In March of this year, I got sick for about 12 total days. I’m not sure if it was COVID-19, but I shared all of my symptoms and experience over at Wise-Eats.com/COVID19. Now that I’m 100% recovered, I’d like to share the methods I used to manage the sickness as effectively as possible. 12 days is a long time to be sick, but for the most part, my symptoms were very mild. I fully believe that had I not done these 10 things, the virus would’ve been far more severe.
1. Get Adequate Sleep – I got at least 8-10 hours whenever possible. Your body does all of its repairing during sleep. This is crucial for overall health and performance, not just when you’re sick. Here are some quick benefits of sleep:
- Improves heart health
- Prevents cancer
- Reduces stress
- Reduces inflammation
- Increases energy
- Improves memory
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves cognitive function and mood
- Helps prevent depression
- Helps the body rebuild and repair itself (VeryWellHealth.com)
I learned the importance of rest the hard way when I started lifting weights on day 4 of my sickness. After taking it easy for three days, I thought I was better and got right back to intense training, which broke my body down even further. A day later, I was full blown sick again. Finally, I learned to respect the virus and allowed my body to rest fully. Now, I’m 100% and crushing it again!
2. Exercise – Just because I needed to rest doesn’t mean I just sat on the couch watching Tiger King (we did some of that too though!). My wife and I went on frequent walks with our dogs and did a lot of stretching, foam rolling and working around the house. I didn’t do anything strenuous until I was fully healed, but movement is always key and can actually help you heal faster.
3. Drink Plenty of Water – I drank a ton of water, tea, and coffee. Hydration is your best friend 365 days a year, but especially when you’re sick. Here’s why:
- Removes toxins
- Reduces fatigue
- Strengthens immune system
- Increases energy
- Enhances metabolism
- Cushions joints
- Fuels muscles
- Clears skin
- Boosts productivity
- Promotes weight loss (Craftwater.co)
4. Use Hot Baths & Essential Oils – This was a recommendation from my wife, since I normally don’t do hot baths at home, and boy was it a game changer! She also added Epsom salt and lavender (a loving spouse is another excellent cure for crisis, by the way!). Here are some of the amazing benefits of hot baths:
- Great way to relax
- Improves blood flow and heart health
- Reduces pain, swelling
- Relieves aching muscles, joints
- Lowers blood sugar
- Helps you sleep
- Helps relieve cold/flu symptoms
- Reduces headaches (MyHeatWorks.com)
In addition to hot baths, my wife is also big into essential oils. Twice a day, she made me drink a cocktail of OnGuard and water. Then, at random points in the day, she would rub an immune builder behind my ears consisting of oregano, lemon, melaleuca, and OnGuard. Hard to say how much these helped, but they didn’t seem to hurt any! In general, these oils often work wonders depending on the ailment.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet – Of course, one of the best things you can do to fight this virus is to put only healthy things in your body. Stick with real foods in wide variety. There may not be any toilet paper on the shelves, but there’s plenty of kale! 95% of the time, I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t on the Wise Eats Approved Foods List.
Being healthy simply makes everything you do in life easier. No matter how tough things get, at least you have physical health on your side. When you’re unhealthy, it turns every small problem into a much larger one. Just like having an emergency fund is a financial cushion during times like this, good health is like added insurance against stress, depression, negativity, and uncertainty.
6. Take Supplements – My doctor advised me to take Tylenol if needed, but I did not. I have heard mixed reports on how Tylenol and Aspirin interact with COVID-19, so be very careful! Here are the supplements I DID take:
- Whole foods. Real food and lots of green smoothies, as always. Spirulina, kale, whey protein isolate, frozen fruit, avocado, spinach, moringa, psyllium Husk, cinnamon, and stevia for sweetener are some of my favorite ingredients.
- Vitamin D. Sun is at a premium in Michigan, so I supplement with vitamin D. The only problem with adding vitamins is that if you haven’t been tested to know what your body needs, taking vitamins is a bit of a crap shoot. But I personally take Vitamin D to just to be on the safe side. Proceed with caution and consult your doctor!
- Creatine. Powerful benefits for both athletic performance and health. Supports muscle energy and growth, reduces fatigue, improves brain function and exercise performance (Healthline.com). Because once we get better, it’s time to BRING IT in the gym!
- Fish oil. So many benefits, including reduced inflammation, lowered disease risk, increased gut health, and lowered depression (Dr. Axe).
- Magnesium. Good for bone health, cardiovascular health, headaches, anxiety. Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body! Improves muscle and nerve function, regulates blood pressure, and supports the immune system (MedicalNewsToday.com)
7. Avoid Alcohol – Alcohol and me used to be best friends. I mean, we were REAL tight. Letting go of this relationship has been a lifelong struggle, but recently, I got the wakeup call I needed. In late 2019, I read Allen Carr’s How to Stop Drinking Without Willpower and it has completely changed my attitude towards drinking. I now view alcohol as nothing more than a poison that offers no physical benefit and only serves to limit my progress, both physically and mentally. I know, BORING WES!
The truth is, I had been looking for a good excuse to quit drinking for a long time. After reading this book, I decided to quit on January 11th, 2020, and haven’t had a sip since. I don’t know if I’ll ever have another drink of alcohol in my life at this point. Sure, I’ve missed my craft beer here and there, but I also love the empowering feeling of knowing that alcohol doesn’t have any sort of control over me anymore. And I’m sure it helped me get through my “illness” less painfully.
Alcohol can work against you in so many ways:
- Increases depression
- Increases fatigue
- Creates feelings of worthlessness
- Increases sluggishness
- Depletes your body of vital nutrients
- Increases dehydration
- Compromises your immune system
- Seriously reacts with medications (Bustle.com)
It would be really easy under the COVID-19 circumstances to succumb to stress and uncertainty and just drink the pain away. And if that’s your medicine, I get it, because I’ve been there, MANY TIMES. Rest, relaxation, and cocktails, baby! But today, I just think different about it. Why would I compound the current situation by poisoning myself? Sure, it might be fun for a few hours, but I refuse to let my guard down, especially in a time of crisis. I need to be prepared for whatever this pandemic is going to throw at me, because it’s coming, and I will be READY for it.
8. Continue to Learn – Stimulate your mind wherever possible. Meditate. Learn a new skill. Listen to podcasts. Watch YouTube videos about subjects you’re interested in. Maybe read an interesting article you found online (hint hint!). Here are some of the things I’m doing:
- Reading and listening to books! I just finished the Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz and the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Both amazing.
- Taking an online class. Of course, my wife and I watch some Netflix to relax, but we also just completed a free trial of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, which was a big step in our relationship and brought us closer together. Binge watch something productive for a change!
- Studying. I’m reading Certified Personal Trainer material online because it’s my side passion. Our class is obviously suspended due to COVID-19, but certification is coming soon!
Invest in yourself during this downtime. Instead of feeding your brain all of the negativity and constant headlines in the media, increase your knowledge and skills!
9. Start Each Day with Gratitude – I have not stopped my daily habit of journaling and listing things I’m grateful for. Every single day, I’m writing and tracking goals I want to accomplish and reminding myself of all the great things I have in my life. There’s no room for negativity and fear when you start from a place of gratitude, so I highly recommend journaling if it’s not something you’re currently doing.
10. Stay Positive – Positivity is some of the best medicine you can take. Don’t get caught up in the COVID-19 hysteria. Be realistic about the situation and stay prepared, but don’t panic. I’m not emptying my 401K, doomsday prepping, or raiding the grocery stores. I’m staying calm, hopeful, and optimistic.
Part of the reason everyone is so panicked right now is because they’re too busy listening to their social media feed. Stop listening to your sister-in-law’s baby cousin Tracy (movie reference, anyone?) on Instagram and arm yourself with FACTS. Listen to positive people who are experts in their field. I’m following people like Dave Ramsey and Ken Coleman (Rachel Hollis for my wife) and other highly encouraging experts in their fields. Surround yourself with optimistic individuals because hope and positivity are what will get us through this thing.
So, those are my 10 tips to help you get through this crisis and any future crisis you may encounter. This is a unique threat we face, but we have overcome far worse in the past. World wars, terrorism, economic collapse. We’re fighting a war against invisible enemies – not just this disease itself but also misinformation, fear, and uncertainty. But we will overcome it because THAT’S WHAT WE DO. We’re all in this together. We must continue to have hope and do our part in this battle. So, treat your body well, stay positive, be good to others, and come out of this stronger than ever before. Thanks for reading and make wise choices!
To listen to the podcast I recorded regarding this article, check out Wise-Eats.com/Episode21