In this article I would like to talk specifically about how you can strengthen your immune system with the help of a mindful daily routine. In my other article on the immune system, you will learn which components are also important.
If you eat a varied and balanced diet, exercise and get regular sun exposure, you should have no problems with nutrient deficiencies and have a fit immune system. However, in certain situations, e.g. during stress, in winter, during pregnancy or when taking immunosuppressive medication, we have an increased need for nutrients. Then it is important to pay special attention to the variety of foods and their proper preparation.
Nutrition is the cornerstone of a strong immune system-but not everything!
However, nutrition is not the only key to a well-functioning immune system. In particularly stressful situations, we need to be careful with our strength and resources. Then it is worthwhile to internalise a mindful daily plan for a strong immune system. Of course, there is always something that might make the plan not go according to plan. Ideally, however, it can contribute to more balance and thus to strengthening the immune system.
Since, in my opinion, there are already enough good articles on the individual vitamins and the ideal diet for a strong immune system on the internet (see e.g. here) or in book form (e.g. „How not to die“ by Michael Greger), I would like to present a daily routine for a strong immune system here!
Daily routine for a strong immune system
- Start the day with a few deep conscious breaths. Even if you are in a hurry in the morning, try not to get into a rush, but to carry out every single activity calmly and consciously. The motto is „If you are in a hurry, go slowly.“
- Drink a glass of water or brush your teeth first to get a fresh breath.
- Take a short, hot shower and end with a cold shower. Hold the stream of water on the outside of your right foot, go up to your right hip, down the inside of your thigh, and then down your left foot and arms. The heart comes last, so to speak.
Dress warmly afterwards (especially in winter) and apply cream if necessary.
Breakfast ideas for a strong immune system
- If you have to go out afterwards and/or are not hungry early in the morning, take your breakfast to work, otherwise take 15 minutes in the morning to prepare and eat a fortifying meal. This should consist of soaked whole grains and fresh fruit or vegetables and healthy fats. Examples: „Bircher“ muesli made from oatmeal soaked overnight (recipe follows), porridge with granola topping, creamy smoothie or bagels with nut butter or other toppings. If you’re more in the mood for something savoury in the morning, try savoury oatmeal, a vegetable broth with semolina gnocchi or an egg with vegetables. In winter, or if you’re feeling a bit tired, start the day with a ginger shot.
- If you can’t get going in the morning without coffee or, like me, appreciate it as a moment of pleasure, note that it and other caffeinated drinks should not be drunk too early after getting up. Specifically, they should not be consumed before 9am, and preferably not until about 3 hours after getting up, otherwise cortisol levels will spike unnecessarily (1).
- Start your working day mindfully, whether you have to leave the house or not. Give your attention to the task at hand, try not to get distracted. Take small breaks in between and breathe deeply. If you have a sedentary job, stand up, walk around a bit or create a workstation that you can turn into a standing desk. But remember, „Better to lie down and walk than sit and stand!“
- Take a conscious lunch break. Even if it’s only 20 minutes, avoid eating at your desk or while walking. If possible, change the place, so you get some exercise and variety. Eat a nutritious lunch with good carbohydrates from fresh vegetables, fats and some protein, and not so much that you need to take a nap afterwards.
If you hit a low point in the afternoon, don’t try to overcome it with litres of coffee and tonnes of chocolate. If possible, get some fresh air and have a small snack of dark chocolate, nuts or some fresh fruit. A small cup of coffee or tea is also perfectly okay if you don’t suffer from sleep problems in general.
- If you have a predominantly sedentary job, get moving after work. Even if you would prefer to lie down on the couch – ride your bike home or get off a few stops before and go for a walk. You will feel more balanced if you do some physical activity in addition to your mental work.
- End the day with a good meal that is not heavy on the stomach. Depending on your energy level, lighting candles and preparing a delicious meal for yourself or friends and family can be very relaxing and beneficial. Examples are a creamy risotto with salad topping, homemade pasta with tomato sauce, a hearty stew, a warming soup or a colourful salad with warm components such as oven vegetables, goat cheese or roast patties. Concrete inspirations will follow here on my blog.
- Make yourself comfortable. Moments of relaxation, where you simply feel good and let your soul dangle, are so important for a functioning organism. Even a few conscious minutes are enough for this. Make yourself a cup of tea or a hot chilli chocolate, have a healthy biscuit or a piece of chocolate and enjoy both together consciously. Listen to relaxing music and watch the candle flame flicker.
- Get ready for a good night’s sleep. It is best to start before midnight, as this is when sleep is deepest. For more information on sleep, see here. Let go of all the thoughts that occupy you, the night is for regeneration.
I hope you found something from this daily routine for a strong immune system helpful. Do you have your own „secret tips“ for staying fit and healthy? Feel free to let me know in the comments.
Have a nice and hopefully relaxing weekend!