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Maintaining Peace of Mind in the Time of COVID - Handling Stress & Anxiety

based on an article written by Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac. on

The novel coronavirus pandemic has made the unimaginable, a reality, in a very short period of time. The experiences we are all sharing can only be described as novel, as in the adjective meaning new, interesting, or unusual.

As hundreds of millions of us in the US and more than a billion people across the globe remained largely confined to our homes for an extended period of time, we had to develop new routines and strategies to maintain our peace of mind.

For example, many are walking, jogging, or bike riding. With this routine, it creates a sense of normalcy.

Here are some of our favorite suggestions for you to create a healthy routine.

Physically Isolate but Stay Connected

A big part of staying grounded through social distancing is staying socially connected. Physical isolation from others does not have to mean social isolation.

How perfect that technology today allows us to stay in touch. On-line groups, social media, Facebook Live and Messenger, Instagram, laughing at the videos on Tik Tok, videoconferencing via Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, and FaceTime are saving the day. Even the good old-fashioned phone call is a great way to "reach out, reach out and touch someone.  Reach out, reach out, and just say hi" as the jingle goes. Maybe some of us find that we are more in touch with family and friends than ever before, or we are inspired to be more in touch as we create our new routines.

"The prevalence of online support from our trusted sources is skyrocketing. Messages from our health care practitioners, spiritual teachers, friends, and other important social groups abound. They are true gems, shining ever more brightly because of their necessity.

"Take time, too, to think of who can you help by being in touch? Who can use a friendly ear or even just a short note to let them know you are thinking of them?"

Eat Right

The best thing you can do for yourself, and for society, is remain healthy. These are epic times and you are a part of it. For self-exploration, consider your daily decisions. When we are dealing with intense emotions (grief, worry, anger, and fear may be common now) the decision to eat a healthy lunch, as opposed to snacking on junk food, for example, takes on extra importance.

A hugely overlooked area in the coronavirus pandemic is WHY Americans are getting more sick than other countries. It seems that the media has forgotten to mention the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking an organic multivitamin and finest pure fish oil, specific herbs for you, and being nutritionally healthy are crucial to have a strong immune system to combat a nasty virus like COVID.

If you have questions about nutrition and herbs, did you know that Dr. Megan Marco and Dr. Craig Fasullo are experts in nutrition?  Schedule with Dr. Marco for Chinese Herbal Medicine and a Chinese Medicine philosophy perspective on the energy and flavors of your food to shift your energy. Schedule with Dr. Fasullo for a Naturopathic perspective, to order and analyze your bloodwork, and for the analysis of your nutrition and health.

Schedule: 860-536-3880

Overall, unfortunately the Standard American Diet is "SAD." It has led to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Interestingly, these are the populations affected the worst by viruses and the coronavirus. Where to start? Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Ideally organic, which means no pesticides. Pesticides kill things, including us, and the good flora in our small intestines, the probiotics which help our immune system, digestion, and neurotransmitters. We carry the excellent probiotic, MegaSpore, here at SNHC. The Pure Synergy Multivitamin, Pharmax Fish Oil, and MegaSporebiotic are all available to purchase through these bold links, pick up or ship. We have The Pure Synergy Greens which are an excellent health and immune boost also.

When you read your labels, three other ingredients linked to poor health are corn syrup, chemical preservatives, and food coloring. In a nutshell, the body is not able to metabolize corn syrup as a sugar or fuel. Instead, corn syrup turns into the bad cholesterol and raises liver enzymes, both bad. While chemical preservatives increase shelf life and profits for the food industry, they render the food difficult to digest and lead to digestion problems and weight gain. Lastly, food coloring is a toxic chemical, linked with focus problems, behavior problems, and more. Best to read the labels, and choose organic whenever possible.

On the flip side of this, now is not the time to make harsh demands of yourself. We are facing something unprecedented here, and we are all doing our best. Particularly, if you are someone who has issues with food, now is not the time to be overly demanding of yourself.  Megan encourages you to love yourself.  "The most important thing is to love yourself, and love every inch of yourself.  This will empower you and help you make loving choices for yourself and others."

Start Your Day Right

An excellent way to start the day is to center yourself before checking social media, and tuning into the news. This can take the form of meditation, stretching, breathing exercises, Qi Gong like the video here, exercising, or taking a walk. We have some great complimentary, thorough yet quick stretching and Qi Gong videos on our facebook page

Check out:

(5) this seated Qi Gong video for building your Qi or energy:

Even if only for a minute, close your eyes and flood yourself with positive intentions and images. You can take it a step further, and send the world your beautiful, healing thoughts and channel healing energy, which is a form of Qi Gong.

Before connecting with the rest of the world, nourish yourself with a good breakfast and cup of hot tea or coffee. This type of self-discipline helps you feel strong, allowing you to calmly digest the day's news, at your pace, when you are ready. It also puts you in a position to help others who may need your compassion that day.

And again, remember to stay flexible with yourself. In life, there are some days when even getting up and and out of bed deserves an acknowledgment. Do what you can and be happy with what you do.

Less News, More Music

While staying informed is essential in a pandemic, being glued to the TV or the Internet is counterproductive. The media we consume is powerful as is the food we eat. News and media organizations are tasked with creating an enormous body of content in the forms of articles, video, and social media posts, much of it with headlines designed to grab our attention--often through sensationalism and fear. Megan's advice is to get your news from comedians as well, to help bring humor to some of the absurdity. Plus laughter is the best medicine.

In addition to limiting your time spent consuming media, also choose your sources wisely. Be mindful of how you feel when you watch videos or read articles or posts. If you feel enraged, polarized, scared, or confused perhaps it's time to take a break and instead focus on what brings you happiness and how you can help others.

We encourage you to listen to plenty of your favorite music. “When we satisfy our desire to eat, sleep, or be intimate, our brain releases dopamine—the 'feel-good' neurochemical involved when we experience pleasure and reward. It turns out this same chemical is released when listening to music,” according to an article in Psychology Today. "No wonder I love listening to happy reggae surf music, like Bob Marley and his sons, Stick Figure, Slightly Stoopid, The Late Ones, Iya Terra, and Rebelution!" exclaimed Megan. Check out some happy music new to you. Dance around. What are your favorite bands or musicians?  Let us know.  We'd love to hear from you.

Take it from an Astronaut

Who better to advise on dealing with isolation than someone who lived for a year in space?

In these days of COVID-19 astronauts are stepping up to share their advice.

“When you are living and working in the same place for days on end, work can have a way of taking over everything if you let it,” says retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly in his well-read New York Times article. “I deliberately paced myself because I knew I was in it for the long haul — just like we all are today,” he says. To maintain a healthy pace, Kelly recommends carving out time for non-work activities and one could argue this includes working on yourself. So be sure to always give yourself a break.

“When we work together, we will continue to be #EarthStrong."  People from all corners of the earth are sharing an extraordinary journey together, changing our personal lives and transforming our societies. Striving to maintain a peaceful mind does not mean you must become the Buddha, it simply means you seek balance when you feel overwhelmed or disturbed. The gift of great trials is that they always inspire us to let our humanity and ingenuity flourish. Use the time now to develop your healthiest self by remembering the words of an ancient Chinese adage "He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left."


Most importantly, remember that we are here for you.  With July 24th being annual International Self-Care Day, it is a great reminder of the benefits of effective self-care to individuals, society and healthcare systems. International Self-Care Day (ISD) is a reminder to people to take care of themselves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here at SNHC, we provide you with the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, and Massage. We have done a lot of research and continue to, as our passion is providing you with the best treatments possible for your healing, including effective Chinese Herbal Formulas for pretty much everything.

Stonington Natural Health Center is OPEN. We love helping you with your self-care. We follow the COVID protocols for safety and hygiene.  We love helping people be healthier and happier. 

Call 860-536-3880 and we will help you set up your appointments or schedule online through If you have any questions or comments about this Blog post, please let us know. We love hearing from you!

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I miss you so much Megan, Alisha and Tracy.

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