Women’s wellness has boomed over the last few years and thank goodness, because us women can be prone to over thinking things, stretching ourselves to the limit and we often place ourselves right at the very bottom of the pile. Self care, self love and empowerment are the key words here and the health and wellness trends for women in 2020 are still very much centred around these three factors.
We take a look in a bit more detail at some of the trends set to emerge next year that will help further enhance female health and wellness to ensure that ultimately we are all coping as equally well mentally as we are physically.
Hormonal health is a hot topic right now and this is set to continue in 2020 as more and more info is emerging on how big a part our hormones play in our overall health and wellbeing. From our moods and the quality of sleep we get, right through to our metabolism, how we put on weight, our mental health, and pretty much everything a woman experiences, it is all to some degree affected by our hormones. And so it’s time to get to know these powerful female chemicals a little better in order for us to learn to control them, or at the very least, learn to accept them and what they do to us each month!
Seed cycling is essentially about eating different seeds throughout the different stages of your cycle with the idea being that the varying nutritional qualities will help alleviate some of the less desirable symptoms. Kind of sounds like poppycock right? I mean seeds, plain old, bog standard seeds? Sure they’re hyped as a superfood and yep they’re 100% better for you than guzzling a packet of Malteasers, that much we know. But really? They’re actually going to turn me from a hot moody mess into some chilled out fertility queen? I’m not so sure….
But seed cycling is where it’s at in 2020 and advocates of this practice rave about the benefits and improvements to their hormonal health.
A typical seed cycle menu looks like this:
Follicular Phase (Days 1 – 14) – This is first stage of your cycle and is when your period starts. Eating flax seeds and pumpkin seeds should help boost estrogen production.
Luteal Phase (Days 14 – 28) – The second stage of your cycle, which falls after ovulation. Eat sesame seeds and sunflower seeds to help boost progesterone levels.
In general, women have higher estrogen levels at the beginning of their cycle and higher progesterone levels towards the end and so by eating seeds that boost the production of these hormones the theory is that this will compliment and ease symptoms such as cramps and will also help to regulate your periods.
Personally, I think it’s one of those things that will vary so much from woman to woman, as there are so many different factors at play. However, there’s no harm in bunging a couple of spoonfuls of seeds on your cereal of a morning and seeing what happens. It’s gotta be worth a go right?
The so called Marie Kondo effect, meant our homes were a whole lot tidier and emptier in 2018 and 2019. We realised we didn’t need countless objects to be happy and that in fact the less we had the better we felt. Decluttering and embracing the minimalist way of life was a refreshing change from the feelings of being bogged down with stuff. It made us feel lighter, made us feel in control and made us feel as though we totally had our shit together. In 2020 this is going a step further, as we take on the next challenge – decluttering our minds, or to give it it’s proper name, unlearning.
The amount of information our brains can store is quite literally mind blowing. And whilst the human brain does have the capacity to hold this vast amount of info, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in its interest. Think of it in terms of the memory you get on a computer. The more it fills up, the slower it starts to run, it starts to complain, it sends out message of help, it becomes clogged up. And that’s what happens to us. We suffer from information overload and the effect is that our system starts to break down. We get tired. We become run down. We make mistakes. Our moods change. We head towards mental burn out.
Whilst there is a whole tonne of information and memories we need and want to keep stashed away in there, there’s also a whole heap of entirely pointless stuff that is serving no purpose whatsoever. And that is the kind of crap we need to unlearn and empty out into our virtual trash bin.
Now obviously it’s not as easy as all that, I mean how do you simply ‘unlearn’ something, we can’t just wipe the disc so to speak. Predominantly, it is about unlearning bad habits and dropping the daily routines that hold no positive impact or that don’t promote growth in your life in some way. For example, do you always order the same dish from the same takeaway? Do you always use the same treadmill at the gym? Do you always walk the same route to work, even though there are lots of different routes you could take? When you go on holiday are you someone who has the same sunbed every day and the same table in the restaurant?
Breaking this auto pilot behaviour helps us to use our brains more actively and stops us just merely drifting through life and storing the mundane, quite frankly pointless observations that only serve to clutter us up. Unlearning is about simplifying, stripping back and removing the things from our minds that we don’t need in order for us to cherish and make use of the things we do. The result is we feel refreshed, energised and as if the brain fog has lifted so that we can see things more clearly.
All good wellness trends come from the Far East. We’ve had Ikigai, Feng Shui, Wabi-Sabi and a whole load of other unpronounceable philosophies that have had a positive impact on us. And 2020 is no different, as we see the emergence of the 5000 year old Chinese practice of Yang Sheng enter the arena.
Yang Sheng, translating as ‘to nurture life’, is essentially about creating an ideal balance between mind, body and soul and very much works on the principle that prevention is better than cure. By paying more attention and recognising when our bodies are trying to tell us there is a problem, we are able to act on health conditions at a point long before they turn into something potentially much worse. Ultimately long lasting health, happiness and wellness does not lie within the realms of radical diets and relentless fitness regimes, it lies within small, simple practices that fit into daily life and that bring us moments of joy.
So how can we fit yet more wellness rituals into our already crazy hectic lives? I mean does it not just feel like one more thing to have to try and fit in, or that we end up beating ourselves up or becoming obsessed over? In short, no. Because in the same way that we habitually brush our teeth every day, incorporating Yang Sheng into our day is about creating small rituals that slot in or by tweaking the things that we already do so that it works in a better way for us. For example, exercise should be approached with a desire to want to do it, because you enjoy it, it brings you pleasure. It isn’t about going hell for leather, but more about slowing down and enjoying that release of endorphins. Food is not about denial, but again pleasure. Take the time to notice your food, to really look at it, and to savour each mouthful. Good gut health and digestion aid the flow of energy and blood supply through the body and this will make you feel wonderful. Only eat when you are hungry, eat at a table away from screens, and eat slowly so that you have time to recognise when you are full. And smile. It’s hard to feel bad when you’re smiling inside and out.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that all wellness trends are essentially tarted up versions of either yoga or meditation based practices and I suppose to a degree you’re probably right. However, there are very subtle differences between the many, many variants out there and it’s really about finding the one that best suits you. Sophrology is one such variant and it is aimed at those people who struggle to get to grips with meditation. Because sitting still and trying to switch off from absolutely everything is bloody difficult. I’m sure many of you have tried it and I am sure many of you have given up on it. We know it’s good for us, but my goodness you try and get that mind to shut the hell up! Sophrology on the other hand combines breathing, meditation and visualization in a series of quick and very simple physical and mental exercises, which help to encourage relaxation by connecting the right and the left hemispheres of the brain. The theory is that if the body is relaxed then the mind will follow and this helps drown out the incessant chatter going on in there.
The name ‘Sophrology’ comes from the Greek words meaning ‘sos’ (harmony) and ‘phren’ (mind) and was first created in Spain only 60 years ago. Sessions are taught by a Sophrologist and it is advised that you seek assistance rather than going it alone, so as to fully reap the benefits and to ensure you are doing it correctly. There are 12 levels to aim for and the Sophrologist will guide you through these as you progress. It is claimed that Sophrology will help to improve your sleep, release stress and anxiety, increase your energy, focus the mind, improve health and just generally make life more pleasurable for you by improving your self image, self confidence and by fully cementing you in the present moment. The practice is taught in schools and universities both in France and Switzerland and is widely used throughout Swiss hospitals to help prepare patients for surgical interventions, EMR scans and for stress-free childbirths.
Sophrology is the next level of mindfulness. It is a tool that gives you access to becoming the very best version of you. It allows you to release and exhale out the negative vibes and to absorb and inhale all those lovely positive ones so that you are detached from anything that stops you from reaching your full potential.
Us women never used to talk about our periods. It was as if we were ashamed of them. Horrified and disgusted by them. Thankfully this has changed and we are now way more open to discussing every teeny tiny detail of them to basically anyone that will listen!
And rightly so, because periods are a woman’s superpower. Sure at times they can be incredibly inconvenient, they can be painful, they can be messy, but they are also a cog in the system of what makes women truly remarkable, and finally we’re realising just how awesome having periods make us.
More and more organic and sustainable options are becoming available for sanitary protection. From organic tampons, washable period pants, sanitary subscription boxes, and menstrual cups, the choice is wider than it has ever been. And in 2020 the trend for taking a much more holistic and natural approach to coping with our periods continues. We are feeling more wary about using the contraceptive pill as a means of controlling our periods, as finally it hits home that the side effects and what that means for our bodies is not worth it. We want to be in control, which is why period apps have become so popular. These apps allow women to track their menstrual cycle by each phase, offering in-depth explanations about mood, energy levels and how to adjust your diet and exercise accordingly.
Women are now feeling empowered by their periods and we predict that this will continue in 2020 as we encourage the next generation of awesome females to chat openly about our natural feminine superpowers.
You’ve heard of Honeymoons, maybe you’ve even heard of Babymoons (going on holiday with your partner before baby arrives), but I’ll bet my bottom dollar you haven’t heard of Painmoons? Well that’s all set to change in 2020, when Painmoons enter the women’s wellness world.
Think of it as a holiday to get away from and yet also to deal with mental pain. Whether it be grief from losing a loved one, surviving a life threatening illness, the pain of getting over a bad break up or divorce, or even a chance to heal from a period of particularly bad mental health, Painmoons are wellness retreats for the wounded.
These female only wellness breaks centre around emotional healing techniques to help guide them through their problems and emerge feeling refreshed, re-energised and confident to return to the real world again. Think of it like ‘finding yourself’; it is self-love, guilt free me time, female empowerment on a much bigger level and wellness travel companies are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of just how lucrative this is set to be in 2020.
Trends, by their very nature, come and go and what may have been popular one year can be cast to the bottom of the pile come another. But one thing is for sure when it comes to women’s health and wellness trends in 2020 and that is there will be a continued advancement in all self-love practices, to help us find peace with ourselves and to celebrate what it is to be a woman.