Have you adapted your daily habits to align with your goals in 2021? The way you nourish your body, protect your health, and even the ways you choose to relax can reflect your refreshed and resilient outlook on life.
This year, women’s health is all about simple choices and intentional practices you can put into place today to help you reconnect with your purpose and recover your power.
How Has Women’s Wellness Changed in 2021?
This year marks some substantial changes within your homes and communities to make sure you’re not only protecting your wellbeing–but actually staying optimally healthy. And you might’ve learned that what worked in the past–isn’t necessarily meeting your needs as of this year.
With almost everyone prioritizing immune health, you’re learning which foods, drinks, and even which forms of exercise best support you feeling your best, and how to keep your home environment as clean and peaceful as possible.
This year will continue to drive home the importance of self-care and personal behavior as the driving factor for optimal wellness, and an East-meets-West philosophy can help you get there.
See if you can spot all these trends in 2021…
#1 A Better Gut for a Better You: Healing & Protecting Digestive Function
Going beyond probiotics and a healthy intake of fiber, optimal digestive health can help you reduce inflammation, lose weight, and even reduce your risk of chronic illness over your lifetime (1).
This is because your digestive system controls how you absorb nutrients from food, regulates detoxification of metabolic toxins, and manufactures important compounds like hormones and neurotransmitters.
How to know if your gut is functioning its best and what can you do if it’s not? First, look for any signs of discomfort like gas, bloating, abnormal bowel movement, hormone imbalance, or even fatigue. Then, remove common trigger foods and work to heal your gut lining.
Finally, add in gut-supportive nutrients like collagen, turmeric, and ginger which you can find in Belly Fix.
#2 A New Way to Do Hormone Balance: Breaking Out of Stigma
A revolution in women’s wellness is long overdue, and while it may not look like a revolution in the traditional sense of the word, more women are realizing that your hormones aren’t something that needs to be “battled” or “tamed” by hormonal birth control.
While HBC still offers solutions for many, for some it may not be the right choice, with dozens of new methods available for having more comfortable periods, increased fertility, and getting rid of debilitating symptoms like pain and mood swings.
#3 Mental Health Goes Mainstream
Speaking of stigma, 2021 will continue to show us that there is solidarity in guarding your mental health. “Hustle” culture has taken a back seat to self-care and setting healthy boundaries around work and social commitments.
With more than 40 million Americans navigating mental health symptoms, it’s about time we broke out of the taboo and started taking proactive measures that help us all collectively care better for our mental health.
#4 East Meets West: Ancient Healing Finds a Place in Modern Medicine
This year, expect to see Eastern medicine like TCM and Ayurveda provide holistic solutions for everything from clearer skin to healing with sound vibrations, and everything in between.
Filler-free alternatives like gua sha and healing practices like acupuncture have made their way into the mainstream, but the West is just now starting to learn about the benefits of specialized herbs like holy basil (or tulsi) and dong quai.
Even before Western medicine existed, nearly every ancient system of healing had a special importance for keeping the body balanced–Ayurveda refers to agni or the force behind digestion and metabolism as one of the 5 life forces, and in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), poor digestion can cause your energy or “qi” to become imbalanced.
This balance is what keeps your body healthy, according to TCM.
#5 Light-Based Wellness to Regulate Your Circadian Rhythm
When our routines changed so drastically last year, and there was a sharp increase in poor sleep, mood swings, and anxiety, holistic doctors were quick to point out one major element of wellness–seeing the right type of light, and at the right time.
Sunlight first thing in the morning (or upon waking) tells your brain that it’s time to be awake, and your body will start producing hormones and neurotransmitters that reset your circadian rhythm–or your natural 24-hour clock (2). Conversely, dimmer or red/orange light in the evening prompts the release of melatonin–the sleepy hormone–so you can prepare for bed.
Increased screen time and more time spent indoors, means you’ll need to be proactive about sticking to a routine, limiting your screen time (or wearing blue-blockers) at night, and prioritizing getting a little natural light during the day.
Light therapy is one accessible and inexpensive way to promote health that’s accessible to almost everyone.
Still having trouble sleeping? Take a look at magnesium or magnolia bark to quiet a busy mind.
#6 Work Smarter Not Harder: Exercise Levels Up
If the thought of “crushing a workout” always turned you off to the idea of exercise, you’re not alone, and this year is finally the time that workouts become tailored to you as an individual.
When gyms closed, consumers demanded quick, convenient ways to stay active in the comfort of their own homes. Fortunately, tons of virtual apps popped up to quickly fill the need of exercise as not just a means to stay active, but as a means for stress relief and survival.
As movement becomes a necessity, working out at home removes barriers of cost, inconvenience, and intimidation of going to the gym. This allows more people to use movement for what benefits them most–whether stress relief, mobility, or aesthetics and feeling food.
#7 Boosting Your Immune System Gets A Revamp
Better immune function hasn’t always been the sexiest topic, but this year expect to learn a ton about the different systems a healthy immune system impacts, such as your brain, skin, and digestive system.
Turns out, a healthy immune system can result in clearer skin, more energy–not to mention greater resilience against harmful microbes.
Not sure where to start with immune health? Take a look at how to spot when your immune system needs some TLC.
#8 What’s In Your Skincare? Toxic Ingredients Are OUT
Because what you apply to your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream, we’re all getting a little wiser about the quality and safety of ingredients in our skincare products. Expect to see more products which are vetted by dermatologics, herbalists, estheticians, and chemists to ensure the ingredients in them are safe and effective.
Toxic ingredients like parabens, EDTA, artificial preservatives, and endocrine disruptors are rampant in many skincare products. They perform as thickeners, emulsifiers, or help extend a product’s shelf life. Unfortunately, they’re not so good for your body and contribute to your overall toxic burden which impacts fertility, detox function, thyroid health, and hormone balance.
If you prioritize organic produce and clean fats and proteins, being mindful of the ingredients in your skincare is a crucial next step.
Take the quiz: Find out your toxic load!
#9 Filter Your Air & Water: Home is Your Safest Space
Before spending so much time at home, it was easy to overlook things like air quality or clean water. But when your home becomes your office, daycare, gym, and classroom, the importance of a clean and safe environment shoots to the top of your priority list.
Since the air circulating within your home can be up to 5x more polluted than outside thanks to VOCs, cleaning products, and artificial fragrances, an air filter can help remove these irritants for easy breathing.
Similarly, the EWG began testing for perfluorinated compounds (PFAS or PFOA) in 2019 and found that PFOA were almost ubiquitous in the water supply, spelling trouble for water sources all over the country (3).
PFOA can disrupt reproductive function, brain health, and more. The good news? Carbon filters and reverse osmosis can remove the majority of these harmful compounds
#10 and #11 The Right Supplements for 2021
Last year might’ve put you through new and difficult challenges, but a handful of nutrient-dense, functional herbs, botanicals, and vitamins can help you weather exactly the kinds of challenges you’re up against.
Immune support isn’t just for battling a cold.
Chinese medicine staples like astragalus support healthy interferon production (that’s a type of immune cell), while antioxidant vitamin C quenches free radicals not only internally, but can improve the look of your skin and even support collagen production. Beauty and immunity? Yes, please!
Take a look at the Defender to learn more.
Rise to the challenge with adaptogens.
This year the name of the game is adapting with a unique class of supplements called adaptogens (no surprise there). These Ayurvedic botanicals have been used for centuries to support your body’s response to stress.
Ashwagandha has been shown to support your body’s response to stress, and can promote a relaxed mood (4).
Mushrooms like reishi and cordyceps are also considered adaptogenic, and possess potent immune supportive benefits. Reishi has also been shown to support a relaxed mood and is sometimes referred to as the King of Mushrooms (5).
Looking Ahead with Holistic Medicine
This year, women’s wellness is about refining the simple basics that keep you feeling your best, while letting go of action and behaviors that no longer serve you.
The way you nourish your body isn’t only about what you eat and drink, but the ways you choose to recover your body and work to make it stronger. Truly holistic health for women is an ever-changing journey you can adapt to any stage of your life, and is accessible in simple ways for everyone seeking optimal wellness.