Tips for Building Yourself Up During Recovery
Last September I got the “Virus” and spent 12 days in the hospital and almost didn’t make it. Recovering from an illness can take time and many of us wonder what happened. Part of the reason I got so sick, is my past health history, the stress I was under, and the fact that every person reacts differently. I do believe however, that my lifestyle full of healthy habits assisted me in my recovery. Below are some of the things I did to help me recover from an illness that I wanted to share with you.
Eat Good Food
Every day what you eat matters especially when you are sick and are recovering from an illness. Often when you are sick you have a tendency to not eat because of a lack of appetite. As you start feeling better your appetite comes back and you begin to eat again, sometimes rather ravenously. You need to really think about what you are eating and how often you are eating. Focusing on 3 meals a day plus a mid morning and/or mid afternoon snack is really helpful. It lets your body know you are going to be eating on regular basis.
Not only is it important how you eat but what you feed your body is also extremely important. Your body is trying to recover and it needs now more than ever food that is going to give it nutrition. Focus on eating whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of green leafy vegetables as well as other vegetables and fruit. It’s also important to drink plenty of water, 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day.
Studies have shown an increase in sugar intake, can actually suppress your immune system, especially when your immune system has been compromised. So eliminate candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream, pies, and soda pop! I highly recommend joining my FREE 13 Week email program where you will learn a lot about key habits including gut health to help you further on your recovery.
By default, alcohol makes it harder for your immune system to step up and protect and defend your body against all types of bacteria and viruses. You definitely don’t want to do anything to weaken your immune system as you are recovering from an illness. They even say that alcohol can actually impair the immune cells in your body from functioning properly. This impairment affects the immune fighting capabilities of its corresponding organs as well. So skip the brewskis and mixed cocktails during your recovery.
Sleep | Getting Rest and Dealing with Fatigue
Sleep is so important for the body. Did you know that when you sleep your brain processes your days events which creates memories. During sleep your body also releases hormones to help your body grow and repair. Most importantly, sleep allows your nervous system to rest and your immune system to releases inflammation fighting cytokines. So if you feel like you need a nap – take a nap. Create a sleep schedule for yourself going to bed each night at the same time and getting up each morning at the same time. Let your body do what it does naturally during sleep to keep you healthy!
Shortness of Breath | Difficulty Breathing
Thank goodness for SPIROMETERS. This was very helpful in helping my lungs recover after the pneumonia along with the virus. This device helps you not only measure your breath, but exercises your lungs helping to make them stronger and reduce the fluid in them. You might even be able to start walking and exercising a little but to further help. Exercise is very important to our health. Make sure you start as soon as you are able. Check with your doctor and see if a spirometer and exercise will benefit you.
There are also essential oils that may also offer respiratory support. These include:
- Hyssop (1,8 cineole so use caution with children under 10) can help with inflammation and congestion as well as overall immune system support.
- Cedarwood Atlas works well for helping with congestion.
- Siberian FIR due to its camphene content makes it a great decongestant & expectorant.
- Citrus Oils, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Frankincense, Eucalyptus Radiata, Lavender, Chamomile work well for immune support due to their d-Limonene and linalool content.
Loss of Smell and Taste
I don’t know about you, but even during the common cold you tend to have a decreased ability to smell and taste, and sometimes you lose them all together. Usually this is not permanent, although it can take a while to get these two senses back in full force. During my recovering from an illness I referenced the Aromahead blog and their research and found an article. In this article, they recommend using Rose, Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Clove essential oils to help. These 4 oils offer an assortment of aromas to help your sense of smell. They recommend using one oil, smelling it for 15 seconds, focusing on how you remember it to smell, take a 10 second break and pick up the next oil. You can view the complete article if you like.
Supplements During Recovering from an Illness
The hospital wasn’t shy about giving me my morning dose of vitamins to build back my strength and help my body do what your body does naturally to heal. During my recovering from an illness, I continued using supplements. Below is a list of the supplements they gave me and a couple I added started with B-Complex. Nature’s Sunshine offers all the following products.
- Vitamin D3 – Outside of having the most widespread deficiency it is critical for helping your body recover from viruses. It also promotes immune function as well as protecting your bones, muscles, and heart health.
- Vitamin C – Helps reduce your risk for a chronic disease. Helps fight heart disease, boosts your immunity. It is also necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body
- Zinc – Helps your immune system and your metabolism and also helps reduce inflammation.
- Multi Vitamin – This works to help support your body by covering some of the essentials needed to function at your best.
- B Complex – B vitamins help your body promote energy, cellular health, and are needed to help support your nervous system, digestion, cardiovascular health, as well as muscle tone.
- Mullein – This is a great expectorant and helps your body expel excess mucus by helping to make your cough more productive by bringing up the mucus that may be
trying to settle in the chest or in the throat. It is also a demulcent and studies have shown that demulcents create a soothing anti-inflammatory coating over the mucous membranes in the body, helping to keep the mucus flowing.
- Essential Fatty Acids help with inflammation and supports overall cardiovascular health
I wasn’t ready for this and certainly wasn’t even really aware of the possibility of this. I didn’t realize that with this recent virus or even just pneumonia, the potential for hair loss is actually pretty common. When your body has a high fever or is fighting to survive, it isn’t focused on hair growth. What eventually happens is your hair loss becomes greater than usual making it thinner. Some people have more hair loss than others. For myself, I lost about 50% of my hair and had to cut several inches off because of its thinness. It has been 7 months and the hair loss has lessened and new hair growth has arrived! I am excited! Try not to panic, easier said than done I know, but keep in mind your body is under a lot of stress and this too shall pass. I did take some of the following supplements to help with regrowth.
- Collagen is full of amino acids to help build your hair strength, helping to fight damage to your follicles and reduce hair thinning naturally with aging.
- Horsetail is a huge antioxidant reducing inflammation of hair fibers helping in a lower level of overall hair loss. It contains a high level of silica which is beneficial for bone health as well as healthy hair.
- Rosemary Essential Oil added to your shampoo helps promote circulation. Since my scalp was so itchy, I actually added Rosemary and Lavender Essential oil to jojoba oil and applied it 2-3 times per week to the itchy areas of my scalp.
Emotions as you are Recovering from an Illness
The emotions from being sick and trying to recover are many. Stress, anger, depression, fear can come up. Its super helpful if you have a family member or friends that are good listeners. Also make sure to surround yourself with positive people who are supportive. If you don’t have these things or need extra help, please seek professional help. There are many companies offering online support as well as companies pairing you with a counselor. BetterHelp is one of them.
Some essential oils I love for Emotional, Respiratory, Immune and Relief are listed below by plant part. When you create your blend, consider the whole plant. Try incorporating a root, wood or resin, along with a flower and some leaves. I love all the oils from Aromatics International!
- Seeds (support growth) – Cardamom, Carrot, Nutmeg
- Roots (grounding) – Ghandi Root, Ginger and Vetiver
- Woods (centering) – Cedarwood Atlas and Sandalwood
- Resins (healing) – Frankincense and Myrrh
- Leaves (clearing) – Eucalyptus, Cypress, Tea Tree, Bergamot Mint
- Flowers (calming) – Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, and Rose
The SOQI Products
These products are amazing and I have used them for over 17 years! They are instrumental in my everyday wellness routine and were a big asset during my process of recovering from an illness. I can’t tell you how much the SOQI Bed helped me during the last 7 months with its Chi Machine and Far Infrared Therapy. I know many people have invested in products like these for their wellness needs and the SOQI Bed is one of my top picks!