Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 – Top Tactics for Self-Help
Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 can help when there’s all the news of COVID-19 and restrictions changing daily. Along with social isolation, it seems like our life may be put on hold, as if we’re waiting for the next bit of news to shatter our reserve and shake our already depleted sense of well-being.
All the disruptions to our life may make us feel like we have no control over our lives, and the collective anxiety mounts as we try to make sense of where this might lead. The fatalism and anxiety spreads like wildfire the more we talk about it and watch news.
Yes, You DO Have Control
While we don’t have control over the virus spread and mandates, we DO have control over ourselves and how we respond to the daily changes. Besides what the CDC recommends to protect ourselves and our loved ones, there are MANY things we can do. Those who are working fewer hours or not at all especially can take advantage of this time to utilize tools to lower the anxiety and take back our sense of personal control and well-being.
Feeling better within ourselves is especially critical at this time, because chronic anxiety is stress, and chronic stress without some sort of healthy outlet and balance will compromise the immune system – just what none of us needs right now. Because chronic stress can affect all of our physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic systems, leading to fatigue, insomnia, headaches, digestive problems, and depression. This is where Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 come in.
How I Can Help You
While I can no longer teach in-person classes, I would still like to offer something for your benefit. So here I share a list that I’ve put together of helpful tactics to reduce anxiety and boost the immune system on several fronts. All are simple and doable by pretty much everyone.
I’ve also created a 50-minute Qigong sequence for you to practice at home, no special equipment, clothing, or prior experience needed. The exercises I’ve chosen are specific to reduce anxiety and improve the immune system. They are easy to do even for beginners, and can be done in a seated position if necessary. Plus, each exercise can be done individually. So if you don’t have time for the whole sequence, you can squeeze one exercise in somewhere in your day.
If you’re not familiar with Qigong, it’s an ancient Chinese practice, born out of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Through all these centuries, it has been proven as a terrific self-help tool. Indeed, modern scientific studies are now backing up what Qigong practitioners have always known – it works on many levels. Even doctors and nurses in hospitals in Wuhan are leading quarantined patients through Qigong exercises!
Continue reading down to access both my extensive list of immune-protective tactics, Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 to help yourself. I hope you find tools that appeal to you, and most importantly, just DO something, even if it’s just one thing. Take back control of your inner landscape. Qigong will help you do that. Even those who say they can’t meditate because of the ‘monkey mind’ can practice Qigong to quiet the mind, bring the stress energy down, and sleep better. If you have any questions please feel free to email me, Stephanie Prima, [email protected].
Before The Mindfulness and Qigong for Covid-19 Tools
Lastly, I would like to share this Prayer for a Pandemic, written by Jeanne Rikkers:
‘May we who are merely inconvenienced, Remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors, Remember the most vulnerable. May we who have the luxury of working from home, Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent. May we who have flexibility to care for our children when their schools close, Remember those who have no options. May we who have to cancel our trips Remember those who have no safe place to go. May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market, Remember those who have no margin at all. May we who settle in for a quarantine at home, Remember those who have no home. As fear grips our country, Let us choose LOVE.During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace to our neighbors.’
Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 – Top Tactics for Self-Help
There’s LOTS here – some suggestions you may have already heard, some might be new to you. Just skim through each list then pick out ONE suggestion that resonates with you and start there.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day; hydration is important to flush the system.
- Drink warm beverages like water with lemon juice and teas. Black teas are high in theaflavins, which are powerful plant compounds that support gut health. Green teas contain cathechins, phytonutrients which act as antioxidants to support cellular health. Herbal teas loaded with plant polyphenols that are antioxidant powerhouses. Consider warming herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper.
- Eat warm soups with hearty broth, especially utilizing mung beans, which are easily digested, rich in fibers, and heavy in antioxidants.
- Increase your intake of immune-supportive foods. These include dark leafy greens, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and Romanesco. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day including sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, and squashes. Use lots of onions, garlic, and herbs such as ginger, rosemary, oregano, turmeric in your meals.
- Cut out processed foods and sugars! Enough said.
- Eat nutrient-dense dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, berries, legumes and mushrooms daily. Be sure to get adequate protein if you are on a whole plant food based or vegan diet.
- Add fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, unsweetened yogurt, fermented vegetables. Consider adding a pre- and probiotic supplement.
- Consider increasing your intake of citrus fruits and Vitamin C. I use Liposomal C, which is more readily absorbed by the body. It’s expensive to purchase, but you can make it yourself at home with soy or sunflower lecithin and ascorbic acid if you have a blender. Check the instructions here and here. Do take care with dosage. Although massive doses of Vitamin C are used for medical treatments, even intravenously, high doses may pose a risk for adverse effects on the kidneys. Read more about Vitamin C forms, benefits and dosages here.
- Also consider adding Indian Gooseberry, also known as Amla Fruit Powder, to your morning beverages. It’s loaded with antioxidants, and has been proven to work better than drugs in certain disorders. Read more about this traditional Ayuvedic medicine here.
- Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, which means changing your routine to allow the body time to calm down. The Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 practices below can help with this.
- Get outside, soak up some Vitamin D on the nice days.
- Move your body every day. Movement acts as the pump for the lymphatic system, which flushes toxins out of the body. No movement results in stagnation in the lymph system, which in turn leads to disease.
- There are too many supportive supplements, herbs, tinctures, and homeopathic products for me to list here, but I have found Host Defense My Community Comprehensive Immune Support to be quite helpful. Do your research on herbal products, and be sure to buy top quality.
- If you have access to a far-infrared BioMat or sauna, be sure to use it daily. Far-infrared penetrates deeply to move the cells and stimulate the mitochrondria, which are basically the energy centers of the cells. This in turn supports the immune system. There have been videos and emails flying around implying that COVID-19 virus doesn’t like heat. According to physician-answered FAQs on news-press.com, that claim has not been officially verified as of yet.
Emotional and Spiritual Support with Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19
- Get outside in nature, especially trees. Trees clean the air, and they give the same benefit to us as well. Sit with them awhile and be present in your time with the trees. Can you sense their calming energy? Can you place your hands on their trunks and feel their energy?
- Practice mindfulness throughout the day. Take a moment to stop and pay attention to the emotions you are feeling. Notice what those do to the body. Acknowledge the emotion; it might be fear, anger, anxiety, doesn’t matter. Recognize it for what it is, no judgement. Then give yourself permission to let it go; ask what could be an alternative. Allow yourself to see other possibilities and move to a more positive emotion.
- When you are engaged in an activity, bring your attention to the sensations you are feeling in your body. For example, if you’re walking outside, can you feel a breeze on your skin, hear birds, insects or other sounds, smell vegetation. Notice the pressure of your weight on your feet as each foot hits the ground. Simply be present in your body, in the moment.
- Make it a daily practice to slow down and scatter moments of Mindfulness throughout your day. Be more conscious. Check out one of my earlier blogs on this topic for ideas.
- Learn to cook healthy meals if you don’t already.
- Give your body the appreciation it deserves for working so hard to keep you healthy. It’s okay to talk to your body – your body will relish in the recognition. See my blog post here.
- Utilize the on-line resources of your local library.
- Limit the number of times you check your phone and news to only 2 or 3 times a day. Why stress yourself out even further?
- Learn new skills via online courses.
- Video chat with loved ones.
- Create something – art, music, writings, SING! Do that which, when you do it, times flies by. It may be some hobby you never had time for before – now you do.
- Practice longevity breathing, also known as abdominal breathing. See my older video here. As you practice this, you can also use your imagination to breathe in clean, fresh energy, and expel the negative energy or all that your body doesn’t need on the exhale.
- Practice kindness, patience, and compassion.
- Be curious and thoughtful. Consider the bigger picture, beyond your own world. Ask yourself if you are being consistent with your highest values throughout the day.
- Massage acupuncture point Large Intestine 4, located in the fleshy part of the hand between the index finger and thumb. Among other things this stimulates the dispersing function of the lungs and tonifies Qi. Please DO NOT do this if you are pregnant. Click here to find more detailed instructions on where to find this point.
- Practice acupoint stimulation for anxiety: Find the crown of your head (from the highest point at the top of your head, then just back to the valley below it.) Use the index and middle finger to press down on this point, breathing slowly and deeply as you hold it. Visualize anxiety being forced down and out from your feet with each exhale. Continue breathing (or tapping) and pressing as needed for a minute or two. Then put the middle finger on the 3rd eye point at your forehead (between the eyebrows and just slightly up). Press this point for a few minutes and feel a calming sense fill your being. Then move our middle finger to the mid-line between your breasts. Press here, again feeling calm with each exhale. End by placing the middle finger about an inch below the navel. Visualize breathing in and out of this point, becoming more grounded as you breathe.
- Practice the free Qigong video for beginners That I’ve created for you (see link below). Don’t worry about getting the movement perfect. The key is to relax and bring the mind back to the body.
Even when the virus calms down, you can still use these Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 tools throughout your life to manage stress and increase your chances for a long, healthy life.
I am so grateful to live in a community where people are managing this crisis with resiliency, compassion, and generosity toward all our community members. And I’m grateful to all those essential workers who are on the line for the benefit of all.
No doubt, we are headed for further economic upheaval. Mindfulness and Qigong for COVID-19 can help, yet in this time of COVID-19, I also see opportunity to learn.
It is my hope that as we rebuild, we will remember these times of how we worked together for the benefit of all. It is my hope that we rebuild as a caring community, state, country, and global force to create a new economy that includes compassion, dignity, and justice for the earth and all peoples.
For Those Who Would Like to Delve Deeper
I teach people how to open the energy centers, harmonize the internal organ network, and create the internal alchemy for smooth Qi flow that leads to better health, greater self-knowledge and improved spiritual awareness. Currently I am offering private and semi-private group sessions online. Know someone who would like to join you? With online sessions you CAN be with them, learning together for self-help and greater longevity. You can connect with me through [email protected] or 360.940.0063. Let’s talk about your needs.
For a listing of some of the many medical studies on the benefits of Qigong, please click here.
Here’s the standard disclaimer: these suggestions are not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. If you feel ill in any way, please consult a physician. Pay attention to your own body’s needs, and understand that you undertake any of these suggestions at your own risk.