Yes, it's been a crazy four months. Many of us are mentally overworked from the uncertainty that lies ahead. As a school counselor, mother of a high-risk child and two ready-to-return-to-school children (one being a male teenager), and wife of a high-risk person, I have attempted to think of every scenario and map out the best response plan for each. All of that ends today, where I have laid those worrisome thoughts to rest and opted to think of what I can do TODAY that is in the best interest of my family and others in my community and neighborhood.
1. I can #MaskUp everywhere I go:
Yes, even when I'm going for my early-morning walks downtown or at the local track. While I definitely wear a mask in stores, I sometimes lax on it while at work or outdoors. So from here on out, I vow to #MaskUp for my 8 year-old daughter (who is immunocompromised), my husband, my elderly neighbors, for veterans, and to help our country-now that's real patriotism!
2. I can practice physical distancing everywhere I go.
I know it's hard to turn down invites where social distancing can be compromised because we are all dying for human interaction and togetherness that we took for granted, but the state of our country needs us right now and its the least we can do for those who have fought for it and those who are too weak to fight off this virus.
3. I can choose not to engage in negative conversations (i.e. politics, Covid-19, complaining ) that can negatively affect my immune system.
There are many studies conducted that conclude that negative emotions and stress weaken our immune system responses, thus rendering it less effective in fighting off pathogens. A group of researchers conducted a study on the body's response to the flu vaccine in the presence of the stress hormone, cortisol. They tested the stress levels of 83 seemingly-healthy male subjects and surveyed how stressed or overwhelmed they felt on the days they received a specific vaccine. They concluded that on days where they answered feeling stressed or overwhelmed and had higher levels of cortisol in their blood, their bodies had high inflammatory responses and less antibodies were present (G. Miller, S. Cohen, S. Pressman, B. Rabin, & J. Treanor, 2004).
We all have at least one person whom we feel is worthy of us adhering to mitigating measures that have been advised across all 50 states. For many, that person is ourselves and for others it may be that elderly neighbor, our elderly family member, a local company awaiting our compliance to fully re-open and regain financial business flow, etc. When we #MaskUp in solidarity, we become active soldiers fighting the war against something that has the ability to bring our country to its knees. I know why I #MaskUp. Who do you #MaskUp for?
Miller, G. E., Cohen, S., Pressman, S., Barkin, A., Rabin, B. S., & Treanor, J. J. (2004). Psychological stress and antibody response to influenza vaccination: when is the critical period for stress, and how does it get inside the body?. Psychosomatic medicine, 66(2), 215–223. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.psy.0000116718.54414.9e
I love all things creative and writing thought-provoking posts. I began documenting #MyEarlyMorningThoughts about two years ago and have since received many requests to begin blogging and to continue posting about everyday life, growth, maturity, and SPIRITUAL concepts. Don't be shy, feel free to comment your life experiences and wisdom on any post.