There are many things we can learn from the effects of the pandemic, so that we improve our lives from now on. One that is central is the concept of keeping ourselves well, rather than trying to get better when we are sick.

We need to take care of our physical bodies as a daily requirement, so that we have active and healthy immune systems and are far less likely to fall prey to the various problems that can affect us.

This means having a health-giving diet: the rainbow of foods on our plate to give us the vitamins and minerals we need; less fat and sugar and processed food; enough water to keep us hydrated properly. We may also supplement with those things that specifically boost our immune system, like vitamin D and Echinacea

It also means keeping our bodies active; walking, exercising, stretching, at least a little every day – bodies work better when they are moved.

And of course it also means taking some control of the way our minds are working. Being anxious or stressed, fearful or frustrated, all set off our adrenaline, which suppresses our immune system temporarily and makes us more vulnerable.

Finally we need to remember how to listen to our own bodies – they have an innate wisdom. They were not designed to work like robots – they have a flow and rhythm of their own. Sometimes we have energy to spare and can do lots; other times we feel sluggish and need to give ourselves space to replenish. Sometimes we need more sleep than at other times even though we haven’t done much more than usual.  We don’t know what bugs our bodies may have been fighting on our behalf, tiring themselves out! And we are often neglectful of our own hunger and thirst, until it becomes urgent and we eat any old thing to just fill the hole – or we eat and drink because we are fed up or tired rather than to satisfy our bodies.

None of these things are hard to do – they come naturally when we are little and we are taught how to ignore them. They just require us to pay attention to our own state of being until it becomes habitual and natural again. And they will all help us to keep well rather than try to avoid being sick. They are useful now, as we all cope with the pandemic, but they are also a great habit to get into for the rest of your life.

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