The Happiness Connection  

Are you ready for the shot?

The hopes of many have been focused on a COVID-19 vaccine for a year now.

Finally, the reality of receiving an inoculation is getting closer and closer.

How do you feel about waiting?

It’s taken me a lot of years to let go of the impatience that descended every time I found myself waiting for something to happen or for another person’s decision to be delivered.

The sense of powerlessness that accompanies these situations can be torturous.

If you plan on getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and you struggle with waiting, I’ve got good news for you. There are things you can do now to make your eventual inoculation more effective.

Vaccines of all types work in a similar way. They start by initiating an inflammatory response, similar to a mild version of the illness they’re designed to protect you from.

This causes the adaptive immune system to spring into action.

Exposing the body to the viral or bacterial components of the disease, allows it the opportunity to create a plan of attack.

It can use this plan if the actual virus or bacteria appears. Faster response to the invaders means a greater chance of irradicating the germs before they can get established.

There are a lot of variables that contribute to how well your body reacts. Studies show that both physical and mental health have an influence.

It may seem like this pandemic has gone on forever, but in research terms that isn’t true. Because the COVID-19 shots are so new, scientist have turned to data collected about flu vaccines to help them.

This information, along with what they’ve uncovered from the recent COVID-19 drug trials have given scientists a good picture of ways you can prepare yourself to have the best response to and recovery from your vaccination.

In a nutshell, the healthier you are, the better you will react to an inoculation. Even a short-term adjustment to a healthier lifestyle will aid your body’s ability to remember how to attack invaders and minimize side effects.

Let me share some of the ways you can get your body and mind ready for a vaccination.

Get plenty of sleep.

I’m starting with this one, because it’s something many people struggle with.

I was interested to discover that a recent study found flu vaccines to be more effective in people who got a good night’s sleep the two nights before their inoculation. https://sleepdt.com/sleep-and-how-it-helps-the-immune-response-to-covid-19-vaccination/

You should also aim to get sufficient rest for a few days following your shot if you want to minimize side effects and have the best possible recovery.

If this doesn’t seem like simple advice to follow, start working now to establish healthier sleep routines. This will make it easier to follow the sleep recommendations provided by the research.

Release stress through relaxation.

Both long and short-term stress hamper your body’s immune response. Utilize strategies like meditation, journaling, and yoga to relax both your body and your mind.

Increase your connection time.

Feeling connected to others is important for both mental and physical health. The pandemic makes this harder but not impossible.

A study of undergraduate students found that those who felt lonely or who had very small social networks, had lower antibody levels than their connected counterparts. Antibodies help you fight invading germs.

A virtual coffee date, a walk in the fresh air with a neighbour or friend, or a telephone call are all great ways to boost your wellbeing.

Follow healthy living guidelines.

  • Eat fresh, whole foods.
  • Stop cigarette smoking.
  • Increase your physical activity.
  • Restrict your alcohol intake.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to live healthily, but you get the idea.

If you’re planning to take advantage of having a COVID-19 shot, be proactive and put your body in the best possible position to increase your immune response and decrease side effects.

Rather than feeling you’re helpless, empower yourself. You may be surprised at how wonderful it feels.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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