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CORE PRINCIPLES
FOR SUPPORTING YOUR HEALTH

LIFESTYLE
  • Take time to ensure you have your fridge and pantry stocked with nutritious foods. Remember when you are sick you might not feel like cooking, so prepare a nutritious soup and store in the freezer. (Anti-flam soup in Resources). Make prepared foods using the foods on the "Target Nutrients" page.

  • Purchase any monitoring (or other health) devices you may need (thermometer, oximeter, nebuliser).

  • Organise nutritional, herbal and over-the-counter supplements, as well as gargles, sprays, washes and throat lozenges that are appropriate for you and your family.

HYGIENE
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and dry thoroughly.

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with tissues.

  • Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

  • Clean high-use surfaces regularly. This includes items frequently touched like door handles and phones.

  • Improve ventilation in your home, car, place of work. Open windows are recommended to increase fresh air in these spaces.

NUTRITION
  • Ensure that you and your family are eating a variety of colourful wholefoods, including a couple servings of fruit, plenty of vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and sources of protein. See the 'Target Nutrients' page for more info. 

  • Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day.

  •  Limit or avoid processed foods and alcohol.

MOVEMENT & EXERCISE
  • Prioritise 20-30 minutes of mild to moderate exercise every day.

  • Take your exercise out in nature in the fresh air - walk or jog in nature, yoga, tai chi, etc.

  • Cold water therapy to build cardiovascular and immune system resilience. 

  • Dip your feet in the lake or taking the full plunge up to your shoulders - stay in for 1-3 minutes with calm, steady breaths. Even start with 15 seconds and build up tolerance slowly. Ending each shower with a cold run of water is a convenient way to get cold water exposure as well.- NB: Cold water immersion is not recommended if you are already feeling unwell.

  • Spinal and rib cage mobility will help to maximise organ and nerve system function- including diaphragm and lung function. Straighten Up NZ provides an easy 3 minute stretch routine suitable for almost everyone at any age. www.straightenup.org.nz

BREATHING
  • To help calm feelings of anxiety and stress take 10-20 rounds of 3-dimensional breath. Inhale into the front, sides, back, top and bottom of the lungs for a count of 6-8, pause for a moment at the top of the inhale, exhale for a count of 6-8, pause for a moment at the bottom of the exhale, and then repeat.

  • If you are starting to feel unwell or have been exposed to someone who is feeling unwell, this breathing exercise may help to promote immune system function.

  • Take a couple of slow, full breaths. Exhale. With pace, inhale deeply, exhale naturally for 30-40 rounds. This is a percussive breath. After 30-40 cycles, exhale and hold your breath until you feel the urge to inhale again. Inhale fully, focusing on expanding the lungs 3 dimensionally. Hold for 15 seconds. Exhale completely. Take a couple slow, deep breaths. Repeat the whole cycle 2-3 more times.

  •  Foam rollers can also be used to help with opening up the ribcage, along with basic pec/ chest opening stretches against a wall. 

SLEEP
  • Endeavour to get 7-9 hours of sleep / time in bed. If you can’t sleep, just relax and practice breathing as this can still be restorative.

  • Switch off devices (phone, computer, TV) and overhead lighting a minimum of one hour before bed.

  • View sunlight first thing in the morning, and evening light as the sun sets. This will help to regulate your wakefulness and sleep hormones (cortisol/adrenaline, melatonin).

STRESS REDUCTION & MANAGEMENT

Meditation 

  • This can be as simple as sitting quietly while focusing on your breath for 5-10 minutes - if your attention drifts away from the breath, refocus your attention and begin again.

  • Meditation Apps - One Giant Mind, Headspace (free and available on Netflix), Calm, Insight Timer (free)

  • Laughter - Watch a comedy that gets you chuckling - see resources for recommendations

 Counselling 

  • Oftentimes we need the guidance of a qualified and neutral person to support our mental health and wellbeing. See resource section for local counsellors.

Community

  • Lean into and deepen your connections with your friends and extended community. There is no replacement for human connection and real conversations.

  • If you don’t yet know your neighbours, now is the time to expand your community of support. You may need to call on them to bring groceries or a hot meal, and they may need to do the same. The more we can come together and support one another, the better we’ll all be.