So unless you’ve been in a coma the past week or so, you’ve probably been bombarded by media coverage of the swine flu “pandemic.” The newest thing is that the World Health Organization raised the pandemic alert level to Phase 5, which has never happened before.

Naturally, what you have to actually read the article to find out is that it’s never happened before because there was no phase system until 2005, when the system was created in response to the “avian flu crisis.”

Anyway, I really wish that the media would balance out their panic pieces with a few articles about how to stay calm and ways in which you can take care of yourself and boost your immune system to promote general wellness. I’m a firm believer that stress negatively affects your physical health.
True, “how to feel good” doesn’t sell papers quite the way that “EMERGENCY!” does, but a girl can dream, right?
There are certain things you can do to help yourself mellow out, though. For example, sipping a cup of tea (especially chamomile) or taking a warm bath can help. You might try yoga or acupuncture as well.

As far as nutrition goes, there are definitely foods that have a calming effect. Here is a video featuring Self blogger Cristin Dillon-Jones talking about what kinds of foods to eat to manage stress. It’s a few months old, but the information is still great!
No matter what, you can’t go wrong making sure that you’re getting enough of the nutrients you need. That, along with enough sleep and exercise (and okay, maybe a little bit of obsessive hand-sanitizer application after subway trips) can help keep you well. Swine flu be damned.

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