Better days ahead

We have all been trying to survive life and our new norms. Countless emotions have surfaced during the last eighteen months that we have never felt before. It became easy to feel hostile because of isolation and confinement to our homes. Even to this day, we do not know if the normal life we were used to before the pandemic will ever return. It is almost impossible to remember what life was like before the pandemic or at least I can hardly remember what it used to be.

Granted, even though the pandemic made it unsafe to go out to dinner or the mall or anywhere not inside the four walls of our homes, was it ever safe? I mean think about all the violence the exists in the world. It was starting to feel like anywhere we went we went might encounter a mass shooting. Do I think guns should be outlawed? No, not outlawed but regulated much more, yes. I think a lot of the gun violence was due to mental illness and the truth is, mental health in the United States is terrible.

I know there is going to be a day when COVID is a painful and distant memory, but no idea when that will be. Even after COVID is in the past, the violence might still linger, and we should always be aware of our surroundings. Life should be a balance of good and evil because it helps us to be a lot more grateful for our life.

On a more positive note, we need to remember life is a gift and something we should cherish! Once the pandemic is over and it becomes safer to leave our homes, have you thought about what it will feel like? What are some of the things you missed during these challenging times? What are some of the simple pleasures in life you are excited to have return?

I do not mind being home most of the time, but it does get incredibly isolating especially because I work from home. I either feel like I am always at work or just never go anywhere to add happiness and excitement to life. It is crazy to think of going to a doctor’s appointment as a fun outing! I love my husband, our cats, and our house, but I do enjoy seeing the world! I think travelling is exciting because it provides insight to other cultures. Even though there are many terrible people in the world, there are many fascinating people as well.

I know I have mentioned this before, but while I am on the subject life getting back to normal, I cannot wait to visit the ocean again. The beach has always been one of the happiest places for me to be. I find the ocean to be relaxing and calming. The way the water crashes down on the beach is soothing. Considering I am someone that is a walking and talking stress case, the ocean is the only place I never feel any stress

I have had groceries delivered since the start of the pandemic, which has been amazing. I never did enjoy grocery shopping because it feels so unbearable at times. Although most of the time I do not miss grocery shopping, there have been times I did miss it because I felt helpless. I think one of the main reasons I never enjoyed grocery shopping is because crowds are overwhelming.

Another thing is I am beyond tired of wearing masks anytime I do get to leave the house. I know they are necessary to stop the spread of the virus, but they are extremely uncomfortable and suffocating.

I look forward to the day when the pandemic is behind us because life is too short to live in fear. I do wish this was all in the past now, but until it is I will continue to do what is necessary to keep myself and family safe. I hope the way things have been for the past eighteen months has taught people to be understanding and kind to others because even though we might not know it, everyone is going through something in life. People tend to behave in negative ways when they are struggling, but if they are shown a little compassion, they may lighten up and be kinder. It often takes a simple smile to make someone’s bad day brighter.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you had a lovely and safe holiday! I do look forward to reading your comments, which I promise to respond to as quickly as I can. One important thing learned over the past few months is, we are all going through the same challenges and need to work together to make it to better days! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Fight off Pandemic Fatigue

For almost two years, we have been forced to face a deadly pandemic. This was something no one could have imagined happening, but it did. This situation has plagued every inch of the world and left no area untouched. While the pandemic caused a great deal of uncertainly, sadness, loss, stress, learning ways to adapt to our new “normal”, and feelings of isolation.

The pandemic lift has allowed many to work from home, which is a benefit. Others might be learning how to stay on task working from home while helping their children with remote learning. The pandemic has brought on good changes but has also shown the true colors of so many. This part has not been pretty but has been a rude awakening.

Since the pandemic started most have experienced a type of fatigue we did not know existed. Through the rest of this post, I am going to explain three types of fatigue and a few ways we can counteract fatigue.

TYPES OF PANDEMIC FATIGUE:

1. Decision Fatigue- No one ever had to think about if it was safe to go out to dinner at their favorite restaurant before the pandemic. Unfortunately, now we must think about this as it is a life-or-death situation because it can be. We need to decide if it is safe to sit inside or safer to sit outside or if it is at all safe. Constantly worrying that the decisions we make will be wrong and cause illness or worst-case scenario death. The sad truth is our everyday choices are weighing on us and wearing us out.

2. Physical Fatigue- The many challenges we have encountered with the pandemic may be affecting our physical health in various ways. First off, the stress we are feeling could be causing falling asleep difficult or keeping us up at night. It is possible to feel overly stressed and our typical healthy coping mechanisms are not helping reduce the stress. This may force people to turn to less healthy coping mechanisms, such as overeating, alcohol, or other substances that we think make us feel better.

3. Compassion Fatigue- Our first responders and medical professionals are on the front line and witness the awful issues with the pandemic every day. These people are seeing people struggle and take their last breath daily. Some of these people are saying their goodbyes to loved ones on a computer screen, which can be heartbreaking. However, you do not need to be someone on the front line to experience this circumstance. We all see these cases on the news, and it can tug on the heartstrings because knowing someone lost someone, they love is extremely sad.

Even though it may feel impossible to not feel the threats of pandemic fatigue, there are several ways to find stability thought so much instability. During these challenging times it is crucial to take care of your body and soul, and even find some forms of optimism.

1. Ensure your basic needs are being met: Combating pandemic fatigue requires maintaining proper nutrition, sleep habits, good hygiene, and mild exercise. Of course, this does not mean you need to dive into a new healthy habit immediately. What this can mean is going to bed five or so minutes earlier, taking a short walk at lunch, or simply doing light stretching during the day.

2. Discover mindfulness exercise that works: Mindfulness exercises can be a useful tool in overcoming pandemic fatigue. This can be practiced in many ways and what works for some people, might not help another in the same way. It might be beneficial to write down some mindfulness exercises you would like to try until you find the perfect one for you! A few ideas are Five-minute guided meditation, mindful pause, or reciting your favorite song. Experiment with different techniques and you will find the right one but be sure to stick with the one that works the best.

3. Enjoy Stability when you can: Review your daily routine and determine what is not negotiable and must be done. Understand what needs to be done no matter what happens and what does not and eliminate what is not important. The must be done could be going to bed at the same time every night, eating meals at a certain time, or exercising the same routine at the same time on specific days. Do not forget to make some of the “important/must do” things that bring you a sense of joy.

4. Set boundaries with social media and the news: I am sure I am not the only one that followed new COVID cases and deaths during the beginning of the pandemic. Even now as the cases of COVID are decreasing, I still tend to look up the latest information about new cases and vaccinations. This can be very exhausting and frustrating, so setting boundaries is one of the healthiest things to do. Both the news and social media are full of negativity and can cause even more pandemic fatigue.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I had taken a break from writing about anything to do with the pandemic, but I thought this information could be useful to some of you. I would love to know what you think and if you have anything else to add. I hope your week went well and you are looking forward to the weekend. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Third Vaccine Successful

I have already made it well-known how upsetting I have found the COVID-19 virus and those that are refusing to get the vaccine that is free. My husband and I both got the first two vaccines as soon as we were able, which was at the beginning of the year. On Friday after work, we both got the third vaccine/booster. After the first two vaccines, the only side effect that was felt was fatigue. Of course, I received the 2nd vaccine shortly after we lost our cat Chloe and that could have been where some of the fatigue was coming from, or it could have been the vaccine.

I am not sharing the following information to deter anyone from getting the vaccine but am going to share my experience. I felt fine on Friday evening and only had a little soreness on the arm where the injection was given. Unfortunately, starting first thing Saturday morning I started feeling fatigued, had a massive headache, and body aches. I think I might have slept on and off all day Saturday, which was good to allow for my body to heal. Thankfully, on Sunday morning the headache and body ache started to ease, but I do still do not feel 100%. In a strange way, I think this is a good thing because it shows my immune system is reacting to the vaccine, which did not do as much with the first two.

I did share before that I get the anti-bodies test done, which showed that I did not have any antibodies to the COVID virus several months after I had the first two vaccines and that was upsetting. It was frustrating that I was doing everything possible to not only stay safe and keep others safe but had NO antibodies. We have all heard on the news about people that were fully vaccinated ending up in the hospital or worst losing their life from the virus. However, it is far more likely for those that were not vaccinated to end up at the losing end of their fight with the virus. I hate to sound so harsh, but those refusing a free vaccine that loses their life due to the virus is no one’s fault but their own.

Even though I have felt so terrible all weekend, I do not regret getting the vaccine. I think it is much better to suffer a few days of feeling bad rather than losing my life. I am feeling a lot better today than I did yesterday, so I think I did the right thing by getting the 3rd vaccine and would still encourage everyone to do so. My husband did not experience the same side effects that I did and only battled with fatigue. Considering I am immunocompromised because of the medication I take for Multiple Sclerosis; I strongly feel we needed to take all precautions.

I cannot force anyone to get the vaccine, but I also know y’all are kind, caring, and compassionate people that would not want to get this virus or cause anyone else to deal with it. So, with that said, I will encourage you to get fully vaccinated! We all hold the power to do what is right and save lives by getting a vaccine that is free and easy to do. I do understand that it can be a little uncomfortable and scary, but the vaccine does not typically kill people and the virus continues to do so.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I know the topic I discuss is very controversial, but I think it is very important. Of course, I was not able to do a few things I wanted to do this weekend because I have not felt well, but at least I did something I feel is important and there will be other weekends where I can do other things, I was not able to do this weekend. I do look forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday

It is no fun to only view today as Wednesday! It is better to view today as making it to the halfway part of the week, which means we are much closer to the weekend we all look forward to! How has your week been so far? I think y’all know that my week did not start all that great, but I also think dwelling on the negative does not help anyone. Everything unpleasant on Monday and Tuesday cannot define how my week will stay.

I have decided to let go of most of the issues I was upset about early in the week. However, I am still terribly upset and frustrated about how awful the country I was born and raised in has allowed a deadly virus to continue to remain. The vaccine and masks are helping to end the spread and in turn not enable new variants. The question I would love to ask those saying mask and vaccine mandates are threatening their freedom is, why are there speed limits and seatbelt requirements? Are the speed limits and law of seatbelts not threatening their freedom as well? My guess is their answer would be that seatbelts and speed limits save lives, well so does the vaccine and masks!

Considering we have made it to the halfway point of this week and we only have a couple of days left until the weekend returns, we could all use a little inspiration to help us! Within each of us lies talents that do amazing things for others. Our determination and attitudes towards life can determine how far we are willing to go to accomplish things that are important to us. No two people share the same talents, which is why our differences should be celebrated and cherished! I hope the quote I have shared has provided you with the inspiration it was intended for. I do look forward to reading your thoughts on this and will respond to all comments as quickly as I can!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope your week is going great and you are staying safe! I know sometimes my responses to your fantastic comments take me a little while, but it is only because after a full day of work I am rather tired and want to be sure I respond in the best way possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday with a Twist!

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you were able to have a relaxing and safe weekend. My weekend was decent, and a few things occurred the needed to. This will make more sense later in this post. I normally try to only share a motivational quote to start the week with a good mindset, which I am going to still do however, there are a few other things I would like to share with you.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I allow things to bottle up inside because I do not want to cause anyone else to feel overwhelmed and or upset, and I do not enjoy conflict. Well over the weekend through many tears I finally shared how I was feeling about a few things with another person. I think everything I was bottling up deep in my mind and heart just overflowed and I could not keep my emotions to myself any longer. It was not an easy conversation, but if we do not tell someone how we are feeling, how will anything improve? Nothing is ever going to get better when we are not 100% honest with how we are feeling!

I know y’all will not be surprised to see how incredibly frustrated I am with COVID-19. The number of people that still think this deadly virus is not a big deal is insane! Others that think mask mandates are taking away their freedom are beyond ridiculous. Seriously, what about the people that are elderly or have a weak immune system or anything else that causes them to be an easy target for this virus to kill, do they not deserve the freedom to survive? I cannot and never will understand anyone that refuses to get the vaccine. The vaccine is FREE and does not take long and it helps to END the spread of a deadly virus and even helps to NOT allow other variants to come into our lives. I have already received 2 vaccines and have an appointment scheduled for Friday after work to get the 3rd vaccine. I take pride in not only keeping myself safe from this virus but other humans from being infected and potentially not surviving.

It is going to take everyone joining together to fight against COVID or we will never be free from it. I want to be able to live again and not be a prisoner in my house because the truth is, these past 18 months have been miserable. Do not get me wrong, I love my home and being with my husband and 3 cats, but it does feel like the walls are caving in and there are times it is not easy to breathe. I am tired of being angry with the virus and people that are not doing what is right and angry with the political lies!

I think that is all for my rant about the issues in life and the world because we are starting a new week and need to begin the week with optimism. I hope you will find comfort, strength, and motivation in the quote I am sharing with you today. I would love to read what you think about this quote because I enjoy the communications we have and will respond to all comments as quickly as I can!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope your week begins great and only gets better with each day that passes. No matter what happens today, please do everything you can to stay safe and not allow anyone to bring you down because y’all are worth more than that! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

COVID, Masks, and Vaccines!

I am sure everyone is as tired of hearing about the virus, the variants that came to fruition from the virus, and the vaccines that have been available for several months, but this continues to be a massive issue in the United States. Neither the virus nor the vaccines are a political statement. COVID-19 and the vaccines are not Republican or Democrat, and they do not discriminate. The virus that has spread throughout the world does not care what the color of someone’s skin is, who they worship or love, their ethnicity, where someone lives or is from, their age, or anything else, and has already killed over four million people worldwide. Unfortunately, these numbers will only continue to rise until everyone does what is necessary to end COVID!

The crazy things I have heard people say recently are they will not get the vaccine for religious reasons or think the vaccine should be a personal decision and not mandatory, they cannot find the time to get the vaccine, and masks are taking away their freedom. None of these illogical thoughts make any sense to me. For starters, masks are NOT taking away anyone’s freedom but are saving lives. Also, the vaccine is completely FREE, and it does not take long to get the shots, so 15-20 minutes is worth it to keep living.

There are very few religions that are opposed to vaccinations. The reason why some religions are opposed to vaccinations is due to things the vaccines are made from, but the COVID vaccine is not made of any animal-based ingredients. Christian scientists tend to turn down vaccines because they have a belief in the healing through prayers, which means they believe prayers can have the ability to cure diseases and illnesses. Unfortunately, no amounts of prayers are stopping COVID from taking a person’s life.

The Dutch Reformed Church does not have an official standpoint on the COVID vaccine, but many of the members are opting out of the vaccination. These people believe that vaccines will interfere with their relationship with God by making them less dependent.

I was very apprehensive about getting the COVID vaccine, but it was out of fear of possible interactions with the Gilenya I take for Multiple Sclerosis. I remember years ago when the flu vaccine was available and was a live vaccine and frowned upon with Gilenya so I never got the vaccine and luckily never got the flu. Despite what was said at the beginning of the pandemic, COVID is a lot different than the normal flu and a lot more deadly. Of course, with the COVID vaccine being new there was not a lot of information available and even the manufacture of the Gilenya was unsure if the vaccine was safe for me to get. I did not wait for approval from my neurologist or the manufacture to get the vaccine and thankfully, it did not have any of the interactions I was fearful of.  Unfortunately, six months after getting the vaccine, my bloodwork showed that I did not have any antibodies for COVID so masks are a must for me, but I still do not regret getting the vaccine because maybe the vaccine was protecting me in the beginning. Plus, those that are fully vaccinated and got COVID had less severe symptoms.

No vaccine is 100% effective, but the Pfizer vaccine for COVID is 95% effective. Moderna is 94.1% effective and Johnson & Johnson is 85% effective with COVID. I would say that even an 85% effectiveness is better than nothing at all. The vaccine may keep people protected for a few months and it loses it protection meaning another vaccine may be necessary. With so many people continuing to decline getting vaccinated, the virus is only going to continue to mutate creating more variants that are going to be even more deadly and possibly resilient to the vaccine.

I do think one of the major issues with the virus and the vaccine is ALL the misinformation and lies that are being spread on social media and from ignorant people. This is dangerous for the health of all humans and needs to end. Masks will NOT cause health issues but will prevent the spread of COVID and end more variants from starting. Wearing a mask will NOT only keep you safe but keep others safe if you are infected with COVID because you are asymptomatic.

With children going back to school, there have been a lot more kids and teachers getting sick with COVID and ending up in the hospital. Thankfully, my husband and I do not have two-legged children because I do not think I would feel comfortable with my child going to school. Many parents are fighting requirements for their children to wear a mask, but then do not want their child having remote learning. I think it is crucial to keep the children and teachers as safe as possible. I think what some parents do not realize is, their child follows their example. The parents that are causing violence in meetings with the staff and other parents at their school and acting with no regards to human life are setting the worst example. The truth is, children are our future and when they are only seeing bad behavior, what does that do to the future of our country? The children are not able to fully understand the seriousness of this virus and do not comprehend the importance of masks and social distancing. Children must be at least 12 to get the vaccine, so those under 12 are at a higher risk.

I do understand that there is no way to change someone’s mind about getting vaccinated, but I can at least try providing these people with a logical explanation about the importance. The only person I can control is myself, so I will continue wearing a mask and will either get a third shot of the COVID vaccine or a booster when it is available. The one thing we all can work together on is ending the spread and further variants of this extremely serious virus. Part of me thinks that our new normal is wearing masks anytime we leave our homes and disinfecting anything that enters our homes. It might not be a great way to live, but it will provide some sort of comfort and safety.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I do hope the information I have shared has enlightened you to the gravity of this virus. I will urge you to get vaccinated if you have not already so we can END COVID sooner rather than later. I care about human life, which is why I will continue to do what is necessary to keep everyone safe and alive. I am looking forward to reading what your thoughts are on the information I provided in this post and promise to respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday y’all! Is it just me or does it seem like the weekend was really short? Obviously, I know the weekends are only two days, but sometimes it seems like only one day. I guess my weekend felt even shorter because I pretty much had a headache all weekend and it was probably because of the rain. How was your weekend? I hope whatever you did, you stayed safe!

Here we are again beginning another week. Mondays are never easy, but today is a blessing and something to be thankful for! I hope you will find motivation in the quote I am sharing with y’all today. I found this quote motivating and inspiring because we are all facing so many challenges each day. I do believe we are all strong enough to handle this, but that does not make it easier to tolerate.

Of course, COVID is still terrorizing the world and it will never make sense to me why many are still so against the vaccine. I have heard many people and some that I thought were intelligent argue that vaccines are a personal choice, which if the virus was not killing people I would agree with. I do believe that we all have the right to decide, but when our decisions affect others in a negative and deadly way, I think choices need to be rational and not selfish! I am still doing the best I can to help other understand the importance of getting vaccinated and I plan to get a third vaccine to ensure my safety and others safety as well. This needs to be a group effort and together we can make a difference with this pandemic!

Thank you for taking the time to visiting my site today. This post might not be as good as previous post, but it is because of the headache that will not go away. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and found it to be motivating. I would love to know what you thought of this post and I promise to respond to your comments as soon as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday

I have good news for y’all! We are halfway through the week and SO much closer to the weekend we all are waiting for! I hope your week has been great up to this point and the next few days are even better. I can say that work has gotten a lot busy, which I do prefer because it makes the day fly by or at least move along faster. Many that disagree with me and enjoy slow days, but what good is that really? Not only are the workdays a lot busier, but it is insanely HOT where I live and that does not make living with Multiple Sclerosis easy. At least I do not have to leave the house and go out into the nasty heat. I do prefer to not dwell on things I have no control over and just try to enjoy the life I have been given!

Now that we have successfully made it through two days this week and are starting the third, it might help everyone to feel a little inspiration. The quote I want to share with y’all today I find enlightening and inspiring, but I do hope it will do the same for you! I know the quotes I see in a certain way, others might feel something different, but those differences help us view things in a different light and grow. I believe if we all saw things the same way, life would be rather boring with no room to flourish into stronger and more amazing people! With that said, I would love the opportunity to read what your thoughts are on the quote I am sharing today.

I am curious about what your thoughts are on the newest variant of COVID, Delta. I have heard the reason for the majority of hospitalizations is due to Delta and even those that are fully vaccinated are becoming ill. The only good news is the people that have been fully vaccinated are not necessarily becoming deathly ill, but unfortunately, some of the older individuals are losing the battle with Delta. We are continuing to be living in trying times, but I do believe the more people that get vaccinated will end the virus from mutating into viruses that will defy that current vaccine. It is NOW, critical for everyone to get fully vaccinated and we can join together to end the spread!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and it has inspired you to not only get vaccinated but to continue this the rest of this week with a positive outlook. I am looking forward to reading your comments and promise to respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope y’all had a nice, relaxing, and safe weekend! I guess ready or not, a new week is in front of us. We all have the opportunity to stay focused, determined, and optimistic for good things to happen. I do understand that it is not always easy, but we should consider the new week a blessing because tomorrow is never a promise. I have been struggling to do the normal posts I have always done because of numerous things, but I am refusing to surrender to the challenges in life. Yes, saying goodbye to the weekend is hard, but it happens every week and things have to continue to improve.

As we embark on another new week, we need to continue trying our best to stay positive and motivated. It is my hope the quote I am sharing with y’all today will provide you the motivation needed to begin the week and hope with each day the week gets even better. We are all incredibly strong due to the obstacles we have faced and continue to face. The only thing that can stop us, is our inner critic. Lord knows that I am my own biggest critic and enemy because I am hard on myself. Even with that said, I am working on ending that vicious cycle!

Life is not easy and it takes strength, determination, and resilience. During the past 18 months, we have all faced distressing times that we never could have imagined. There is a song I heard many years ago that is so powerful and something that the world needs now more than ever. I am going to encourage all of you to listen to this song and please let me know what you think of it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AjkUyX0rVw&list=RD9AjkUyX0rVw&start_radio=1. The song is called “We Are The World” and it is being sung by several iconic singers of our time. I do remember this song being powerful when I was younger, but today it makes me cry tears of sadness, enlightenment, strength, and hope!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope y’all have a great and safe day. I know I say this in every post, but it is because I care about people and want everyone to be safe with COVID getting bad again. If you have not already gotten the vaccine, I want to urge you to do so. The vaccine is keeping everyone safe and preventing additional deaths. I understand vaccines can be scary, but the vaccine was not created by any government, but by scientists. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Boost your immune system

During the past year and a half, eighteen long months we have learned many valuable lessons about the world and those living in it. From coast to coast, throughout every country people have endured the stress, fear, and anxiety from a wildly contagious and deadly virus. Some of the most prominent issues with COVID-19 are the misinformation that has been shared in the news and social media, but also those that are refusing to get vaccinated and or wear a mask. Too many people have politized this virus, which should NEVER have been a political issue because it is science-based. This virus has already killed millions of innocent people worldwide and has not stopped. Throughout this post, I am going to share important information on the complications from COVID and ways we can strengthen our immune system to defend against illnesses and viruses.

COVID-19 may be different for each person that gets the virus, but some are going to be similar. Symptoms may range from minor to severe and even lead to death. The symptom may include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, loss of smell or taste, nausea, and diarrhea. Some people are asymptomatic, which means they have the virus, but do not display any symptoms and are continuously spreading the virus.

Unfortunately, some people may experience COVID-19 complications that are caused by a condition called “cytokine storm”. This condition is when an infection prompts the immune system to flood the bloodstream with cytokines, which is are inflammatory proteins. These proteins may kill tissue and damage organs, and, in some situations, lung transplants will be required.

The immune system behaves similar to the way a security system we have in our homes does. My immune system does not behave the way it should, which is where my fears stem from. Although, our immune system is complex it is the first line of defense against illness. Our immunes system is comprised of various organs, cells, and proteins that have several vital roles, which include:

1. Fighting disease-causing germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi and eliminates them from our body.

2. Acknowledges and negates harmful substances from the environment

3. Fights disease-causing changes in the body.

Considering how crucial our immune system is and the ways all the variants of COVID-19 are impacting the world, we must do everything we can to keep our immune system healthy. Personally, the medication I take for my Multiple Sclerosis causes my immune system to be weak. Even though I have been fully vaccinated, I work from home, have groceries delivered, and rarely leave the house, I am still worried. On the rare occasion, I do leave my house, I do wear a mask because there is no way to know if the vaccine was effective for me. Also, I would not want to be an asymptomatic carrier and pass it onto someone else, even though they had the option to get the vaccine and did not.

Unfortunately, as we age our immune response capability may become reduced. With cases of COVID from the Delta variant steadily increasing, now is an important time to do everything we can to keep our immune system as healthy as possible. I am going to share several ways to help build and maintain a healthy immune system. Before you continue reading, please remember I am not a physician, nutritionist, or health expert, this is just information I have learned through a little research.

Maintaining good gut health could be the golden ticket! It has been suggested that doctors believe up to 80% of our immune system is found in our gut. A diet that is abundant with plant-based and unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spice display a protective effect. Utilizing this type of diet can reduce inflammation and promote good gut bacteria, which establishes stronger immune health.

As COVID-19 continues to mutate into different and more contagious variants, continuing good hand hygiene is crucial. Washing our hands multiple times, a day for at least 20 seconds is the best and most effective way to not spread bacteria, viruses, and infections. You can count to 20 each time you wash your hands, or you can sing happy birthday or Mary had a little lamb 2 times as you wash your hands!

Continue or start taking vitamins daily. Vitamin C supplies immune defense by assisting cell function and defending against environmental contributors. If you do not want to take a vitamin C supplement, there are several natural sources including oranges, strawberries, spinach, kiwi, and grapefruit. Vitamin D can increase the immune response and defend against respiratory conditions. Of course, there are vitamin D supplements, but 10 minutes of sun exposure a day is an effective natural source.

We have all heard many times that stress is a silent killer, but it also harms our immune system as well. Stress can cause us to produce additional levels of cortisol and cytokine, which triggers inflammation. Stress can also decrease the number of white blood cells in our body that help fight off infections. Discovering ways that work best for us will restore much of what is needed for a healthy and fulfilled life.

Developing a schedule to get an adequate amount of sleep every night can help boost our immune system. Research suggests that less than six hours of sleep each night might make someone four times more likely to get sick, than someone that does get the proper amount of sleep. Our body depends on a full night’s rest to replenish cells and proteins. Of course, during the workweek, it is easier to stay with a sleep schedule because we have a set time our workday will begin, but we should use the same sleep schedule on the weekends as well

If you are currently a smoker, it is time to quit. Smoking does so many awful things to our bodies and increases the risk of cancer. There are many programs available to help you quit smoking, but it does take you making the first step! If you drink alcohol, it is best to only do this in moderation. Alcohol not only creates negative impacts on our physical body but also on our mental health.

Staying hydrated might not protect us fully from viruses but becoming dehydrated has many negative impacts on us that can easily be avoided. Dehydration can cause terrible headaches and hinder our physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, heart, and kidney function. I have mentioned before the importance of staying hydrated and provided a few useful tips. I drink water all day and even have a bottle beside my bed at night, so if I become thirsty it is available. I have purchased a few phenomenal bottles on Amazon that keep my water cold all day. I leave one bottle in the freezer, filled halfway with water so when I take it out there is ice in the bottom that helps keep the water even colder! I will share a link to the bottles that I have and hope you will find them as helpful as I do! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0764PGKL4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hope the information I have shared will be helpful for you. I know there are many other ways we can work to keep our immune health the best it can be, so if you have other advice, please share with us! I have already said before, the vaccine is free, and everyone needs to get this as soon as possible. Being vaccinated and or wearing a mask will save lives. The people that are not getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are contributing to the death count, which is wrong and selfish.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you are having a relaxing, safe, and wonderful weekend! I am looking forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa