyone on the planet was aware that it was happening all over the world and could communicate with each other about it.
My interpretation of the reason of having everyone’s attention at the same time was the universe’s attempt to garner enthusiasm from us for the need to change, not to go backward and repeat the same steps that led to crisis.
It’s been said that the definition of insanity is to continue the same behavior and expect different results. I don’t think that is the definition of insanity at all, which truly is a physiological disorder. Barring true insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is better described as ignorance, in my opinion. Or perhaps, wishful thinking.
“They always say time changes things, but actually you have to change them yourself.” —Andy Warhol
There never was and never will be a time or situation that we can personally control. Our only control is over our own thoughts and behavior.
So given that we were all presented with the global pandemic as a universal catalyst for change, perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves:
· “How have I—not external circumstances—changed since March 2020?
· What am I doing to change how circumstances affect me?”
For example, in the beginning of the crisis, there was much attention being paid to developing immunity via natural means. With no medical treatment or prevention tools initially, mainstream populace suddenly became believers in vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter and home remedies. You couldn’t purchase Vitamins D or C…supplies were almost as non-existent as toilet paper. Elderberry syrup became a household staple. Suddenly diet and nutrition became a focal point for concern.
I don’t see much of that anymore. If I were to believe my social and media feeds are representative of mainstream opinion and action, it would appear that seeking to improve health and immunity via strengthening natural immunity has been largely abandoned. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I suspect it is.
I do know that I see NOTHING supporting good health habits as the foundation of building immunity from mainstream media or governmental agencies. Rather, focus on developing lifestyle habits that support good health and immunity are given lip service as supplemental to recommended “scientific” measures, as if our natural biology isn’t science.
So I’m curious, since I tend not to believe that what appears in the media (broadcast or social) is necessarily reflective of true conditions of society…
Did you make changes to your lifestyle and diet to improve and/or protect your health because of the pandemic? In what ways?
· Did you opt for fresh food over processed or packaged?
· Did you eat less/more animal protein?
· Did you exercise more/less/differently?
· Did you go for walks, run, or find ways to spend more time outdoors?
· How about sleep habits? Are you diligent about getting enough rest?
· Did you increase your daily water intake?
· Did you add/change your vitamin/supplement regime? Do you have one?
· How did your social habits change? Are you resuming activities you had stopped during lockdown?
· What measures have you taken to protect your mental health?
These are only a few possible changes you might have made, but please don’t limit your response to items on this list. I’d love to hear about all things people are doing for themselves.
You can simply reply to this email to respond. I mean it. I want to know.
Here’s what I’ve done:
· I already maintained a healthy diet. I’ve been mostly vegan for years. I eat at least one raw meal a day (main-course salad). I opt for whole, fresh, organic foods and products.
· Specifically for immunity, I start my day (at least 5 times a week) with what I call “Ginger Immun-i-Tea.” (Recipe at end of post.) I began this habit after the last time I was ill, which was December 2012. Someone came to my daughter’s wedding with the flu and many of us left with it. I was sick for two full weeks, feeling as if I’d been smacked on the head with a sledgehammer and run over by a Mack truck. I had a mean cough too, which nothing would remedy until I discovered Elderberry syrup at my local health food store. (I now keep a bottle on hand at all times.)
· I credit the Ginger Immun-i-tea for building my resistance (immunity) to colds, flu, and illness. When I have even a hint of congestion or scratchy throat, I add a dash or two of cayenne pepper to the tea, which boosts the ginger’s immune properties.
· I repeat. The last time I was sick was December 2012. I have not taken any flu vaccines ever. (This is not medical advice. Simply stating what worked for me.)
· I had a light-to-moderate exercise regime, mostly geared to weight-bearing exercise to increase bone density.
· Sleep and rest quality varied, with a lifelong pattern of frequent waking or not being able to fall asleep.
· Sporadic meditation habits.
· Took supplements daily: Vit C, Vit D, sometimes a multi, sometimes calcium.
· Minerals intake was provided via salad greens, nuts, and various powders added to smoothies.
· I limited my exposure to the “news.”
Post-March 2020 Changes
· Added zinc to my daily supplements. Increased Vit C intake to 1500mg/day and switched to liposomal Vit C. I added melatonin at night, one hour before bedtime.
· Increased emphasis on my stretching/yoga/Pilates exercises with more regular, longer sessions.
· Daily walks, even short ones, when weather permits. Last year I bought a membership at the North Carolina Arboretum and made use of the many beautiful trails and paths to encourage me to get out more often.
· Regular meditation practice.
· Extremely selective exposure to media and news.
· I do not have a television set. I stream programs on my iPad, some series for entertainment, but mostly documentaries or educational programs.
· Most recently, I purchased two Earthing™ mats, one for my mattress and one to keep underfoot at my desk or while seated in my armchair. I plan to do a post on Earthing, also known as grounding, in the future. Earthing can be done naturally simply by walking outside barefoot. Living in an apartment building in North Carolina limits my opportunities to do that; hence, the grounding mats. Since I’ve started using the mats regularly, my sleep has improved dramatically and my achiness upon waking has decreased significantly. Other improvements will be described in that future post.
I am not suggesting that anyone adopt my practices or change theirs if they don’t feel a desire to do so. I am interested in what my readers feel is truly working (or not) to maintain their health, build immunity, and resist disease.
It’s quite evident that the conditions that existed in the world pre-pandemic have not abated. Even with my limited exposure to media, an occasional glance at headlines convinces me that nothing has changed, nor has anything been done about the issues that haven’t changed. Much talk, little action.
But nothing tells me anything about things I want to know… if there are people who also are reflecting on the situation. Or what they are personally doing for their health and safety. Or if like me, they want to discuss and share ways of effecting real change—first in themselves and next in their homes, communities, and world.
So again I’m asking you to reply to me about your thoughts or actions on any of what’s mentioned here. Your responses will be kept confidential. I may contact you directly regarding your response, but none of your personal information will be published.
I hope you are enjoying good physical and mental health. For those who are interested, here’s the recipe for my personal immunity elixir:
1/2 inch of organic ginger, peeled and minced
As much organic lemon juice as you can stand (at least juice of a 1/4 lemon recommended)
Cayenne pepper, a pinch or shake (I sometimes use every day in winter, or whenever I feel a scratchy throat or possible congestion coming on)
Local honey, if desired, to taste
Pour boiling water over ginger in mug and cover loosely. Let steep 10-15 minutes or longer. Add juice of lemon after the water cools down, as heat will kill the enzymes. (I also put the squeezed lemon with rind in the cup, but it’s not necessary.)
Add cayenne, if using.
You can strain to remove ginger bits before adding rest of ingredients if the little bits of ginger bother you.
Note: You may want to start with smaller amounts of ginger and lemon and increase as you become accustomed to “the burn.” Honey is a big off-set initially and local honey is especially helpful for treating seasonal allergies.
A votre santé!
Image: Strolling on the Beach ©Gemignani. Purchase prints here.
Text ©Shelley Lieber
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