5 Simple Self-Care Hacks for 2021

Woman happy in nature at sunset

Last year sent major shock waves through our lives, affecting us in big and small ways and possibly even in ways we don’t even understand yet.

As we enter into full 2021 mode we know that our journey is not yet done. There is still much to learn and it has never been more important to look at our own needs – emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.

Practicing self-care is important in tough times AND at all times. If anything 2020 highlighted this for us.

Trying new wellness trends can help us get to a place of happiness and health.

Here are five simple ways to embrace self-care this year:

Tending to Our Mental Health

This will remain a top priority. Physical contact and connection is so important to our health but we have been forced by this pandemic to isolate, quarantine and social distance causing our anxiety levels to increase.

We have therefore transitioned into a virtual world of meditation apps, affirmation apps, breathwork classes online, phone counseling, telehealth therapy and other online mental health services.

When faced with everyday issues we have been given a chance to use these resources and see that they are effective, necessary and helpful.

There are many more mental health support groups online than ever before. If you can’t reach out to family or friends, try going the virtual route. Help is just a finger tap away.

Boosting Our Immunity

The popularity of immune-boosting supplements, herbs and superfoods reached new heights in 2020.

Strengthening the immune system will continue to be a major 2021 wellness trend across the board, from food to supplements and educational classes.

A good starting point would be a Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C supplement.

Other major trends will be energy healing and gut health.

Growing awareness of the effect that our gut microbiome has on our overall well-being, immunity, and brain function will also make cultivating good gut health a priority. (Stay tuned for a gut health series coming soon)

A variety of plants inside a home
A return to nature

Renewed Interest in Nature

In response to more time spent in the home people have increased their interest in nature.

Design trends show more people investing in plants to create indoor gardens.

Plants help clean the air and provide a sense of companionship. We all know that not only do we have to water and care for our plants but we also need to talk to them positively to help them grow, right?

If you are looking for an indoor plant to purify the air with minimal maintenance from you, try the peace lily or monther-in-laws tongue.

New Workout Habits

Wellness is now being defined by both virtual and in-person experiences.

More and more people are joining live-stream workouts at least once a week and even more are seeking out pre-recorded fitness videos.

I, personally, am using Youtube more than ever to find a variety of workouts from yoga to HIIT.

We are all forming new workout habits. Even outdoor areas such as parks (when open) are becoming more popular for walks.

Technology Boundaries

Technology boundaries are becoming the new normal. Screen time is being monitored and regulated.

Self-care trend forecasting shows that screen fatigue and technology burnout are real.

We’re seeing the effects of blue light and screen time on our eye health, mental health, sleep cycles, and more.

We will need to find a balance between being online and being present in our everyday lives, going back to engaging in real conversation and making real eye contact.

New wellness trends are a great indicator of shifts in behaviour in response to current crisis.

Changing our habits and starting self-care routines is necessary for our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health going into 2021 and beyond.

We need to stay healthy and strong together.

Wishing you health, happiness and heavenly self-care spoils.

With much love as always
LML

Morning Hacks To Get You Out Of Bed (Quickly and Happily)

Slices of peaches in a bowl of oats

The terms quick, happy and easy going would not normally be associated with me and mornings. I need time. Lots of it. I need space. Lots of it. And I need quiet. Lots of it.

It takes a great effort for me to get out of bed. Sometimes like a 30 minute effort. I am the slowest waker upper ever.

So when I tell you I have a whole morning routine (exercise, meditating, gratitude journaling, affirmations, and reading) that I get through before I even start work you best believe that I need the most help with getting myself out of bed and my day started.

If you are like me and in struggle sheets in the morning, here are a few hacks that will get you going quickly and happily.

Morning hacks

* pull down on your earlobes with your fingers and take a deep breath (it will help you wake up)

* drink water (lets the body know you’re awake, hydrates you and helps you along with your morning toilet session)

* march on the spot with high knees (left arm with right leg and right arm with left leg. This gets your energy going.)

* make your bed (gives you a sense that you’ve already accomplished a task for the day. Remember the happiness chemical dopamine?)

* stretch your body

* have a cold shower (or at least alternate between hot and cold)

* eat a healthy breakfast (sets the tone for the day)

Here’s a tip for a healthy breakfast you can prepare the night before.

Selection of nuts on a white background
Selection of nuts

Ingredients for the basic overnight oats

* Oats
* Chia seeds (or any other seeds you have on hand)
* Nut or seed butter (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter)
* Milk (whichever best suits you – coconut milk, almond milk)
* Fruit
* Sweetener (honey, dates, maple syrup – this is optional. I personally don’t add in any sweetener)
* For non-vegan you can use yoghurt ( use a combo of milk and yoghurt to make it creamy)

Method

These are the ratios to play with.
* 1/2 cup oats
* 3/4 cup liquid

Add oats to a bowl or sealable jar. Pour in your milk or yoghurt (or mixture of both). Add the nut or seed butter ( amount is as per your taste). Add fruit of your choice, sweetener of your choice and seeds on top. Put it in the fridge overnight and the next morning you’ll have a soft, creamy, yummy AND healthy breakfast to eat.

I love it because it’s so versatile and it will keep you full until lunch time. And there are a number of combinations you can prepare to keep your taste buds happy.

Chopped nuts on a brown board
Eating healthy

For the combinations below, use the basic recipe above and add the ingredients for the different versions.

Chocolate
Leave out the fruit and nut butter and add:
* cocoa powder
* shredded coconut
* almonds

Banana nut
Add in:
* mashed/sliced banana
* cinnamon ( and nutmeg optional)
* walnuts

Carrot cake
Leave out the nut butter and add in:
* grated carrot
* shredded coconut
* pecans
* raisins (optional)

I tried the carrot cake option the other day and it was divine.

Pumpkin
Add in:
* mashed pumpkin (preferably roasted pumpkin)
* cinnamon and nutmeg
* pumpkin seeds
* dried cranberries

Apple cinnamon
Add in:
* chopped apples
* cinnamon

Whatever you can prepare the night before – clothes, bag, breakfast, gym outfit – do it. If you are looking to have a calm morning start, it is better to be over prepared than under.

And if you are curious as to my daily eating plan and how I keep the weight off, I eat oats every single day except maybe on a Saturday where I’ll replace it with an egg breakfast.

If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to reach out to me at anytime.

I’m here as always looking out for you and your health.

With love,
LML

How To Be Happy Daily

Women jumping in happiness

Did you know that there are happy brain chemicals that make you feel good? So when you hear people saying, “You are responsible for your own happiness” or “Happiness is a choice”, that dare I say it, is so true.

Did you also know that 37% of people around the world are unhappy? Throw Covid-19 in to the mix and the statistics are probably rising.

What that means is that 1 in 3 people that you know are unhappy with their lives.

That’s quite a number I’d say. Are you one of those people?

If so, there are simple ways to improve your happiness on a daily basis.

Perhaps you’ve already heard of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins but don’t really know what they are. Well, those are the happy chemicals or happy hormones that the brain releases that make us feel happy.

Each chemical has a job to do and when the brain releases one of these chemicals, you feel good.

By understanding how these chemicals work, we can better improve our overall happiness daily by tapping into each of the four happiness chemicals.

Dopamine

Dopamine enables motivation, learning and pleasure. It gives you the determination to achieve goals, desires, and needs. It’s similar to the “I got it” feeling when you accomplish something.

Do you often procrastinate, have low self-esteem, low energy or fatigue, lack of motivation or enthusiasm, feel anxious or hopeless? Then you are more than likely experiencing a dopamine deficiency.

How To Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally

* meditate regularly (increases dopamine by 65%)
* make a daily to-do list and long term goals
* eat avocado, fish, eggs, cheese, banana and pumpkin seeds
* exercise regularly
* create and play (writing, music, arts and crafts)

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is often called the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone” because it plays a role in bonding. It gives you a feeling of trust and it motivates you to build intimate relationships and sustain them.

This hormone gives you the desire to stick together with those you trust, which creates a feeling of safety or comfort. It helps your body adapt to different emotional and social situations.

If you feel lonely, stressed, disconnected, anxious or have insomnia it could relate to an oxytocin deficiency.

How To increase Oxytocin Levels Naturally

* eye contact, cuddling, hugging, physical touch
* socializing, connecting with friends and family
* touching your pet
* getting a massage
* acupuncture
* listening to music
* cold showers

Serotonin

When you feel significant or important and get that good feeling, that is serotonin. It is a calm form of confidence and accepting yourself within the people around you.

You could be experiencing a serotonin deficiency if you have low self-esteem, mood swings, are emotionally sensitive, have anxiety and panic attacks, depression, social phobias, insomnia and obsessive compulsive disorder.

How To Increase Serotonin Levels Naturally

* exercise
* sunshine (10 -15 minutes a day/ Vitamin D supplement)
* eat bananas, eggs, omega-3 fish, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and probiotics
* getting a massage
* cold showers

Endorphin

Endorphins release a brief euphoria that masks physical pain. It is a response to pain and stress which also helps alleviate anxiety and depression. Any kind of physical distress can trigger endorphins.

The release of endorphins acts as a natural pain killer and diminishes your perception of pain.

If you feel anxiety, depression, mood swings, aches and pains, insomnia or impulsive behaviour then it could indicate a deficiency in endorphins.

How To increase Endorphin Levels Naturally

* laughter and crying
* creating music or art
* exercise or stretching
* high-intensity interval training
* getting a massage
* meditation

There are plenty of activities that increase happiness hormones naturally. Choose a few that you enjoy doing otherwise it won’t stick.

Consistency is key.

Remember, we are trying to achieve long term happiness so doing an activity once or twice won’t make an impact on your lifestyle.

Benefits of Happiness

Happiness not only plays a part in you feeling good but contributes to improved overall health, improved creativity and problem-solving skills, having more positive relationships with those around you, being able to enjoy life more and get through life challenges easier and being happy with what you have.

Who doesn’t want to be happy daily?

I know I sure do.

So, go on then, pick a few activities, stick to them and you will be on your way to a happier you.

Sending some happiness rays your way.

With love
LML

Hello 2021

Woman holding green vegetables

Hello 2021. Hello friends. Hello new year. Hello fresh starts.

I missed you all. How you doing? (in the Joey from Friends voice)

So we survived 2020. What a year! You know if you we can survive a year like that with all its ups and downs, I think we can pretty much conquer 2021. It’s not going to be easy, we still have challenges to face but we can absolutely do it.

Opportunities are everywhere.

Now I hate to be a party pooper so early in the year but if you were looking for some new years resolutions and stuff, I ain’t got any here. A healthy lifestyle remains the only goal.

What I do have for you are a few tips to ease in to the year.

11 Tips for Better Living

0 processed food / empty calories
1 hour of exercise/ reading
2 litres of a water a day
3 cups of green tea/ green juice
4 stretch breaks
5 things you’re grateful for
6 am meditation
7 minutes of laughter
8 hours of sleep
9 thousand steps a day
10 pm bed time

Easy enough?

Yes I thought so too.

Let’s go get it in 2021. There has never been a better time to BE healthy.

With much love as always
LML