2021 has been a year of many challenges and successes. While COVID-19 cases surged, we also were able to vaccinate countless people! Despite many financial barriers and letdowns, many of us exercised our compassion and giving spirits. We learned to prioritize the essentials – from toilet paper to good people. I myself experienced many life changes in 2021, from starting my Master of Public Health to beginning this blog. For our final 2021 wrap-up, I want to share the best of this year’s articles with you!
The Best of Nutrition
For our first section, I want to highlight my favorite nutrition articles. Many of my readers love these topics, especially as we delve into common misconceptions around diet, supplements, and nutrition. I personally love these articles, as they are fun to write and I always come away learning something new!
So, without further ado, the best of nutrition 2021!
Most of us have dieted in some way, shape, or form in our lifetimes. Whether we were seeking to lose weight or bulk up, those diets were entrenched within a culture that tells us how our body is expected to look. Unfortunately, a lot of the messaging around dieting and nutrition is misleading, and even damaging!
I also tackled this topic in my article about fad diets and red flags, where I sought to share warning signs associated with dangerous or unhealthy eating regimens. Likewise, many things that are villainized in the diet world (like potatoes or sugar) are not actually as evil as some influencers may have you believe!
In the time of COVID-19, most of us are worried about our immune systems. Is it as strong as it should be? Am I as healthy as I should be? How can I be the healthiest version of myself?
Unfortunately, many fearmongers have used this time to share questionable immune-boosting hacks. In this article, I explored what trends are less than helpful, and which might actually shorten the duration of an illness!
On the other hand, I also highlighted a lot of positive studies and research on common herbal remedies! Honorable mentions include the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric and the nutritional benefits of black pepper!
The Best of Fitness
In my own life, I have a love-hate relationship with fitness. I do not consider going to the gym a hobby of mine (I’d much rather be sitting on the couch reading a book), but at the same time, I recognize the inherent value and importance of movement and staying active.
On the other hand, many of my readers are gym buffs! Therefore, this section has been incredible in teaching me the value of exercise, while appealing to all the levels of activity of my readers. The best of fitness 2021 includes:
As one of my first fitness articles, this post played an important role in defining the character of my blog. This character is one that appeals to the abilities of everyone while encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Going for a stroll, for how long or far as you wish, has amazing health benefits, whether you can walk or not!
When we think of exercise, we have to remember that it is important for more than just our waistline! In fact, the mental health benefits of exercise far outweigh fitting into that pair of jeans. Therefore, in this article, I focused on the non-physical benefits of regular physical activity.
The Best of Self-Care
If you are a regular reader of Science Backing Wellness, you’ve probably noticed that I have a favorite topic: self-care and mental health. Self-care and wellness ARE holistic, which is why I focus on nutrition and fitness. However, mindfulness, rest, relaxation, and agency are recurring wellness themes in my blog.
As mental health awareness increases, so does active and intentional self-care! I made it my goal in 2021 to empower my readers to seize their own mental wellness for themselves. In doing so, I was able to navigate the weight of my own stressors and cultivate peace within myself.
So, with all that said, which were my favorite self-care articles of this year?
Mindfulness is a hot topic right now, and this article was my first step into this topic! As someone who WILL spend an entire afternoon coloring, how could I neglect this self-care activity that nurtures my inner child and my overall wellness?
Financial self-care is another area that is gaining more light and excitement this past year. Why? Unsurprisingly, many of us are feeling the financial strain of the pandemic. Financial self-care is a way to take agency of your own finances, in order to better prepare yourself for unexpected costs.
Moreover, taking agency and control over your money (even if only to better budget your expenses) helps maintain control in a world of uncertainty.
Stress. We have had enough of it to last a lifetime. The reality is that stress is an important adaptive response to life-threatening situations. So is there such thing as too much stress? How do you know when you are too stressed?
In this article, I tackled the topic in everyone’s mind! I further expanded this topic in my article on the flight or fight response, and the role it plays in our personal relationships.
Goals. We all have them. But we often don’t know how to get there. Alongside creating and sharing with you my original Goal Map, this article explores the psychology behind goals, and how to best achieve them!
Hint: it usually involves writing them down, and coming up with a plan.
Active? Rest? It seems like a contradiction. However, the reality is that active rest is an important part of positive self-care. It allows your brain and body to rest, while still keeping them engaged in a positive and valuable way. The benefits of this contradiction include improved energy and creativity, which seems like a win to me!
Shinrinyoku is the Japanese practice of forest bathing. And what is forest bathing? How does it support our health?
I encourage you to check out the article if you haven’t already. The results of this traditional practice may surprise you!
Rumination, or brooding, is connected to several mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, OCD, and ADHD. So how do we stop? Similarly, journaling can both help and hinder our ruminative tendencies. Learn how to effectively harness reflection and journaling in these three articles, and how to limit your rumination.
The Best of 2021!
2021. Another year over and done. Most of us would not call it the best year of our lives. Despite the setbacks, challenges, and tears many of us have shed, it is important to recognize the positives. Through frustration, anger, and resentment, it is important to recognize hope.
And what has brought more hope this past year than the COVID-19 vaccine?
Despite new variants and returning restrictions, the COVID-19 vaccine has saved countless lives! In Canada, vaccines have kept countless people out of hospitals, and COVID-19 illnesses have been relatively mild and short among those who have been vaccinated.
I want to take this chance to thank everyone who has taken the leap and gotten their COVID-19 vaccine. They were new, and new things carry a lot of unknowns. But you did it, and in doing so, you took an important step against ending this pandemic.
Unfortunately, for a vast variety of reasons, there are those who are unwilling to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
So, what is Science Backing Wellness’ best article of 2021?
There are many reasons people choose not to get vaccinated. On the other hand, the majority of people in hospitals with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Likewise, most of those who are dying due to this disease are unvaccinated.
In this article, I opened my heart to those who are hesitant to take the plunge, and I address their fears without relying on scientific jargon or medical speak. Instead, I choose to speak to the heart and address the values that people hold when making their own medical decisions.
If you are reading this article, and are wondering which post to read or share, I encourage you to share this one with compassion and without judgment.
The Best of 2021: You!
Science Backing Wellness is very excited to have talked about so many new and exciting topics this past year, but none of it would have been possible without our readers!
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As you can see, we touch on a lot of different wellness trends! And we always want to hear from you!