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How Covid-Stress Can Impact Your Health and Wellbeing

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covid stress on your body

Chronic stress and anxiety have risen dramatically during the past 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic. This level of ‘dis-ease’ often creates an imbalance in the way our body’s nervous system works, which can lead to many unwanted and painful symptoms.  

Your nervous system

The nervous system is a complex network of nerves that help send messages from the brain to the body and back again

covid stress impact on health

Sympathetic Dominance

Like a seesaw, your body tries to strike a delicate balance between engaging the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. 

When your body senses intense danger or stress, it switches on your sympathetic nervous system (your in-built survival/safety mechanism)

Your body diverts all its energy towards your muscles, making you alert and prepared to run away or fight. When this happens, many bodily functions are suppressed, including:

  • Digestion
  • Immunity
  • Healing
  • Reproduction

When this system functions appropriately, it allows your body enough short-term energy to get out of crisis and ensure your survival. Unfortunately, with the challenges and stressors of modern life, our sympathetic nervous systems are being switched on more frequently and remain ‘on’ for longer periods of time. This is known as Sympathetic Dominance.

covid stress

Diagram from SDProtocol

When your body is constantly on alert and has trouble winding down, you can experience a decline in health, leading to complex symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Tight shoulder, neck and leg muscles
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Regular headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Hormonal issues
  • Sensitivity to lights and sound
  • Poor sleep
  • Thyroid imbalances
  • Irritability

Reversing the sympathetic overdrive

It is possible to try and switch on your parasympathetic nervous system to bring your body back into balance. Action steps you can take:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga and stretches
  • Reduce screen time
  • Walking
  • Slow and deep breathing exercises
  • Spending time outside, especially in nature
  • Drink more water
  • Epsom salt baths to relax muscles
  • Awareness of proper posture and work ergonomics
  • Have a well-balanced diet – reduce sugar intake, avoid inflammatory foods, and increase fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Slow down – prioritise activities and organise schedules accordingly
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Stay well adjusted!

Chiropractic adjustments help to alleviate the symptoms of Sympathetic Dominance

Our experiences with lockdowns, restrictions, work insecurity, financial concerns and health risks throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have certainly increased the stress and anxiety that many of us feel on a day-to-day basis. But you can seek help and guidance to counteract these effects and bring your body and nervous systems back into balance.

Contact Connect Chiropractic for an effective, natural, drug-free alternative that helps relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Book a consultation on 03 9512 5882.

Dr Nicole Hudson

Principal Chiropractor | Connect Chiropractic

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