Keeping Healthy During Times of Fear, Uncertainty & Isolation (Part 1)

Although I am writing this during a time where the worlds is asked to self-isolate, to keep ourselves and our neighbors physically healthy (coronavirus quarantine), I feel compelled to share what I know about isolation and how it too can distract from our health. Now is the moment to create great health (mental, emotional and physical). There are a couple of tips and tricks to staying healthy while in isolation which I am excited to share.

Our physical health relies greatly on our choices. Exercise, diet, nutrition are all a part of this physical equation. But it is important to also tend to not only our physical choices, but our emotional choices as well. In the “Biology of Belief”, Bruce Lipton outlines through scientific experiments, how our intentions and choices can affect our biology. Our physical bodies have an amazing capacity to instantaneously activate our body, creating hormones and biochemicals that sense danger and activate our muscles to keep ourselves safe Our emotions can create the same response. Fear, uncertainty, isolation are a trifecta that can promote dis-ease.

maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs highlights physiological needs as our first priority and basic level (air, water, food, shelter, sleep, etc). Once we have met those needs, our second level of concern is for Safety. Third level is Connection. During this time of the coronavirus, all three of the lowest basic needs may be challenged for you. A virus is invading our physical bodies, so we are asked to isolate. Because of the quarantine, our businesses and livelihoods may be in danger, which in turn creates a threat to our Safety and Health. The quarantine is creating isolation, which can lead to lack of connection and touch. This trifecta is could be what you are experiencing, and everyone needs to know how to manage around it to keep healthy (emotionally, physically, mentally).

Let’s talk for a brief second about how our bodies were in cave-man days.
Fear creates fear hormones that circulate through the bloodstream to all cells of the body. The effect is adrenaline, which increases heart rate , breathing and dilates blood vessels to lungs and muscles. Why? Because fear was a response to danger. Danger threatened our physical lives. Our body is preparing to run from the danger as quickly as possible (this is called the fight or flight response). This happens automatically when we perceive danger.

Uncertainty is a type of fear felt by many in our current society, especially during this time of the coronavirus. Things are changing so rapidly that a sense of security is challenged. Nobody wants to think of the “worst case scenario”, because we all know this leads to more fear, which leads to fight or flight responses. But, we have to be real enough about our “what if” scenarios, to find within ourselves an action plan… if our safety is threatened. Having that action plan, will help with the uncertainty.

Connection is vital to the human survival. In caveman days, the community of humans relied on each other for survival. Just like wild wolves hunt in packs, humans need each other to survive. Friends help friends. Loved ones support us when we are not feeling strong. Everyone has specific talents and abilities that add to the community as a whole. The whole is greater than the sums of the parts.

As we are told to quarantine, to *not* connect with people, to social distance … we can feel this part of our essential needs as humans slipping away as well. It is vital to understand that being alone is a great time to reflect. It is a great time to remove external distractions and look at who you are, what you love, what is important to you. To self-evaluate. It is also important to understand that Connection is a vital emotional need. Too much isolation can feel like it threatens one of our lowest level needs – connection.

Actions to Reduce the Trifecta (isolation, fear, uncertainty)

Part Two (2) of my blog outlines tips and tricks to keeping the trifecta within healthy limits.

Human beings are not meant to live alone. There is a fundamental biological imperative that propels you and every organism on this planet to be in a community, to be in relationship with other organisms.

Bruce Lipton, “Biology of Believe” & “Honeymoon Effect”

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