If, after a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve noticed your mind and body aren’t functioning as well as you’d like, it’s time to think about having a wellness reset.
For ideas about how to reset or update your habits and health choices, why not check out what’s new around the globe in this area?
Here are some of the key health and wellness trends for 2021 that might give you some inspiration and ideas:
It’s no surprise that since the pandemic hit, virtual health options have skyrocketed. There were already numerous products on the market, but at-home wellness became top of mind for many people in 2020. In 2021, this is a significant trend that will get further entrenched. Be on the lookout for virtual options in pretty much every realm, from meditation apps and digital fitness platforms to telemedicine and virtual therapy sessions.
One of the key upsides of this trend is that it makes services more accessible to more people, such as those who live in locations where practices aren’t available in person. It’s typically more affordable to attend online sessions, too. Many people are also enjoying the benefits of online competition, whether against others or themselves. You can motivate yourself to push harder by watching your stats on apps and wearables and see what other people have managed to do with the same workout. Most digital platforms have plentiful data available for users to track.
In the virtual health realm, we’ve seen a rise in the number of stress-tracking wearables, especially those with innovative new methods. Now, they don’t just note heart rate data, but also things like blood oxygen levels and electrodermal activity (electricity conducted by skin that changes due to moisture such as sweat). Apps track data and typically prompt users to manage stress when it peaks via techniques like breathwork or meditation exercises.
Attention on Gut Health
A growing health and wellness trend related to one specific area of the body that affects pretty much everything else is gut health. Having a happy gut helps us fight off illness, improve our mood, focus better, have more energy, and enjoy other benefits. There are many steps we can all take to improve our microbiome in 2021. For example, cook healthy meals that include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, good fats, whole grains, and quality protein.
It’s essential to get enough prebiotic fiber that releases short-chain fatty acids, too. You can get this fiber from foods such as bananas, garlic, onion, asparagus, and Jerusalum artichokes. Plus, eat probiotic-rich foods, which are usually fermented. Excellent examples include tempeh, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and yogurt with live, active cultures in it. Furthermore, cut back on the amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners you consume, as they can disrupt the gut microbiome.
If you still find you’re having issues with your gut health or have recently completed a course of antibiotics or otherwise know your microbiome is at risk, start utilizing probiotic supplements. You can find these online, at health food and grocery stores, drugstores, and the like.
Focus on Self-Care
Another big trend right now that has no doubt been influenced by the global pandemic is radical self-care. After a harrowing 12 months filled with stress, trauma, uncertainty, change, and isolation, not to mention fraught relationships caused by time forced in close quarters, there’s more need for all of us to take care of our mental and physical health.
Self-care is the concept of looking after the self in order to remain well enough to take care of others. We must protect our own health to have energy to give to children, partners, other family members, friends, colleagues, etc. This idea is something many people have had to start considering more since the pandemic began.
Self-care tasks can include things such as taking a mental health day from work or visiting a therapist, but it also involves simpler and often more accessible tactics. Everyone has different things that work for them, but to boost your self-care, you could enjoy a nightly bubble bath, read a book or magazine, go for a long walk, or complete a meditation or yoga session.
You might do some gardening, watch a movie, or listen to music. Other ideas are writing in a journal, going to church, getting a massage, or spending more time taking care of the body with creams, masks, manicures, pedicures, and so on. If you’re not sure what works for you, try different things to discover the best tools to have in your self-care toolkit.
Some other key trends to look into in 2021 include bliss lists (taking notes about what creates joy in your day), high-tech sneakers, eating more kelp, and the use of artificial intelligence in food production. You’re sure to find at least a few developments right now that pique your interest.