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Lifestyle And Wellness Trends To Expect In 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has truly changed the way in which we run our everyday lives and take care of ourselves. While 2021 is looking a lot more hopeful with the release of multiple vaccines and a new administration running things in the White House, the pandemic is likely still going to drive trends within the next year in terms of how we live our lives and take care of ourselves. Here are some of the pandemic trends expected to be carried into 2021. 

Comfort Crafting: Whether you like knitting, painting, or even baking, creating something with your hands is always a satisfying feeling. The pandemic has given people the perfect excuse to finally explore any and all hobbies that they may have never had time to try in the past. Dayna Johnson is a trend expert working for Etsy who claims that “crafting and learning new skills in general serves as a form of self-care and grounding.”

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Meditation: It’s no surprise that a global health crisis paralleling an economic recession would cause some extreme feelings of stress and anxiety. For those who have always suffered with their mental health, or those who may be learning about their own anxiety for the first time this pandemic, this crisis has shown us all that taking care of ourselves needs to be a priority. Learning proper meditative practices, or any other activity that can help ease the daily stresses of living during a pandemic will likely carry out into the new year as we all start to navigate the uncharted territory of post-vaccination life. 

Outdoor Activities: If we think back to the beginning of this pandemic, Friluftsliv is a Norweigan concept that began trending when lockdowns were initially occuring last spring. The word translates to “free air life” and is explained as a deep appreciation for being outdoors and incorporating outdoor activities in your life. Utilizing whatever outdoor spaces one has at their home or taking advantage of whatever walking paths your town may have is an amazing way to safely get out of your house, and appreciate the world around you. 

Road Trips/Solo Travel: Travel has become the last thing on most of our minds within the past year, however, as the pandemic progressed, new and safe ways of travelling began emerging so that individuals could get out of their quarantine space and feel a certain sense of freedom. Road trips and solo vacations have grown in popularity this past year due to the fact that you don’t need to be around anyone else to do so. Solo travel has given people an excuse to truly appreciate their own company and remember what it’s like to fall in love with yourself and the world around you. 

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Going Green: Throughout their time in lockdown many individuals have realized that the world is actually enduring two global pandemics right now; Covid-19 and climate change. At this point it’s going to take true systemic change from our world leaders to really reverse all the damage that humans have done to the planet, however, many are spending their time at home figuring out ways that they can personally better the planet. Many are learning how to properly recycle, remove single-use plastic items from their homes, and reduce their overall carbon footprint. 

Interior Design: Since we’ve all been stuck at home for the past year, many of us have decided to redesign the spaces that we’ve been spending an indefinite amount of time in. Creating home offices, rearranging furniture, creating pieces of art to revamp a plain wall, painting rooms, building gardens, etc. have all been home improvement projects that interior design blogs have been discussing immensely within the past year. So many first time designers are taking to the internet and its multitude of tutorials and tips for freshening up their spaces and implementing more of their personal style into the spaces.

Remote Working: While this is less of a trend and more of a circumstantial activity, many companies and employers are seeing how successfully they can still run their companies in a remote setting, and are thus opting to remain remote as the world begins to reopen. Even large corporations like Facebook and Twitter have announced that their employees will now always have the option to work from home, or come into an office space once the pandemic becomes less of a threat, if they wish.

Walking Outdoors

10,000 Steps A Day Is Key To Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle, Doctor Says

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, doctors recommend taking at least 8,000 to 10,000 steps every day to keep your mind, body, and spirit active and engaged. Regardless of age, everyone can benefit from staying on their feet more throughout the day, especially in the middle of a pandemic that forces us to remain indoors. 

Duke Carlson is a family doctor who always recommends that his patients increase the number of steps they take each day as a means of supporting positive physical and mental health. 

“Following patients throughout their lives the way that I have in my career I’ve seen the amount of activity they are engaged in and daily steps make a big difference in their health.”

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Carlson traditionally “prescribes” all of his patients to get at least 10,000 steps a day, as it has proven to be one of the more popular ways to get his patients moving. “People generally like to have a concrete number for the number of steps they should take,” this way, there’s a set goal that the individual can work towards everyday. Older patients may be prescribed 6,000 – 8,000 steps a day depending on their physical condition; age is never a determining factor in terms of someone’s physical health. 

Typically that recommendation is given to older individuals who have a history with arthritis or any other joint/mobility related conditions, but again, “age doesn’t make it where you can’t do steps,” it’s the condition of the body that impacts how well one can exercise at any age. 

Carlson often uses his mother-in-law as an example, and as a motivation, for his older patients who seem less inclined to get up and move every day. His mother-in-law is 85 and makes sure to get in 10,000 steps every single day, most of which occurs in her own home. She often uses the treadmill but also walks in place while on the phone or watching TV. 

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“You can march in pace in front of the TV, you can go to Walmart and do two laps around the building before you go shopping, there’s always little ways to make daily exercise easy for everyone.”

The practice of shinrin-yoku, also known as “forest bathing”, is an alternative way to count steps that originated in Japan that Carlson has found himself adopting into his own life in recent years. This practice encourages individuals to go outside and immerse themselves in some type of nature; preferably under a canopy of trees. 

Carlson has been recommending this practice to most of his patients especially now that the world is enduring the Covid-19 pandemic. Getting out and finding nature paths that already allow for proper social distancing to take place is the perfect way to get in your 10,000 steps. The fresh air and colorful scenic surroundings are also an added bonus. 

For individuals working from home, he recommends finding simple ways to insert walking into your daily routine. For example, taking a walk on your lunch break instead of sitting in front of the TV, or walking in place while on business calls, just like his mother-in-law.

Girl in Face Mask in the Winter

How To Start Planning For The Long, Cold, Covid-19 Winter Now 

While the Covid-19 pandemic has truly turned all of our lives upside-down, the one slight perk has been the fact that the weather has been so nice for the past eight months, allowing us to still see our loved ones and do certain activities in outdoor socially distanced settings. Now that it’s officially fall many of us are remembering that in a month the clocks go back and the cold months of winter will begin. 

Instead of sitting around and dreading the inevitable until it gets here, start planning out things that you and your quarantine families can do together when the weather gets colder. Seasonal depression, or seasonal effective disorder, can add a whole other layer of stress to our already busy and frantic lives in the middle of an apocalyptic year, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

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Start by asking yourself what you personally need to get through the next few months as happily and healthily as possible. Do you need to make some plans ahead of time? Will you need to gather supplies of some sort for certain snow day activities? Think of some general things that will make the upcoming winter more bearable and work from there. 

For example, if I knew that I would need to be able to see my friends every other week or so to still feel like a real social person, I would then begin to think of certain winter group activities that can be done outdoors. Going for winter hikes during the day is a great way to stay connected to your loved ones while remaining distanced. Enjoy the winter scenery during the day while the sun reflects the beautiful landscapes that come with the colder months.

Another way to see your friends without putting your health at risk is committing to weekly Zoom or Google Hangout happy hour type events. Regardless of if you drink or not, having a scheduled day of the week and time to talk to your friends is necessary for all of us. Try scheduling it for the end of the work week so that you all can unwind, and enjoy each other’s virtual company. 

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Throughout the entire pandemic people have been using their time in lockdown to learn a new skill, practice a new hobby, and work on any other passions they’ve been procrastinating due to the stresses of everyday life. Well, now that winter will really be forcing us all to stay indoors in the coming months, there’s never been a better time to learn something new and keep your mind stimulated. 

Learning a new language, or how to to cook, bake, knit, write poetry, etc. are all amazing stimulants for the mind, body, and soul, and will leave you with an overall accomplished feeling. Watching yourself go from beginner to expert at something even as simple as learning to bake a cake, is rewarding, and I think we all could use some of that positivity right now. 

While travelling is pretty much the last thing on most of our minds, there are still loopholes in working out how to vacation during a pandemic. For example, AirBnb has implemented a whole slew of new health and safety procedures for all participants involved to ensure that guests can still travel during the pandemic without any major risks. Hotels have also implemented these policies, so if you find yourself needing a break from your home, book something today for a few months into the future when you’ll really need a break.

Finally, it’s important to remember that winter also equates to another holiday season. Regardless of what you celebrate, you can’t deny there’s a positive, cheerful, and giving attitude in the air during the holidays. Don’t let Covid-19 stop you and your loved ones from celebrating at home and getting into the spirit of the season. Decorate, watch cheesy Lifetime movies, bake traditional desserts, make some snowmen, and just take a breath to enjoy the fact that you’re with the people you love.

Apple Picking

Fun Fall Activities You Can Still Do During The Pandemic 

Covid-19 has uprooted all of our lives. Now that autumn has officially started and the three-month holiday season has begun, it’s time to start planning some fun themed activities to keep you and your loved ones busy as we take on the upcoming months of quarantining in colder weather. 

Apple Picking: This is a great activity that the whole family will enjoy. Luckily, apple orchards naturally are socially distanced, so you and your loved ones can walk around the open space of apple trees while picking some fresh fruit. Most orchards also offer outdoor dining and shopping excursions that are available as well. 

Hiking: Before the weather gets really cold (depending on where you live in the world) take advantage of the cool and cozy fall weather by taking a hike at your local nature preserve. Want even more of an adventure? Look up places to hike near you that require a little bit of a drive to get to. This way you can go out and experience a new environment while enjoying all the fall foliage. 

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Make Some Fun Fall Recipes/Cocktails: There are numerous resources online for easy and fun fall recipes that you can make at home! Thanksgiving isn’t the only day of the year to really embrace pumpkin and apple flavors, so use all your freshly picked apples to make a homemade pie or spike cider. 

Take A Nature Drive: One of the simplest pleasures I’ve found myself appreciating during this pandemic is going out for drives. After spending the first few months locked in my room, I decided to get in my car, roll down my windows, put on my driving playlist and just start driving. Now that all the leaves are starting to change colors, there’s never been a better time to get in your car and drive around to see some of the beautiful sights nature has to offer.  

Decorating Pumpkins: This classic Halloween tradition has always been an at-home activity, so why should a pandemic stop that from happening? Going to your local pumpkin patch and picking out a pumpkin to carve is the perfect way to feel like you’re having a typical fall experience. 

Clean Out Your Closet: Home organization always falls under the category of “spring cleaning” however, fall is the perfect time to clean out your wardrobe and prepare it for the potential influx of new clothing items you’ll be getting from Santa in a few months.

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DIY Halloween Costumes: Since Halloween will likely be cancelled this year in terms of going out and celebrating, why not celebrate in your own way by creating something amazing to wear. You and everyone you’re quarantined with could even coordinate a group outfit to make together and then have a spooky photo-shoot to share with friends and keep the Halloween spirit alive. 

Learn To Knit: What better way to prepare for a cozy season than making something cozy for yourself to wear? Knitting is known as one of the easier forms of creation when it comes to clothing, so pick up some needles and yarn and start slow with a beginner YouTube video. I was able to teach myself in one day how to knit a basic stitch and pattern, so why not give it a try?

Create A Book Club: Cold weather is always ideal for reading by the fire, but why not take it one step further and create a book club with all of your friends to help keep you motivated? Platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts make it easy to hold virtual weekly meetings with whoever you want so that you don’t have to worry about potential Covid-19 concerns. However, since the weather is still relatively nice out, consider holding the meetings in an outdoor setting, socially distanced, until it really gets too cold out. 

Decorate With Holiday Decor: October is for Halloween, November is for Thanksgiving, and December is for Christmas, that’s three months of holidays that one could decorate for. You don’t have to break your bank either to create a cool themed ambiance that you’ll enjoy all season. By switching up the decor monthly to match up with the respected holiday, you’ll keep your mind and body engaged while having a fun time decorating your space to feel the most cheerful.

Cooking Show

Best TV Cooking Shows To Watch In Lockdown 

During the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have explored new hobbies and interests while we pass the time in lockdown. Many individuals across the world have been teaching themselves to cook in their spare time, so here’s a list of some of the most popular programs being watched right now across the globe: 

Anthony Bourdain: This show is available on Amazon Prime Video and ran from 2002-2018. It’s no secret that Anthony Bourdain was one of the most respectable chef’s in the food entertainment industry. His show was widely popular every year it was on and explored the international cuisines from around the world that the average individual may not have ever heard of. In his Parts Unknown series he broke down the idea of a “celebrity chef” and just wanted to go to places that anyone else would love and enjoy. 

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Chef’s Table: This Netflix original show began in 2015 and is still currently producing seasons. The show profiles various chefs from around the world and offers a cinematic element that makes the cooking look sensual and engaging for the viewer. The chef’s on this show all have their own unique backstory with cooking which has been regarded as giving the viewer the sense that they too could become just as talented one day if they work hard. 

The Taco Chronicles: This show is also a Netflix original and is hosted by Carlos Perez Osorio. Osorio’s goal with this 2019 program was to show viewers the future of intellectual food shows. There are six episodes and within each one a different type of taco is intricately dissected so that viewers can really understand the combination of ingredients and why they work so well together, as well as gain a greater respect for the process of cooking/creation. 

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Madhur Jaffrey’s Flavours of India: This 1995 show is currently available on BBC iPlayer. The show was six-parts and explored the flavors and techniques of regional Indian cooking. Jaffrey gave off a calm and dignified persona on TV that showed viewers she really meant business when it came to her cuisine. The show itself has been highly regarded as one of a kind in terms of its focus on Indian cuisine.

The Chef Show: This Netflix show has only been one for one year but has been one of the platforms most popular food programs to date. Jon Favreau and Roy Choi spend each episode hanging out in the borrowed kitchens of all their Hollywood friends. It takes on the format of a visual podcast but with TV video quality. The format is casual, as the two simply mix their ingredients and tell you about their process while they get side-tracked and reflect on the glory days like any other best friend duo. 

Ugly Delicious: This Netflix original is hosted by chef Danic Chang of the celebrated Momofuku restaurant group. In more recent episodes Chang has used the show as a means of discussing important culinary issues around the world. The show also takes on a relatable lens when Chang finds out he’s going to be a father and then teaches the viewer how to make their own baby food.

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Budget-Friendly Hobbies For After You Clock Out Of Work

When it comes to working a standard 9-5 job, life can quickly feel very routine and repetitive. We often find ourselves craving something more, but where do we start? So often when it comes to spicing up our lives with some new hobbies or activities, the financial burden of it all can pose as a major roadblock, however, there are plenty of budget-friendly activities that the average individual could easily invest their free time in as a means of enjoying life outside the office and home.

Cooking is one of the easiest hobbies to get into. Obviously we all need to eat, but in an age where we can access any meal we want in a matter of seconds and have it hand delivered to us all thanks to an app, has made cooking seem like a mundane activity, but it shouldn’t be! Instead of using your phone’s to order a meal and spending money that could otherwise be saved, use it to follow one of the countless cooking tutorial pages available on social media apps such as Instagram or YouTube. Cooking can also be done on a budget if you keep up with your local grocery store sales and use the internet to specifically search for recipes involving this week’s best sale items. 

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Botany is the study of plants, and before you roll your eyes at the thought of studying the exciting world of vegetation, just hear me out. Not only do houseplants add an earthy and bohemian element to any space, they also provide a direct source of clean air and require you to utilize the areas of your home that bring in the most sunlight, promoting a sense of overall positive energy. Working as an indoor botanist for your own personal plant collection can also be extremely cheap, especially if you’re starting from the bottom and growing your new friends from seeds. 

The same logic can be applied to more “scientific” hobbies such as astronomy. If you are located in an area of the world with a particularly spectacular view of the night sky as it goes through its many celestial transitions throughout the year, why not learn more about the amazing universe that you bare witness to every night? Amateur telescope kits offer a more in depth look at the sky without breaking your bank as well. 

To shift into more general hobbies that will fill your time outside of work, consider making a list of personal goals/missions that you’d like to see yourself accomplish either within the coming weeks, or even more long term. These “self missions” can include things like quitting smoking, exercising, trying to engage with the natural world more, or maybe learning a new skill such as botany or cooking. Whatever it is, take your time and find something that you know you’d be passionate about. Go to the local library and do some good old fashion research on the subject as well. 

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While we may be discussing finding a hobby to do when business hours are over, why not make that hobby finding something better to do career wise? If you’re in a situation where simply picking up a new weekend activity won’t cure the overall feeling of dread that comes with working five days a week, dive into that. Make your “self mission” one in which you’re no longer working for money but working for pleasure, and the money is just an added bonus. 

Obviously, that’s much easier said than done, however, if you turn advancing your career into your new hobby, then there’s no rush to just quit and start a new life, in fact, I’d encourage the opposite of that. For example, if you’re working as a data analyst at some firm in the city, but your real dream is to own your own bakery, turn that dream into a weekend reality. 

Make a list of general steps that you would need to take to get to that goal and then within each step, break down the realities of what you’d need to do to check that box. So if one of your steps to owning a new bakery would be to learn more about what it takes to run a business, a “sub-step” to that goal could be taking some night/weekend classes on business. Don’t worry about how overwhelming your list of steps may look when they’re all written down. Visually, it’s nothing more than a bunch of words, symbolically, it represents the things you need to accomplish in order to reach a more fulfilling life. So what are you waiting for?