Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s April 2020 Newsletter
Strengthen Your Immune System
You and your family are working hard to limit your exposure to COVID-19 by social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face, cleaning frequently-touched surfaces and more: all of the actions recommended by the CDC, Washington State Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO). What else can you do? To support your immune system to function at its best, it’s more important than ever to take these commonly recommended self-care actions:
1) get adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most folks)
2) eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants
3) move your body regularly
4) avoid smoking and heavy alcohol/substance use
5) maintain a healthy weight
6) manage your stress. This advice is even more important for older adults because they are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19, as the immune system becomes less efficient with age.
Examine gaps in your immune system maintenance plan, and talk to your medical doctor, health/wellness adviser or an EAP counselor for support with healthier self-care actions and overcoming any roadblocks. You can also watch the EAP’s on-demand webinar on self-care during COVID-19 or visit our COVID-19 Resources page to sign up for an upcoming live webinar.