Simple Steps for a Detox During Lockdown

DenaApril 20, 2020

Hello, friends! I hope that you are holding up okay. Here we are starting week six of lockdown. It’s almost unthinkable, but we are all struggling with negative thoughts, confusion and anxiety together. Each time I have this conversation, I come around to the same conclusion: that we all must continue to take it one day at a time–and sometimes–one hour at a time. This has been one of my life mottos for some time, and now more than ever it holds so true. If we allow ourselves to get lost in long-term thinking, projecting and worries, it leads to complete overwhelm. But if we focus on what is in front of us, the things that we can control, and the moments at hand–well then, it all becomes much more manageable.

Another thing that always helps is finding the good within the bad, the light within the darkness. As with all things, this pandemic brings negative and positive. We are all incredibly aware of the negative consequences of this time in history, but what is less obvious are the positives. One of the hugely positive outcomes of the pandemic is environmental changes. At this moment, air pollution and noise pollution are at historical lows. Without the constant rumbling of buses, trucks, trains and cargo ships, seismologists (who study earthquakes) are able to pick up seismic activity on the other side of the planet that they have not been able to in a century.

With the drastic decrease in noise pollution from passenger and cargo ships, ocean noise has dropped tremendously. We’re currently experiencing an unprecedented pause in ocean noise that hasn’t been experienced in decades. Ambient noise from ships and other maritime traffic increases stress-hormone levels in marine creatures, which can affect their reproductive success. Whales have even shown they can adapt to the noise, pausing their singing when cargo ships are near and resuming when they move away. North Pacific humpback whales are beginning to move northward this month and will soon be swimming with newborn calves in southeast Alaska. This will be the quietest, and therefore least stressful, re-entry that humpback whales have had in southeastern Alaska in decades.

At the same time, as a result of social distancing efforts the harmful effects of air pollution and other environmental contaminants have plummeted. While the entire human race is holding their breath, our Mother Gaia is finally catching hers. Just as there are some positive outcomes for the planet right now, there are also potential positive outcomes for us, the human race. There is so much good that can come from this time if we allow it to form a vastly deeper appreciation for our healthcare and front-line workers who we now recognize as the heroes that they are; to the unprecedented closeness and growth that families and individuals are being forced to lean into during lockdown; to the new gratitude that we will have for the little things when this is all over–like handshakes, hugs, browsing our favorite shops, sharing a meal with friends, birthday parties, and so on.

Another benefit of this time, if we so choose to embrace it, is what it can do for our health. Haven’t we all said at one time or another, if only I had more time to devote to cooking, I could prepare healthy meals; if only I had more time to exercise, I could finally get in shape. For many of us, now is gifted time to take hold of the unique opportunity to seek health and wellness. One way that we can do this is through detoxing. While many of us think about detoxing from the perspective of mainstream addictions (alcohol, drugs, gambling) there are a great many physical and emotional toxins that impact our health. This lockdown is a gifted time to implement some simple steps for detox to reset your physical and emotional health.

Here are a few simple ideas and steps for a detox during a lockdown.

Detox from processed food. Much of the food that we find on the shelves of grocery stores these days are processed and full of toxic artificial sweeteners and preservatives. If you would like to detox from processed food during the lockdown, all you need to do is choose whole foods the next time you’re at the grocery store. Whole foods mean food that is straight from the earth, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. Learn more about whole foods here.

Detox from alcohol or drugs. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from addiction to alcohol or drugs, this lockdown can be an opportunity to address those issues. While the feelings of anxiety and isolation might push us to want to use and numb more, we also have the opportunity to take a different approach. If we have it within our power to tackle these issues ourselves, we can take this time of social distancing where there are fewer opportunities to use (fewer parties, less social functions, no bars open, etc.) and effectively detox from behaviors that may have been holding us back.

For some, going through withdrawal alone is not an option. In this case it’s a good idea to reach out for alcohol home detox and addiction counseling from specialized professionals. If you have private or public health insurance you can reach out to your carrier or check their website to see what options are available to you. Or you can search the web for providers that service your specific needs, just make sure that you choose a provider that is fully licensed and accredited.

Detox from toxic relationships. Another opportunity that we have right now is to detox from toxic relationships, whether it is toxic co-workers, neighbors, old friends, or even family members; most people have at least some relationships that cause stress and pain. Social distancing is a perfect time to cut these people out of your life for a while–if not for good! Take some time and space away from these relationships and also use this time to study how to set strong, healthy boundaries. There are lots of books and even free articles online about this topic and it may not only bring you peace during this time, but it may also change your relationships in a positive way for life.

Detox from stress. Most people are living unconsciously, moving from task to task, with their minds and actions on autopilot. For many, thoughts of stress are constant, money-stress, relationship-stress, job-stress, house-stress, traffic-stress, which impacts our brains health. In a lockdown, we have an opportunity to embrace consciousness and to take a break from many of the stresses of daily life. How can we embrace consciousness?

One way to do this simply is to set aside ten minutes a day for meditation. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just sit in a quiet space and begin to focus on your breathing. Take a long, slow inhale through your nose, so deep that your belly expands and then your rib cage and then your chest. Hold your breath there for a moment and then exhale through your nose, slowly in equal measure. Do this several times, keeping your attention focused on your breathing. If a thought comes into your mind, do not judge it. Simply allow it to pass and then move your attention back to your breathing. You will feel the peace of presence filling your spirit.

Finally, move into deep meditation. Continue breathing but attempt to truly clear your mind and focus only on the nothingness–the space between your thoughts. Set a timer on your phone or watch. Try to maintain this state of complete presence for one minute. Each day, push yourself to add a minute to the length of your meditation. Many people find meditation to be difficult. If you need help to de-stress, you can always connect with the mental health professionals at BetterHelp.

Detox from social media and television. Whatever your modern vice maybe, now is the perfect time to take a break from it and take up a new hobby or habit that you’ve been dreaming of. Taking a break from Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, or even the news can all be beneficial to your health and wellness. It’s not that you have to give them up forever, but moving away for a bit can free up emotional and physical space in you, allowing a place for new things to come in. Want to start a morning yoga practice? Now is the time. Want to learn how to crochet? This is a perfect time to start. There are endless videos on YouTube that will teach you everything you need to know about millions of topics. So do a little research, make a game plan and let go of a less-than-healthy habit and replace it with something that will fuel your mind and spirit.

I hope that these tips have been helpful for you, sweet friends. There is no doubt that this is a challenging and scary time in the history of the human race; but it is also an unprecedented opportunity. As is always the case in life, it is up to us how we will use the time that we are given. Sending you to love and light always.

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