It's clear the COVID-19 vaccines have been giving many people symptoms of illness or making them sick. Further, the virus still exists, regardless of the shots. Therefore, taking care of yourself and your immunity is still very important at this time.
So we’ve pulled together some suggestions for taking care of yourself when getting vaccinated and reentering the world at large. Let us know how it goes for you.
Taking care of yourself before and after the vaccine
Get adequate sleep. Take it slow. Nap if you need to, as the act of rest really can help you recover if you experience symptoms from the vaccines.
Get the right micronutrients that help your immune system. The key here is a wide variety of nutrients from a diverse diet of whole foods. Additionally, immune cells rely especially on Vitamin C, Vitamin D, iron, protein, selenium, and zinc... so eat foods rich in these nutrients. (And take your daily Encarna!)
Avoid added sugars and seed/vegetable oils. These are inflammatory and negatively impact your immune system.
Eat a diet rich in antioxidants. A major USDA study of foods highest in antioxidants yielded this list of fruits, vegetables and nuts (in order, highest to lowest): small red beans, wild blueberries, red kidney beans, pinto beans, cultivated blueberries, cranberries, artichokes, blackberries, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, red delicious apples, Granny Smith apples, pecans, sweet cherries, black plums, russet potatoes, black beans, plums and gala apples.
Treat yourself to any mental health support you may need. This last year brought a lot of change and kicked up a lot of psychological dust. It’s okay to not feel 100% strong every moment of every day. Fortunately, there are more mental health care options now than ever before.
Stay well hydrated. This is always good advice, but especially useful before and after a vaccination appointment.
Re-entering society: What to expect
So, you’re vaccinated. What now?!
First off, expect other people to be out there, too. Careful when you’re rounding corners or stepping on or off elevators. Don’t let the presence of other humans freak you out.
Eavesdropping is back, baby! Isn’t this how fun, fresh ideas percolate in a normal, functioning society?
Are you ready for life sans mask? The good news is that we’ll be able to see each other smile again (woo-hoo!) and to read lips at a distance. The bad news is that there’ll probably be a lot less lip synching of embarrassing tunes in retail stores. Just us? Anyway, it’s time to break out the lipstick and lipgloss again. If you’re into that.
Speaking of makeup… holy cow, if you’ve been going for the full on-camera makeup look -- with heavy eyebrows, eyeliner, and blush over contouring, it might be time to step it down a notch. On the other hand, if you’ve been lounging pantsless with a messy bun or full beard, it might be time to step it up. Basically, check yourself in full daylight, outside your home. Is this still the look you’re going for? No judgement here. We’ll support whatever you’ve got going on.
Travel... remember when we could go *anywhere* we wanted, basically whenever? We’re getting there. Remember the airplane's middle seat? Oh, it’s full again. In-flight beverages and snack service? One can dream. Meanwhile, we’ll keep packing our Kasvi and water bottles. Just glad to be on the go once more.
Whatever you’re dealing with upon re-entering a more people-packed and social world, we want to remind you to be gentle with yourselves and others. We truly hope the world will adapt and evolve to be a little kinder, live with a little more grace and forgiveness. It's easier to do that when your nutrition is balanced, your endorphins are flowing and your outlook is positive. So take good care of yourself (and let’s all take care of each other).