It should come as no surprise that we are concerned with improving our immune health to protect us from sickness and disease. One way to do this is by eating more nutritious, whole foods, but other services and treatments are being explored as well. There are detox programs, salt therapies, IV vitamin therapy, saunas, and others that look at healing ourselves on a cellular level. I’m not sure how I feel about an IV, but I am willing to explore ways to keep my immunity up including cooking new recipes with immune boosting foods.
New and improved supplements have been on the rise as we look to nourish ourselves with more vitamins and use these along with eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Mindful plant-based eating has gained popularity as well as we want to do more for a sustainable planet and our health. I predict more people will eat less meat this year as they find ways to be more innovative in the kitchen. We can also supplement with certain vitamins such as vitamin D or Vitamin B12 and protein powders. (more on that in another post as I begin my quest for a protein powder I like)
Digital fitness and at home cycling have exploded over the past couple years. I personally love at home workouts, but I don’t think I’ll be hoping on a bike or buying mirror fitness equipment anytime soon. Being able to work out in your own home and still have a community join you in some way motivates many of us to keep going and holds us accountable on days when we really don’t want to do it. And if you think about it, all you have to do is throw on your exercise clothes and press play or pick up the weights, no excuses. I’ve even taken to teaching yoga virtually so we can all roll out of bed and join our friends in the living room. No matter what the future holds, I believe this way of working out is here to stay.
Walking is another form of exercise that has gained in popularity. Many of us have used this to leave our houses when we weren’t able to go anywhere for other activities. I am happy to see this trend continue as I find walking to be very therapeutic. It brings us into nature and moves our body. It’s a time when we can contemplate our thoughts and can be considered a form of meditation. This is one trend I am happy to continue. Well once it gets warmer outside.
With the conversation around mental health and trauma evolving over the past couple years, we will see a more trauma informed approach in the future. Mental health has become a top priority for healthy living and the ever-elusive work/life balance. This has taken center stage as many people now want to work in a place that values their mental health and not just the bottom line. I have been doing my own work on trauma healing and being mindful to incorporate this into my yoga classes along with prioritizing my own mental well-being. I continue to advocate for speaking up and for listening when others share their stories. Removing the stigma from mental health conditions helps us all move forward towards caring for each other.
Prioritizing our girl’s mental health and that of all young people will also be high on the list this year. We have all felt the effects on our mental health over the past couple years and that includes our young people as well. We are also beginning to understand more about how social media effects our girl’s self-esteem and confidence. I’m always thinking about the health of our girls in the work I do. They are our next leaders and changemakers so we must build the foundation for them now.
Spiritual self-care has turned more mainstream last year and can be found all over social media. Think, tarot cards, hypnosis, astrology, manifesting, believing in the guidance of the Universe. Now I like to say I’m not full woo woo but I’m definitely half woo in that I believe the Universe has my back, I work on manifesting, and I even lead visualization meditations. I have been known to read my horoscope and I’ve had my cards read years ago. But this year I’m open to exploring more with crystal energy and I’ve committed to a year of meditation and prayer. I’m willing to see how spirituality helps in maintaining my wellness lifestyle.
Body work for overall health and improving skin quality is at the top of our minds. Skin is the largest organ we have yet we neglect it. Our skin quality is a reflection of our sleep, nutrition, movement, and mental health and can be influenced by changes in any of these. We know that stress and trauma are stored in the body and our tissues. One way to release this is to get a massage for the body or face and even acupuncture. While I haven’t made it to acupuncture quite yet and I know I really need a massage, there are self-massaging techniques that can be done at home and even using a foam roller to move the fascia (underlying tissue) around can improve our skin. When we release the tension, we can find an improvement in the skin on our face and body.
Sound healing has cropped up in our meditation spaces. A sound bath is a meditative experience where you are “bathed” in sounds from various instruments such as singing bowls, gongs, tuning forks, or chimes. Aspects of music can also be involved in sound healing to improve physical and emotional health. This is used to decrease stress levels and promote overall healthy well-being. I have experienced sound bathing once before and think that this might be something I try again to enhance my meditation experience this year along with helping to relieve my stress.
Many people now value improving our intellectual health and increasing our brain power. Intellectual health was ranked in the top 3 of the domains of health that people find important. So, if you are looking to enhance your skills, read more books, solve those puzzles, learn a new instrument, speak another language, or take up painting, then dive in because you will have plenty of others joining you.
No matter which trend you try this year, it’s good practice to always be improving our health and wellness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My holistic approach teaches that it’s not just about the nutrition we put into our bodies or our fitness routine, we also need to take care of our own well-being as well.In order to truly live a healthier life we need to realize this is a shift and change in our whole lifestyle and we must cultivate this lifestyle every day.
I’m a certified health coach with a Master’s degree in Health Promotion with a concentration in Community Education.
This degree prepared me to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). All of this knowledge is helping me create health education programs for children and adults alike.
MORE FROM THE BLOG…
I was raised Baptist not Catholic, but in my exploration of spirituality and the rituals I would like to participate in, I chose to do Lent this year. Lent is part of the Christian faith and is a time of penitence where we are asked to fast and choose items to abstain from in a way to mark the 40-day period that Jesus was fasting in the wilderness. Giving up certain pleasures is a way to foster simplicity and self-control, it is a reminder of our penance and creates a sort of suffering on our part.
As another year rolls around a new set of trends pop up in various industries. While I don’t consider myself the trendiest person, I do like to see where wellness is headed and if there is anything new I want to try or old habits I want to expand.
Here are a few trends that caught my eye for this year.
Oh sleep, that ever-elusive healthy habit I am constantly chasing. I have found myself over the years stating that sleep is my wellness flaw. I exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, meditate, practice self-love, and many other habits that make up my wellness lifestyle. But no matter what I do, sleep can still be a struggle.
Self-care has somehow become synonymous with selfish. We feel instantly bad when we take time to ourselves or over explain so as not to offend those in our lives when we need some “me” time. When did this become the case? Why is self-care such a bad thing?
Over 20 years ago back in 1998 I laced up my sneakers to head out for a run. I had never actually gone for a run before, but I knew people loved it and it was a great form of cardio, so I decided to give it a try. I ran two miles, felt proud of myself, and then experienced excruciating pain in my knee to the point where I was limping for a few days. And thus ended my running career. I did try it again years later living here in NYC only to have the same experience.
Picture this: New York City, 2009
I arrived in Brooklyn, the place I would now call home. It was July, it was hot, I was lost, I was scared, I was alone. I felt unloved and maybe even a little dead inside.