DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


Known as shinrin yoku, forest bathing is a process of relaxation, immersing yourself in nature, and keeping your senses open to stay engaged with your surroundings. You observe the things going on, slowly walking on a gentle trail. Birds are chirping, streams bubble and gurgle, and the colors of plants and flowers – green, white, pink, and blue – dot the forest floor. The air is filled with the scent of wild herbs, pine needles, and fresh rain, dirt feels springy, and the air is cool, perfectly humid, and invigorating. You are greeted by a visual feast with each step, with dappled sunlight, lush greenery, and forest creatures darting through the bramble and underbrush. Nature has enveloped you, you find yourself calm, relaxed, and rejuvenated, bringing the same energy upon return. 

What is Forest Bathing?

Developed by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in the 1980s, shinrin yoku is a therapeutic practice that involves using all of your senses to connect with nature and experience its calming effects. You notice the patterns of shadow and light, the shapes of bushes and trees, and the colors of leaves. You take a moment to listen to the buzzing of insects, the sounds of birds singing, and the rustling of leaves. Taking in the scents of the canopy forest, you notice the smell of mushrooms, magnolias, cherry blossoms, fallen branches, and decaying leaves. You feel the roughness of rock, the softness of moss, and the cracks and bumps on the bark of pine trees.


A unique environment like no other, with abundant wildlife, towering trees, and lush vegetation, spending time in the forest is a transformative and restorative experience. The soft, textured floor, gentle sounds, and fresh air leave you feeling calm, relaxed, and connected with the present moment, making it a more grounded way of being. 

How to Start Woods Bathing?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to incorporating this activity into your life

Choose a place and activity

To start forest bathing and experience its therapeutic benefits, you need to find a place that is quiet and safe and resonates with you. This can be a nature reserve, a state or national park, or a forest away from urban areas. Choose a spot that is peaceful and quiet and away from construction sites, airports, highways, and other sources of noise pollution. To avoid potential hazards, make sure the place you visit is safe. Ask the forest or park authorities about recent or current sightings, keep an eye out for any dangerous animals, and stick to marked trails. 


Once you find a spot, you’ll want to choose an activity that is right for you. This can be plant and wildlife observation, Nordic walking, aromatherapy, or breathing exercises. Forest bathing can take many forms, from mindful meditation, yoga, and hot-spring therapy to creative activities such as writing, drawing, and painting in nature. 

Do not take smartphones, headphones, and other gadgets with you

To fully immerse in nature and embrace the experience, disconnect from all of your gadgets, including smartphones, headphones, and tablets. The constant messages, alerts, and notifications can be a source of distraction that keeps you engaged. This can make it difficult to stay present, appreciate the scents, sounds, and sights of nature, and fully immerse in the experience. 

Do not rush and do not try to follow a certain route

A form of mindfulness practice, shinrin yoku is not about going for an easy run or a type of green exercise. When practicing woods bathing, you are encouraged to slow down, let go of any sense of urgency, and observe and appreciate your surroundings. Instead of planning your route or setting a goal, give yourself the freedom to explore and wander without rushing. Stay fully present, focus on the smells, sounds, and sights, and take note of any interesting plants or wildlife, going nowhere fast. Slowing down allows you to feel, see, and experience more. 

Direct all your attention to what surrounds you

Keep your eyes open and observe your surroundings. Avoid thinking about deadlines or emails and stay mindful and present. You will be surprised by the variety of plants and wildlife that you see while engaging in mindful observation. Allow yourself to fully immerse, pay attention to nature’s small details, feel the soil and leaves, and smell the sweet, woodsy scent of forest air. Let nature enter through your feet, hands, nose, eyes, and ears, wandering aimlessly and slowly. Let the forest in and savor nature’s bounty and serenity. 

What Are Forest Bathing’s Health Benefits?

Here’s how shinrin yoku can transform your well-being.

Reduces your stresses

Woods bathing has been shown to offer several benefits, including stress reduction. Research suggests that practicing shinrin yoku has a positive effect on chronic stress, and the more stressed individuals are, the better the effect. Depression and hostility have been found to improve while energy levels increase significantly. In addition to depressive states, studies suggest that spending time in the forest is effective against mental fatigue, confusion, anger, and anxiety among working-age people. 

Improves your mood

Walking in nature can help stimulate the production of serotonin, a chemical that regulates mood. At normal levels, serotonin promotes feelings of well-being, calm, and contentment, making you feel happier, emotionally stable, and more focused. Low levels of serotonin, on the other hand, increase the risk for a variety of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression.


Research also confirms the beneficial effects of nature walks and spending mindful time in the forest. Practicing forest bathing has been found to increase the level of serotonin, thereby improving vigor, mood, and sleep. A recent study in England confirms that spending time in nature results in improvements in rumination, mood disturbance, positive emotions, and compassion. 

Frees up your creativity 

When you spend time in a natural environment, you are removed from the stress, distractions, and noise of city life, freeing up more mental space for creative thinking. Immersing yourself in nature also exposes you to a variety of textures, smells, sounds, and sights which can be a source of inspiration and new ideas.


The fragrant scents of the forest can evoke memories, emotions, and associations, feeding the creative spirit. The scents of wildflowers, pine, cedar, and eucalyptus can be a source of inspiration for aromatherapists and perfumers.


The sounds of the forest such as birds’ songs, the chirping of crickets, and the buzzing of bees can be a source of ideas for sound artists and musicians. Designers and artists can draw inspiration from the visual beauty of the forest, the natural light, lush foliage, intricate patterns, and changing colors in spring, summer, and fall. 

Boosts your immune system

Spending mindful time in nature can help strengthen your immune system in several ways. First, spending time outdoors can help you get the sunshine and vitamin D you need. Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating specific immune cells as well as your overall immune function.


Second, phytoncides, which are organic compounds produced by fir, cypress, cedar, and pine trees, have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. When you breathe in these essential oils, your body produces more white blood cells which aid immune response and fight off infections.


Third, there is a strong connection between spending time in nature and reduced negative emotions and stress which weaken immunity. Taking nature walks helps reduce the level of cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone.

Reduces high blood pressure

Several studies have found that practicing shinrin yoku can help regulate blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Spending time in nature, in particular, has a positive effect on older and middle-aged people and on lowering systolic blood pressure which is a risk factor for cardiovascular events. Another study found that engaging in forest bathing helps lower the heart rate and blood pressure in pre-and hypertensive patients, making it a highly effective therapeutic practice

Accelerates your recovery from illness

While more research is needed to ascertain how spending time in nature aids recovery, the preliminary evidence is promising, suggesting that being in a natural environment accelerates recovery.

A much-cited study in 1984 found that patients assigned to a three-view room had fewer minor postsurgical complications, took fewer strong and moderate pain medications, and had shorter hospital days.


A more recent study by a research team at Montclair State University found that green roofs on hospitals help decrease stay lengths and pain medication needs, improve respiratory and cardiovascular issues, increase physical activity, improve mental health, and reduce distress. Factors hampering recovery, on the other hand, include litter, crowding, traffic and other machine and urban sounds, cigarette smoke, and ambiguous or abstract sculptures. 

The Most Spectacular Locations for Forest Bathing in The United States

Here are a few unforgettable spots perfect for shinrin yoku. 

Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Humboldt County, California

With few crowds, towering trees, and a network of hiking trails, Humboldt Redwoods State Park is an excellent choice for practicing woods bathing. As the park is found in a remote rural location, it can offer quiet seclusion to connect with nature without distraction. There are plenty of secluded and quiet spots to immerse yourself in your surroundings, including Mattole Beach, Rockefeller Forest, Bull Creek Flats, and the Cuneo Creek Horse Camp. You will also find many trails where you can wander for hours away from crowds and noise. Trails that tend to have fewer visitors include the Drury-Chaney Loop, Founders Grove Nature, and Bull Creek Trails. 

Tongass National Forest, Alaska

A vast, pristine area in Southeast Alaska, the Tongass National Forest offers plenty of spots and opportunities for forest bathing. Some great spots include the Eagle Beach State Recreation Area, Admiralty Island National Monument, and Mendenhall Glacier. A beautiful and idyllic stretch of beach, the Eagle Beach State Recreation Area is a great place for beachcombing, sunbathing, and wildlife viewing. You will find several trails, like the Rainforest, Outer Point, and Eagle Beach Trails, offering plenty of opportunities for leisurely walks, relaxation, birdwatching, and more.


Home to an extensive old-growth temperate rainforest, the Admiralty Island National Monument is a remote location with a quiet and peaceful environment and several hiking trails for woods bathing. The trails wind along the shore and through the forest, offering stunning views of alpine lakes, the Indian River, a glacier, and lush green surroundings. 


With a range of trails to wander and explore, like the Nugget Falls and Moraine Ecology Trails, the Mendenhall Glacier is a wonderful destination for mindful walking where you can observe wildlife and enjoy the sounds of nature, rustling leaves, rushing water, and birds singing. 

Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont

With picturesque waterfalls, stunning fall foliage, and an abundance of wildlife, Green Mountain National Forest offers a variety of trails and natural settings that promote a sense of serenity, calm, and relaxation. You can take Stratton Mountain or Deer Leap Trail to enjoy beautiful views of the valleys and the Adirondack or Green Mountains. While strolling along the trails, you will find plenty of opportunities and spots to practice relaxation and observe wildlife in a forest ablaze with violets, trillium, and asters. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park—North Carolina and Tennessee 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the home of a diverse ecosystem, towering rock formations, scenic valleys, beautiful meadows, and high peaks, offering stunning views and serene hiking experiences. The many trails you can take include Abrams Falls, Alum Cave, and Ramsey Cascades, among others, which provide ample opportunities for relaxation, wildlife viewing, camping, and picnicking. The area is known for its rich biodiversity, including more than 240 species of birds and 1,500 species of flowers, offering excellent opportunities to immerse yourself in the scents and sounds of nature. 

Wrapping Up

Experience-the-forest-while-bathing-in-the-forest-Shinrin-Yoku-with-all-senses.-A-50-year-old-blonde-woman-sits-cross-legged-relaxed.jpgIn search of holistic and natural ways to enhance their well-being, many people have discovered the benefits of spending mindful time in nature. Through meditation, yoga, creative expression, forest walks, and sensory awareness, forest bathing offers practitioners the opportunity to immerse themselves in their surroundings, deepen their connection with nature, and experience its healing power.


Spending time in the great outdoors has been shown to have many emotional, mental, and health benefits. From boosting the immune function and lowering the risk of chronic conditions to reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, practicing shinrin yoku can enhance your health and overall wellness. So, the next time you’re feeling down, stressed, or overwhelmed, take a break from your hectic schedule, power down your phone, and head outside to reconnect with nature and experience its restorative power. 

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.

Our guess is, if you’re on this page reading about diastasis recti abdominis, you’re somewhat aware of what this condition entails.  It’s a common condition that affects many people, especially postpartum women. 


Diastasis recti abdominis occurs when the abdominal muscles separate, causing a gap between the left and right sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. This condition can cause physical and emotional challenges, and recovering from it is not always easy. 


As with many things concerning our physical and emotional health, it can take time and patience to get through it. 


So let’s look closer at what diastasis recti abdominis, who it affects, and how to deal with it. 

What Causes Diastasis Recti?

In most cases, during pregnancy, the growing uterus can put pressure on the abdominal muscles, causing them to stretch and separate. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause the connective tissue that holds the muscles together to become more relaxed, making it easier for the muscles to separate. In some cases, vaginal delivery can also cause the condition.  

In addition to pregnancy, other factors that can contribute to diastasis recti include:


– Obesity or rapid weight gain and loss

– Poor posture, particularly a posture that pushes the belly out

– Improper lifting techniques or heavy lifting

– Chronic coughing or sneezing

– Abdominal surgery, such as a C-section or hernia repair


It’s important to note that not everyone who experiences these factors will develop diastasis recti.

Some people may be more predisposed to the condition due to genetics or other factors. It’s also possible to have a mild degree of diastasis recti without experiencing any symptoms or complications. 

Who Does Diastasis Recti Abdominis Affect? 

Are women more prone to suffer from diastasis recti abdominis? Yes, women are more prone to suffer from diastasis recti abdominis than men, particularly during and after pregnancy. The condition affects about 60% of pregnant people. This is because, during pregnancy, the growing uterus puts pressure on the abdominal muscles, causing them to stretch and separate. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause the connective tissue that holds the muscles together to become more relaxed, making it easier for the muscles to separate. 


However, this abdominal muscle separation can also happen to men and women who have gained and lost a significant amount of weight. Factors that can contribute to diastasis recti include obesity or rapid weight gain and loss, poor posture, improper lifting techniques or heavy lifting, chronic coughing or sneezing, and abdominal surgery, such as a C-section or hernia repair.


While diastasis recti abdominis isn’t necessarily harmful, it’s a health condition that is frequently not taken seriously enough, although it causes discomfort and contributes to lower back pain, pelvic instability, and poor core strength. It can even impact daily activities like lifting and exercising. Not to forget, it can take an emotional toll, affecting self-esteem and body image. 

What Is the Difference Between Diastasis Recti And a Hernia?

Diastasis recti and a hernia are two different conditions, although they can have similar symptoms and may sometimes be confused.


As we’ve established, diastasis recti is a condition where the abdominal muscles separate along the midline, causing a gap between the left and right sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. Its symptoms include a protruding belly, back pain, and poor posture. Diastasis recti abdominis is not considered a serious medical condition, although it can cause discomfort. 


A hernia, on the other hand, occurs when an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. The most common type of hernia is an inguinal hernia, which occurs when a portion of the intestine bulges through the inguinal canal in the groin area. Symptoms of a hernia may include a bulge or lump in the affected area, pain or discomfort, and a feeling of weakness or pressure. Hernias can be serious if left untreated, as they can cause complications such as obstruction or strangulation of the affected organ or tissue.


The main difference between diastasis recti and a hernia is that a diastasis recti is a separation of the abdominal muscles, while a hernia is a protrusion of internal organs or tissue through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. While they can have similar symptoms, they are two distinct conditions that require different treatments. If you suspect that you have either diastasis recti or a hernia, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Most Common Symptoms of Diastasis Recti

The primary symptom of the condition is the visible bulge or ridge that runs down the midline of the abdomen. It’s particularly noticeable when the person is performing an activity that puts pressure on the abdominal muscles, like sitting up, coughing, or sneezing. 

Other symptoms of diastasis recti abdominis include:


– A protruding or “pooching” belly that does not flatten with exercise or diet

– Lower back pain or discomfort

– Poor posture or a “swayback” appearance

– Difficulty performing certain movements, such as sit-ups or crunches

– Digestive issues, such as bloating or constipation

– Pelvic floor dysfunction or incontinence (in severe cases)


If you can relate to any of the above symptoms best is to consult with a healthcare professional and start your treatment to avoid any future complications. Your recovery will most likely be separated into two parts–physical and emotional. Here is what the physical recovery includes. 

Physical Recovery from Diastasis Recti Abdominis 


When it comes to recovering from diastasis recti abdominis, physical rehabilitation plays a crucial role. This part of your journey can be divided into several key tasks–education, guidance, physical therapy, personalized treatment plan, and physical exercises. 


Knowing how to approach your physical recovery is arguably the most important step in your recovery. It’s crucial to learn about the condition understand and how it affects your body.  In this step, you should focus on researching safe and effective exercises, as well as modifications, so that you can gradually include exercises and help your body heal. 


Seeking guidance from a healthcare professional or physical therapist can also provide valuable support and insight, and create a plan that is tailored to your specific needs. The knowledge a physical therapist has will ensure you don’t include exercises or movements that exacerbate your condition. 


In this video, you will learn more about how to tell if you too have diastasis recti.


Whether you choose to work with a healthcare professional or pursue exercises on your own, it’s important to listen to your body and progress at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Recovery from diastasis recti abdominis takes time, so pace yourself and don’t push too hard. 


Here are a few exercises that you might find helpful on your physical recovery journey. 

Exercises to Help You Alleviate Symptoms of Diastasis Recti Abdominis

These routines will help you strengthen your abdominal muscles and if you do them consistently close the gap caused by diastasis recti. 

  • Belly breathing

Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Take a deep breath through your nose, allowing your belly to expand. Exhale slowly through your mouth, gently contracting your abdominal muscles to bring your belly button toward your spine.

This video should help you get started: 




  • Pelvic tilts

For this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis upward, pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then release.


Here’s a video of the pelvic tilts exercise to help you get it right:



  • Abdominal Bracing

This exercise involves lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply, then exhale and gently draw your belly button in towards your spine. Hold for a few seconds, then release.


In this video, you’ll see an example of the abdominal bracing exercise:


  • Transverse Abdominis Engagement

For this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath in, then exhale slowly while gently contracting your pelvic floor muscles and pulling your belly button toward your spine. Hold for a few seconds, then release.


Here’s a video to help you with the transverse abdominis engagement exercise: 


  • Bird dog

Here you start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Extend your right arm and left leg straight out, keeping your hips level. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides.


This video should help you get started with bird dog:


  • Modified Plank

This exercise involves starting in a modified plank position, with your forearms and knees on the floor. Engage your core muscles and hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, keeping your back flat and your hips level.


Here’s a video example of the modified plank:


  • Dead Bug

For this exercise lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your arms towards the ceiling, and lift your legs so that your knees are over your hips. Slowly lower your right arm and left leg towards the floor, keeping your core engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.


Here’s how to do the dead bug exercise: 


  • Seated Russian Twist

For the Russian twist, sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a weight or medicine ball in front of your chest, and twist your torso to the right, tapping the weight on the floor beside your hip. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.


Here’s a video to help you with the seated Russian twist exercise: 



Remember, start with low-intensity exercises and gradually increase the intensity as your abdominal muscles become stronger. Listen to your body and stop any exercise that causes pain or discomfort. 

Note that not all exercises are suitable for everyone with diastasis recti. A qualified physical therapist can help you create to understand your specific case and customize an exercise plan that is appropriate for your individual needs and goals. 

Emotional Recovery from Diastasis Recti Abdominis 

Recovering from diastasis recti abdominis is not only about physical rehabilitation but also emotional recovery. Coping with this condition can be challenging, so here are some important steps you can take to support your emotional well-being during the recovery process.

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care is crucial during the recovery process. Taking care of your physical and emotional needs can help you feel more empowered and in control. Self-care can involve a variety of activities, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, engaging in activities you enjoy, and seeking social support. Practicing self-care can help you feel more resilient and better able to cope with the challenges of recovering from diastasis recti abdominis.

Avoiding Self-Judgment

It’s important to avoid self-judgment and be kind to yourself during the recovery process. Diastasis recti abdominis can be a difficult and frustrating condition to deal with, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is different.

Instead of judging yourself for how long it takes to recover or comparing yourself to others, focus on celebrating your progress and accomplishments. Practicing self-compassion and self-love can help you develop a more positive relationship with your body and support emotional healing.

Mindfulness & Stress-Reduction Techniques

Stress can hurt the body’s ability to heal. Practicing mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. 

These techniques can also help you develop a more positive mindset, which can support emotional healing and recovery.

The Benefits of a Wellness Retreat for Diastasis Recti Recovery

A wellness retreat can offer a safe and supportive environment to help you focus on your recovery. These retreats typically provide access to specialized resources and professionals, as well as a community of others who are also recovering from diastasis recti abdominis. This can help you feel less alone and more supported as you navigate the challenges of recovery.

Access to Specialized Resources and Professionals

A wellness retreat may offer access to specialized resources and professionals, such as physical therapists, nutritionists, and other healthcare providers. This can provide valuable guidance and support as you work to recover from diastasis recti abdominis.

Supportive Community and Personalized Care

Attending a wellness retreat can also offer you a supportive community of people who are going through similar experiences. This can help you feel less isolated during the recovery process. Additionally, many wellness retreats offer personalized care and attention to meet your individual needs.

Relaxation and Stress-Reduction Opportunities

Wellness retreats often provide opportunities for relaxation and stress reduction, such as meditation, yoga, or massage. These activities can help promote overall well-being and support emotional healing.

On a Closing Note 

Recovering from diastasis recti abdominis is a journey filled with both emotional and physical healing. Connecting with professionals, exploring specialized resources, and joining a supportive community are all powerful tools to help you foster positivity, provide healing strategies and bring about greater self-acceptance. 

It’s vital to know that your well-being takes priority. So, give yourself the necessary compassion throughout your journey as you engage in mindful practices, develop self-care strategies, and take advantage of the personalized care at a dedicated wellness retreat. 

In any case, don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed, it’s a crucial part of your recovery process!

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


For expecting moms with uncomplicated pregnancies, exercise is not only safe, healthy, and feasible but it’s highly encouraged. Participating in some form of pregnancy exercise decreases the risk of low birth weight, premature delivery, or miscarriage. On the contrary, physical inactivity while expecting puts you at risk of complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and being overweight. Lack of physical activity also creates a risk for emergency C-sections, preterm delivery, and longer labor. 


While exercising during pregnancy doesn’t mean signing up for that marathon or going all sporty, spending nine months on the sofa isn’t good for your health and your baby either. The key here is moderation and not being carried away by extremes. Regular light exercise is best as it builds strength, improves breathing control, prepares the body for labor, and speeds up postpartum recovery. True, there will be days when doing the dishes or taking the dog for a walk feels like a major accomplishment. 


So, listen to your body and be receptive to what it needs. Exercise whenever you can, at your own pace, and choose an exercise that resonates with you. Activities such as yoga, aqua aerobics, Pilates, and breathing exercises are all excellent ways to ensure you’re fit and strong for labor and beyond. 


Is It Possible to Combine Pregnancy and Exercise?

Pregnancy and exercise are fully compatible unless your doctor advises you not to. Avoid exercise if you have persistent bleeding, cervical insufficiency, low-lying placenta after 26 weeks, preeclampsia, ruptured membranes, anemia, or chronic heart or lung disease.


If all is going well and you don’t have any health issues that need to be addressed, exercise is not only safe but offers a myriad of benefits, including:


– Improved sleep

– Stress relief

– Weight control

– Improved blood circulation

– Reduced pelvic and lower back pain

– Increased energy

– Lower risk of injury

– Improved fitness, muscle tone, endurance, and stamina

– Enhanced immunity

– Fewer pregnancy complications

– Easier labor and delivery


What Workout Is Safe for Pregnant Women?

Some types of exercise are safe while pregnant, including Pilates, yoga, jogging, aqua aerobics, stationary cycling, and brisk walking. During the first trimester, it is generally safe to engage in more vigorous activities like moderate weightlifting, running, and squats. Exercises that are safe during the second trimester include slow jogging, brisk walking, aqua aerobics, and swimming. Low-impact exercises are best during the third trimester, including relaxation and breath exercises, yoga, Pilates, and aqua aerobics.


All activities and exercises with an increased risk of injury and trauma should be avoided during pregnancy. Examples include heavy lifting, basketball, soccer, hockey, gymnastics, skating, horse riding, and high-altitude training. 



As Pilates carries minimal risk, it is considered safe during pregnancy, with multiple benefits for expectant mothers. Pregnancy workouts focus on strengthening and stretching the pelvic floor muscles to prepare you for labor and postpartum recovery. 


Indeed, Pilates has been shown to lower the incidence of birth interventions, including analgesia and episiotomy, and the number of obstructed labor and Cesarean deliveries.


The coordination of movement with breath in Pilates and the involved full, deep breathing is also beneficial in many ways. Deep breathing increases oxygen to your brain and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, thus producing a relaxing effect. 


Aqua Aerobics

Water walking and pool aerobics are good choices if you are a less confident swimmer, offering several health benefits. According to a pilot study, women participating in aqua aerobics report a more positive body image, improved mobility, and less physical discomfort. 


Water exercise also improves blood circulation, strengthens the heart, and prevents varicose veins. By improving circulation, exercise in water helps reduce swelling and relieves the feeling of heavy legs.


Additional benefits to working out in water include improved balance, flexibility, and core strength, stronger abs, reduced lower back pain, better night’s sleep, and stress relief. 


Relaxation and Breathing Exercises

During pregnancy, relaxation can help reduce stress and anxiety and has a positive effect on both the woman’s emotional state and the fetus. Studies show that relaxation is associated with fewer pregnancy and postpartum complications, hospital admissions, Cesarean births, and longer gestation. 


In addition, relaxation is associated with higher birth weight and reduced motor activity and heart rate, which are indicators of fetal well-being.


Relaxation can take many forms such as resting, listening to music, watching TV, and taking a bath. Or it can be in the form of relaxation exercises and techniques like mindfulness, breathing meditation, and rhythmic movement. Breathing exercises, in particular, help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, helping you to relax and relieve stress. 


When you take deep breaths, the level of oxygen in your blood increases. The more oxygen you breathe in and supply to your body, the less anxious, short of breath, and tense you will feel. 



Yoga is not only safe during pregnancy but offers multiple health benefits. An approach focused on breathing, mindfulness, and stretching, prenatal yoga increases endurance, flexibility, and strength and helps relieve stress and anxiety. 


Yoga postures help strengthen the abdominal core, hip, and floor muscles, thus preparing the body for labor and delivery. Maintaining muscle strength also helps you to carry the extra weight and get back in shape after giving birth.


Deep yogic breathing also helps the body relax, loosen, and give birth with no or minimal pain medication. When you are afraid, stressed, or anxious, your muscles tighten and become tense which can make the contractions more painful. There are different ways to ease your fear of childbirth, like choosing a birth environment and caregiver you know but you can also try yoga and breathing techniques that can help you remain calm and present in labor.


If you have little experience with yoga and are looking for ways to strengthen your body and stretch your muscles, you can join a prenatal yoga class to learn the basics. You may want to observe a class first to ensure the environment, instructor’s style and the postures and activities involved feel right. And if you need some quality relaxation and me-time before your bundle of joy arrives, a yoga retreat might be just what you need. 


Welcoming expectant moms at any stage in their pregnancy, yoga retreats offer a plethora of activities to relax, recharge, and prepare for birth. From yoga sessions and wellness and prenatal consultations to aromatherapy and spa pampering sessions, joining a yoga retreat is a wonderful way to indulge in some self-care, leaving you feeling ready for the next big chapter of life.

Yoga Retreats for Expecting Mothers

For an overseas babymoon, Malaysia, Australia, and Bali are all good destinations to get your relaxation fix. If you feel like staying close to home, you will still find plenty of yoga retreats where you can relax and recharge before your newest addition arrives. 


For a truly idyllic retreat in tranquil greenery, for example, Thor is where zen-seeking women escape to relax, bring mind and body into harmony, and prepare for their next big chapter. 


In addition to guided meditation and yoga practice, the programs include educational workshops, herbal medicine consultations, 1:1 strength training, forest bathing, reiki, and spa treatments. 


Benefits of Yoga for Pregnant Women


Here are a few of the physical and mental benefits yoga offers pregnant women


Correct Breathing

Because of the position of the fetus and the size of the womb, the lungs don’t have enough space to expand, causing shortness of breath. Breathing deeply and slowly enables the lungs to work more efficiently, helping you to ease breathlessness during pregnancy. Deep breathing also brings more oxygen to the baby and helps you relax during labor and better cope with contractions and pain. 


Strong Muscles

Moving your body into different postures and stretching keeps your pelvic floor muscles in good condition. Regular practice helps increase endurance, strength, and flexibility, facilitating a smooth birth.


Research also shows that practicing yoga during pregnancy shortens delivery, eases labor pain, and reduces the rate of Cesarean births. Increasing the flexibility and strength of the perineal and vaginal muscles facilitates natural delivery and reduces the risk of premature labor. 


Pain Reduction

Yoga for pregnant women has been shown to improve tolerance for pain during labor, thus increasing maternal comfort. In addition to labor-related pain, yoga helps reduce pelvic and lower back pain during the third trimester. 


A recent study confirms that women practicing yoga experience lower levels of pelvic pain, suggesting a combination of prenatal yoga and regular exercise for pain relief. 


Reduced Anxiety and Better Sleep

Practicing deep breathing and yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, improving sleep quality and calming the mind. Women attending prenatal yoga classes have been found to sleep longer at night, and their α-amylase levels decreased, suggesting reduced stress. 


As well as relieving stress, studies show that yoga for pregnant women significantly decreases anxiety and depression and can be used as an effective and safe treatment for women with symptoms of depression. 


Yoga helps improve self-awareness by encouraging practitioners to stay present and focus on their sensations and feelings. Mindful meditation creates a space for your feelings and thoughts to rise, be felt and experienced, and let them go.  


By encouraging you to look within, fully experience your emotions, and become comfortable with them, yoga helps you to understand yourself better without self-criticism or judgment. 


Strengthening the Bond with Your Baby

Yoga allows you to slow down and relax and tune out distractions and into your body and mind. Practicing the sequence of postures, breathing, and meditation allows you to focus on how your body changes and what is happening to your baby.  As meditation and mindfulness calm and clear the mind, they create a mental space to bond with your baby on a deeper level. 


Resources to Help You with Your Pregnancy Workout

Here is the list of the best pregnancy apps for your comfort. And in this YouTube channel you will find help with navigating yoga poses for pregnant women:


Wrapping Up

Exercising during pregnancy can benefit your health in several ways, including physically, mentally, and emotionally. Regular pregnancy exercise improves your flexibility and strength, promotes a healthy weight, improves your energy and mood, and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, and Cesarean birth. 


Exercising during pregnancy is not only beneficial but safe unless there are health-related reasons to refrain and as long as you avoid sports that carry a risk of falling and injury. Aqua aerobics, Pilates, breathing exercises, and yoga are generally safe and good for you and your baby. 


Prenatal yoga, in particular, is safe for mothers-to-be and supports a healthy and strong pregnancy. With benefits like improved stamina and flexibility, pain relief, and reduced anxiety and depression, yoga helps pregnant women embrace their bodies and stay positive, calm, strong, and healthy. 

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.

For as long as our civilization has existed, herbs have had a special place in our medicine and spiritual rituals. And while the latter is not as widely popular today, the former continues to offer a popular alternative to traditional western medicine.


Herbs present a natural and holistic approach to treating illnesses, that aims to improve the overall condition of the ill, rather than heal local pains and discomforts. Not only that, but herbs go beyond treating physical indisposition and offer a boost to our mental health, as well.


In a modern world ravaged by mental health issues, let’s look at how herbal medicine can benefit our overall well-being, helping us bring health to both our physical and mental selves. 


By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of how natural herbal medicine and practices can improve your mental health and well-being.


Let’s begin. 

What Is Natural Herbal Medicine? And How Is It Different from Traditional Medicine?


Natural herbal medicine is a form of alternative medicine that relies on natural substances from plants to promote health and wellness. Ubiquitous and practiced for centuries, herbal medicine has been the medicine of choice for many throughout time and has an important place in the world’s cultural heritage. 


Perhaps one of the most distinguishable differences between herbal and traditional medicine is the approach to the treatment. While traditional medicine often focuses on symptoms and offers localized healing, natural herbal medicine takes a more holistic approach. Instead of just treating the symptoms of a particular illness, herbal medicine aims to address the root cause of the problem.


Another key difference is the form of medicine. Contrary to traditional medicine–primarily based on synthetic drugs and chemicals, herbal medicine uses natural remedies that have medicinal properties. Herbal remedies are made from different parts of plants, including leaves, roots, bark, flowers, and seeds. 


The natural substances found in the different parts of a herb contain a wide range of active compounds, that help relieve pain and improve general health conditions. Among these compounds are alkaloids, flavonoids, and essential oils, and they’ve been found to positively influence a variety of health issues, even mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.


Another difference between herbal medicine and traditional medicine is the side effects. While traditional medications might have a more immediate effect in treating pain, they also come with more unwanted side effects. Not to mention you have to be careful not to mix certain types of medications. Herbal remedies, on the other hand, require a longer treatment but are gentler on the patient and when carefully dosed have fewer unwanted side effects. 

Benefits of Natural Herbal Medicine

Clearly, to be used for thousands of years, herbal medicine has proven its benefits. But what are those benefits exactly? 


Let’s take a look. 

  • Natural 

Traditional herbal remedies come from plants, and with little to no processing, keeping the most of their natural healing power. 

  • Holistic 

Herbal medicine is a comprehensive and integrated method of treatment. It’s based on treating the person, rather than the symptoms.

  • Personalized

Traditional herbal medicine allows for individualized healing plans, that are tailored to your particular situation, making it the more personalized approach to health.

  •   Wide range of use

Herbal remedies have a broad range of applications They can be used to treat anything from digestive issues, and skin conditions, to mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

  • Fewer side effects & interactions

Unlike, traditional medications, herbal meds are not as chemically processed and better received by the body. They are also much less likely to negatively interact with other supplements or drugs than traditional medicinal drugs.

  • Eco-friendly

Since they are less processed, are usually locally grown, and sustainably resourced herbal medications are also the more environmentally-friendly option.

  • Not so expensive

Traditional medication falls under the trademarks of big pharmaceutical companies, that hold the rights for production and distribution, which consequently make medication expensive. On the contrary, herbal medicine is public domain and accessible to people who may not have access to traditional medical care.


Herbal medicine clearly has many benefits and can help you improve your overall physical and mental health. There is one piece of advice, however, that we recommend you follow— seeking consultation with a specialist before beginning your treatment. 


Much like traditional medicine, in herbal medicine, you need to be guided by a trained and experienced practitioner, to ensure you’re using herbs safely and most appropriately. 


With that in mind let’s explore some of the conditions herbal remedies can help you treat. 

What Are Some Health Conditions Herbal Medicine Helps with? 

As we’ve already mentioned herbal medicine has a wide spectrum of applications. Herbs are even great as preventive care. 


Let’s explore. 

Herbs for Overall Well-Being

Herbs have the potential to improve your overall well-being by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving sleep quality. There are a few herbs that help support the body’s natural defenses and improve overall vitality. Some popular plants for overall health include ashwagandha, ginseng, and holy basil.

Herbs for Preventive Care 

Many herbs have preventive properties, as well. This means they can help reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Herbs that fall into that category are echinacea, elderberry, and curiously–garlic.

Herbs for Immunity

As part of its preventive care, herbal medicine is excellent for supporting the immune system. Many herbs have natural immune-boosting properties and can be used to help prevent infections and illnesses. Popular herbs for immune support include echinacea, garlic, and elderberry.

Herbs for Pain Relief

Herbs can also be used to relieve immediate pain and discomfort like headaches, menstrual cramps, and muscle pain. Herbs like ginger and turmeric, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation. Chamomile and valerian have calming and relaxing effects. 

Herbs for Better Digestion

Herbal remedies can also help you improve digestion and alleviate digestive issues like indigestion, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Herbs used to relieve digestive health include ginger, peppermint, and fennel.

Herbs for Skin Health

Herbs have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which can help improve skin health and treat skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Popular herbs for skin health include aloe vera, calendula, and chamomile.

Herbs for Mental Health

Herbal medicine is a great option for mental health issues. More than a few herbs have natural properties that can help to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve mood. Herbs can even alleviate serious conditions like anxiety and depression. Popular herbs for mental health include ashwagandha, chamomile, and valerian.


Herbal medicine offers a restorative alternative to traditional medicine and can have a particularly positive effect on mental health issues. So, let’s look at the benefits of herbal medicine for mental health in more detail. 

Natural Herbal Remedies for Mental Health

Taking care of your overall well-being means paying careful attention to your mental health, as well. And herbal remedies offer kinder treatment for some of the common mental health issues, plaguing us–modern humans. 


Many different herbs are commonly used in natural herbal medicine to treat mental health conditions. Here are a few of them. 


  • St. John’s Wort

This herb has been used for centuries to treat depression and anxiety. It is believed to work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. There is even scientific evidence that supports the claim that St. John’s Wort has therapeutic benefits in treating mild depression. 


  • Valerian root

This herb is commonly used to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Studies have found that valerian root is also a reliable sleep aid, it can help improve sleep and sleep quality, and these are essential for your overall mental health.


  • Passionflower 

This herb has a calming effect on the body and can help reduce feelings of nervousness and stress. It is often used to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. There is even considerable scientific evidence that supports the claim of the positive effects of the herb on people suffering from anxiety. 


  •  Chamomile

Chamomile is known for its soothing properties and can help promote relaxation and treat issues like insomnia. It is believed to work by increasing levels of GABA–a neurotransmitter that helps to calm the nervous system. Research into the herb’s sleep-inducing properties, also confirms its positive effects on sleep. 


  • Lavender

Lavender is known for its calming and relaxing properties. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. Studies have found that inhaling lavender essential oil can reduce stress levels and improve mood in people with anxiety. 


It’s important to note that while natural herbal remedies can be effective, they should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

The Advantages of Combining Herbal Medicine with a Wellness Retreat

One way to increase the effectiveness of herbal medicine, even more, is to combine it with other mental health practices,  like meditation, yoga, and wellness retreats.  Wellness retreats are those jams in the mindfulness practice circles that offer the opportunity to disconnect from the stressors of daily life and focus on self-care. 


Many retreats are located in serene and peaceful settings, think mountains and beaches, that further promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. 

What’s more, wellness retreats often provide a variety of complementary practices such as guided yoga and meditation, massage, and acupuncture that can work together with herbal remedies to promote overall health and well-being. 


Another benefit wellness retreats offer is the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and build a community. It opens the opportunity of creating a support group that will help you stay motivated and continue incorporating natural herbal remedies and other wellness practices into your daily routine even after the retreat is over.

On a Closing Note

While many of us focus on the physical side of our well-being, we shouldn’t forget that there are two sides to our health– the physical and the mental. Natural herbal medicine is beneficial for both but especially helpful for our mental health. Herbs offer a gentle and holistic healing approach to easing emotional fluctuations and act as antidotes to depression, mood swings, and anxiety. 


So, if you are looking for a holistic and eco-friendly approach to balancing your emotions and freeing up your mental energy reserves, give herbal medicine a try. 


We could all use more mental harmony – so why not try a few alternatives, now? Take your time to research and consult with a health practitioner about the different types of herbs available to cater to your personal needs, look for like-minded peers that share your interest,  and start your journey toward better mental health.  

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.

Finding meaning in life is arguably the grandest goal you can set for yourself. It’s a question that has occupied the minds of countless philosophers and ordinary people throughout time. It’s a heavy burden that everyone carries and one question that is sometimes not that easy to answer. 


In this guide,  we will help you through the first steps you should take when feeling stuck and lacking purpose. We’ll gently point you to a few areas of life you can begin reevaluating and setting new goals.


Ultimately, finding purpose and sustained fulfillment is not a one-time event, but a repetitive process. It requires ongoing effort and attention to ensure that your actions align with your values and goals. 


Nonetheless, we hope these steps will help you kick off your journey toward a happier life. 


Ready to begin? 


Why You Might Feel Stuck & Why It’s Important to Take Action

There are times when finding purpose and sustaining that meaning in your life feels like an elusive dream. As time passes by, many of us find ourselves stuck in the daily grind and monotony of life. We rush to work, home, children, pets, and life in general. 


We are the support systems for our friends, family, and oftentimes coworkers. There hardly seems to be any time for reflection, contemplation and realigning.  Our lives are full of tasks and daily routines. And although having a solid routine with strong habits is great, it can oftentimes leave us asking:  “Is this all there is to life? What is my life’s purpose?”


Finding life’s purpose and passion can be a big and challenging task. It requires a lot of work and effort to discover the activities that bring out the spring in your step. 


To find and most importantly keep the feeling of fulfillment in your life you need to take action. This is a task that requires you to periodically examine your current situation, your career, and your personal life, and identify the things in your life you want to improve. 


Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help you identify what drives you and what you’re meant to do that brings you true life purpose joy.


  • Evaluate Your Life

Perhaps a daunting task, accounting for your current life is the first essential step you should take when aiming to re-ignite your happiness and find life’s purpose. 



We admit, getting stuck in a rut is very easy. We all have countless responsibilities to take care of and these take a lot of our time. So, it requires an extra effort to break through the tediousness and dedicate time to consider which parts of your life need changing. But this is where you gain clarity and direction on how to stir your life in a better direction, and it’s worth it! 



Here is how you can break down this important step into smaller more manageable tasks. 



Begin by asking yourself some key questions: 

  • What do you love doing? 
  • What are your strengths? 
  • What are your values?
  • What motivates you? 
  • What are the things in your life that bring you the most joy? 


Be honest with yourself and take the time to reflect on your answers. There is no hurry. 



Ask these questions for the different areas of your life–your personal life, your career, your relationships, your hobbies, and everything else that comes to mind. Are you happy with your job? Do your relationships bring you joy and fulfillment? Are you taking care of your physical and mental health?



The answers to these questions might not come easy to you, so here are a few more sub-steps you can take to nudge yourself in the right direction. 


  • Reflect on Your Life Experiences

Think about the experiences that have had the most significant impact on your life. What have you learned from these experiences? How have they shaped who you are today? Reflecting on your past can help you identify patterns and themes that can guide you toward your purpose.


  • Identify Your Values

Think about the principles and beliefs that are most important to you. What kind of impact do you want to make in the world? What causes do you feel passionate about? Identifying your values can help guide you toward a purpose that aligns with your beliefs.


  • Consider Your Strengths

What are your unique talents and skills? What are you good at, and what comes naturally to you? Consider how you can use these strengths to make a difference in the world.


  • Explore Your Interests

Take some time to reflect on what you enjoy doing, what you’re naturally good at, and what activities give you a sense of fulfillment. Consider exploring new hobbies, taking classes, or volunteering in areas that interest you. 


Do you enjoy being creative? You can explore photography, cooking, cinematography, fashion, and more. Do you enjoy physical activities – how about running, hiking, swimming, dancing, and strength training? Do you enjoy mindfulness? Try yoga, meditation, and mentoring younger people.


  • Try New Things

Be open to new experiences and challenges. Trying new things can help you discover interests and passions you didn’t even know you had.


  • Give Back

Volunteering or helping others can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Consider how you can use your skills and passions to make a positive impact on the life of others, you’ll be surprised by the positive effect that will have on your own life and purpose. 


  • Seek Out Mentors or Coaches

Finding someone who has experience in your areas of interest can be helpful. They can guide you on how to approach your passions and offer insight into the steps you may need to take.


Remember, finding your passion and purpose is a journey, and it may take time to identify what it is you truly want to do. Don’t be afraid to explore, experiment, and learn from your experiences along the way.


The information you gather in this step will hint you toward what is good in your life and where you might feel unfulfilled or lacking direction. It’s a strong starting point for the next step in finding your life’s purpose–setting goals. 



  • Set Goals

Once you’ve explored the different areas of your life and decided which are the things that make you happy, the things you want to change, and the new things you’d love to learn, try, and find fulfillment with, it’s time to set goals. 


Ask yourself which things in your life you keep coming back to when you think of what needs to change. What do you think is missing from your life to give it purpose? 


The SMART Framework

One effective method to set and follow your goals more closely is the SMART framework. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 


Adapting this framework to your needs will help you create goals that are clear, achievable, and meaningful. 

How to Start? 


Be specific and write down the major areas of change you want to delve into. But remember that big ideas can often feel overwhelming and dispiriting, so while you plan your major goals, be sure to divide them into smaller, measurable goals that are realistic and achievable. Anything from: “Sign up for a virtual meditation class”,  to “Help at a dog shelter, next Sunday” is a good place to start. 


The more you break your goals down, the easier you will achieve them, and crucially– you’ll stay focused and motivated as you work towards your larger objectives. 


Having a diary, where you put your goals can also help you feel more fulfilled and happy with your life. Every time you tick a task off your list, you’ll feel accomplished, and motivated to keep going. 


It’s also important to celebrate your progress along the way and remain committed to the pursuit of your goals, even when faced with challenges. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible. Life can be unpredictable, and circumstances might change, so instead of beating yourself down for not meeting your goals, try to adapt. Adjust where necessary and keep moving forward, the goal is not perfection but sustained fulfillment. 


Find the balance between leaving space for change and keeping yourself accountable for achieving your goals.  The goal in finding meaning and sustained fulfillment is to take steps forward, after all.


If at any point you feel overwhelmed, seek support from loved ones or a mentor. The people around you will be able to encourage and help you if needed, to track your progress regularly. Creating a support system is a crucial step in your journey toward a happy, purposeful life.

  • Build a Support System

When we surround ourselves with positive and supportive people, we are encouraged and motivated to achieve our goals. So surrounding ourselves with people who care and love us is vital.


 Here are a few tips you can use to build and maintain healthy relationships. 


  • Surround Yourself with Positive People

This sentence might sound corny, but that doesn’t make it less of a truth.  Seek out friends and family who encourage you, challenge you, and support your goals. Being around people who are negative or unsupportive can be draining and hinder your progress.

  • Communicate Openly and Honestly

This step isn’t always easy. We sometimes get in the habit of keeping quiet instead of facing friends and family with open and on occasion touchy subjects just to keep the peace. 


But what peace is to keep tension and consequently resentment within ourselves? Plus more often than not, these conversations end up being not at all as scary as we thought. So feel encouraged to speak honestly and openly with people. Be open and honest with your loved ones about your goals, struggles, and successes. This will help you build trust and deepen your relationships.

  • Be a Good Listener

It’s not just about talking. it’s also about listening. Listening to others is a way to show that you care, and it can help you gain valuable insights and perspectives.

  • Show Appreciation

Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Let them know how much you appreciate their support and encouragement. A simple “thank you” can go a long way.

  • Nurture Your Relationships

Much like plants, relationships need nurturing to grow and flourish. Spend quality time with your loved ones, celebrate friends’ milestones together, and be there for people close to you, when they need you. You can even share time engaging in physical activity you shared interest in. 

  •  Take Care of Your Physical Health


Physical well-being, as science is showing, is fundamental for a good quality of life. 

Here are a few steps to incorporating exercise, healthy eating, and self-care into your routine:

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity can boost mood, reduce stress, and improve overall health. It doesn’t have to be strenuous – even a daily walk can make a difference. Or why not that yoga class you’ve been eyeing for a while? 


Yoga is much more helpful, as it can offer the combined benefits of physical and mental practice. You can jumpstart your yoga journey with a relaxing yoga retreat, where you’ll be able to network with like-minded people on their journey towards life purpose and fulfillment. 


The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and try to make it a regular part of your routine.

  • Eat a Balanced Diet

A healthy diet is an important part of maintaining physical health. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals. Avoid processed and high-sugar foods, which can leave you feeling fatigued and demotivated.

  • Practice Self-care

Taking time to care for yourself has a significant impact on your overall well-being. An improvised “spa day” where you treat yourself to a massage, or a mani-pedi (even at home and done by yourself) can make all the difference. 


A few more ideas for your self-care include–getting enough sleep, taking a relaxing bath, or enjoying a good book.  And speaking of practicing self-care, your mental health is one area of your life that deserves a lot of your attention. 

  • Take Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health is not only important for overall well-being, but it is also critical in achieving your goals and dreams. Without good mental health, you will hardly ever make progress toward feeling purposeful and fulfilled. 


Incorporating mindfulness practices like meditation and deep breathing help reduce stress, and anxiety, and increase self-awareness. 


Other self-care practices, that you can dedicate some time to are journaling, going for a walk and spending time in nature, setting clear work-life boundaries, engaging in creative activities such as painting, music, and writing, as well as socializing, can also help you maintain mental well-being.


Therapy is another valuable tool for supporting your mental health. A therapist can provide you with guidance and tools to overcome obstacles and work towards your goals. They can also help you navigate difficult emotions and experiences, such as trauma or grief, that may be blocking you from feeling fulfilled.


Speaking of the importance of self-care practices, perimenopausal and menopausal women who are especially burdened with the many challenges of life, can surely benefit from the specially created mental health retreats that not only offer physical and mental guidance practices but facilitate the creation of a supportive environment of peers. 


By prioritizing our mental health, we can create a strong foundation for achieving our goals and living fulfilling lives. So, take time to care for your mind and body, and remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Our Loving Closing Note 

Looking for and finding purpose in life can be a challenging and ongoing process. It requires self-reflection, exploration, and a willingness to try new things. Sustained fulfillment comes from living a life aligned with your values, passions, and goals. 


To live a happy life, you should prioritize your relationships, take care of your physical and mental health, and find joy in your daily activities. Remember, everyone’s path to happiness and fulfillment is unique, so invest the time in your journey. 


Be kind to yourself and embrace your strengths and weaknesses, so you can move forward. We hope this guide will help you on the way. 

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.

The benefits of a plant-rich diet are well-known, yet, only 1 in 10 Americans meet the daily recommendations, and there are plenty of reasons why. Grocery store shelves are loaded with processed foods that are cheaper but inferior. Convenience foods are versatile, easy to prepare, and have a long shelf-life. Even when we’re not buying pre-prepared foods at the store, the choice is often a double burger, fries, and coke.


While processed foods are convenient and readily available, they contain artificial colorings, emulsifiers, and anti-caking agents you wouldn’t cook with. The foods that sit toward the whole foods end of the continuum are free of compounds you can’t pronounce or understand. Eating whole and increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits is the best way to supply your body with the nutrients it needs.


If you still need some motivation, however, or are struggling to get your daily quota of vegetables, here are some reasons to increase your intake, ways to get your 5 a day, and a list of veggies that will keep your tummy and body happy. 


Why Is Eating Vegetables Important?

Twelve subgroups of vegetables exist, and each supplies important minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber that benefit your health. Eating a variety of vegetables offers a range of benefits like lower risk of hypertension and heart disease, improved digestive health, and diabetes control. A diet high in plant compounds helps fight inflammation, supports eye and bone health, improves your skin, and enhances immunity. Vegetables are also high in water content and low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat, and a regular intake helps maintain a healthy weight. 

Tips to Start Eating Vegetables Every Day

Here are a few tips to have in mind when starting to incorporate more veggies into your diet.


Eat vegetables for breakfast


Eating vegetables for breakfast improves digestion, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and boosts your productivity and mood. Veggies are satiating, hydrating, and full of nutrients, which is why you will find breakfast cultures centered around vegetables around the world.  


Koreans typically have kimchi, a side dish of marinated, steamed, or stir-fried vegetables. Breakfast in Sweden includes open-faced sandwiches with cheese, ham, cucumber, celery, and tomato. And a full English breakfast means a plate full of bacon, eggs, beans, grilled tomato, and mushrooms. The list of cuisines where veggies are heavily featured is long.


And with plenty of recipes from around the world, incorporating veggies into your breakfast is simple and easy. You can try some tasty recipes like butternut squash bake, sauteed pepper, onion omelet, vegetable frittata, or Greek scramble.


Drink your veggies


According to some theories, the body absorbs antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins more easily when you juice. However, there is no scientific evidence that juicing is better than eating whole vegetables (or fruit). Juicing removes the fiber which is essential for a healthy diet. Fiber helps maintain normal blood sugar and cholesterol levels support bowel health and promote the release of toxins from the body.


So, instead of juicing, you can blend vegetables to retain the fiber. Blending makes it easier to eat your vegetables if you don’t have time to do all the chopping. Just put the entire serving of broccoli, spinach, bok choy, cilantro, and kale into the blender to give yourself a nutritious boost. 


Substitute raw vegetables for crackers, pita, tortillas, and other bread


One way to ensure that you eat vegetables every day is to include them in your meals or snacks. Making crackers, for example, is not only quick and easy but you get to eat vegetables in a format that’s both tasty and convenient. You can also make dips like the classic spinach or red pepper dip as the perfect companion for breadsticks, crackers, and raw vegetables. Likewise, you can have veggie pitta bread with cherry vine tomatoes and peppers or tortilla wraps packed with carrots, zucchini, red bell peppers, and onion. 

Make veggies the centerpiece of your meal

Eating meals that are mostly veggies is another way to get your daily quota and ensure you eat vegetables every day. You will find plenty of delicious recipes that make veggies the hero, like smoky quinoa taco bowls, ratatouille stir-fry, stuffed portobello mushrooms or peppers, and veggie frittata. Also, there are a number of creative ways to eat more vegetables, like sneaking them into noodles, puddings, or quesadillas. 

Pack a salad for lunch

Packing a salad for lunch is not only a time-saver but will help you to cut down on empty calories that fast food usually has. To make your salad as healthy, tasty, and colorful as possible, include a variety of vegetables and add some healthy fats and protein to give it a boost. Healthy proteins to add to your salad include chickpeas, eggs, tofu, chicken breast, and sliced tuna. You can finish with healthy fats to make your salad tastier and more filling, like sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, cashews, or avocado.

Experiment with different cooking methods 


You can experiment with different cooking methods to diversify your everyday meals. Dry heat cooking, for example, includes roasting, sauteing, stir-frying, pan-frying, grilling, and barbecuing. You can roast or grill vegetables with healthy oil and garnish them with parsley or dried thyme. Or you can make a stir-fry with seasonal veggies and tofu, chicken, or beef.


Moist heat cooking also includes a variety of methods such as poaching, boiling, simmering, blanching, pressure cooking, steaming, and stewing. Examples of recipes to try include blanching carrots or broccoli or steamed vegetables with olive or sesame oil.

Include a variety of colors 

Vegetables fall into five color groups: blue/purple, green, white/brown, orange/yellow, and red. Each color offers different health benefits. Blue/purple vegetables such as eggplant and beetroot, for instance, are a good source of anthocyanin which reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers inflammation. The group of orange/yellow vegetables includes sweet corn, pumpkin, orange and golden kumara, and carrots. They are high in antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and flavonoids. These nutrients support health in a number of different ways, including collagen formation, blood pressure control, and healthy joints. Red vegetables like tomatoes and radishes are also packed with nutrients, including potassium and vitamins K, C, and A. These nutrients help improve brain function, strengthen immunity, and reduce the risk of high cholesterol, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.


White/brown, the fourth group, includes parsnips, onions, mushrooms, and cauliflower which are high in phytonutrients, vitamin C, and potassium. These nutrients are good for your metabolism, digestive system, immunity, and heart health. Lastly, green vegetables like lettuce, celery, and broccoli offer antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamin K which contribute to heart and bone health.


As each group offers different health benefits, including a variety of colors and types is a good way to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.


Don’t forget frozen vegetables

With canning, fat-soluble vitamins like K, E, D, and A are retained but water-soluble vitamins such as C and B are lost due to high heat. Unlike it, freezing does not reduce the nutritional value of vegetables, and all minerals and vitamins are retained. In fact, vegetables are usually frozen when they reach the peak level of their nutrient density. This means that they can be more nutrient-dense than fresh vegetables that sit around for days. 

Get creative

There are plenty of creative ways to incorporate vegetables into your meals, like adding veggies to pancakes, waffles, biscuits, and cakes. You can add zucchini to your brownie batter, carrots to cookies, or avocados to pudding. Sweet potatoes can be pureed into a mousse and squashed into a cheesecake. You can even try vegetable ice cream with sweet corn, tomato, carrot, or beetroot. As veggie ice creams are low in sugar, they are healthier than regular ice creams and can be easily prepared at home. 


Top Nutrient-Dense Vegetables for a Healthy Diet



Spinach is rich in a number of nutrients, including potassium, folate, iron, and vitamins K, C, and A. It is also loaded with fiber and essential plant compounds like quercetin and lutein which promote eye and heart health and fight inflammation and infection.


To benefit from spinach’s nutrients, you can eat it fresh or cooked. When cooked, your body will absorb more iron and calcium because heat breaks down oxalic acid in spinach which prevents their absorption. 



Carrots are also loaded with essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins C, K, and A. They are a good source of fiber and antioxidants such as anthocyanins and carotenoids. Anthocyanins have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition to lowering inflammation and promoting heart health, carotenoids strengthen the immune system and promote positive mental health.


The antioxidants in carrots are absorbed more easily if you eat them cooked. But the way you cook them also matters. Boiling reduces vitamin B1 and C content, so it’s better to roast, sauté, or steam them. 



One of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you’ll find year-round, broccoli is packed with potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins K and C, protein, fiber, and folate. When steamed, just one-half cup supplies over 50 percent of your vitamin C daily intake. You need this antioxidant to protect yourself from free radical damage and infections and to maintain good blood vessels, skin, and bone health. Nutrients in broccoli also improve brain function, keep your heart healthy, and support hormonal balance.


To keep all the nutrients intact, you can eat broccoli raw or steam it for 2 – 3 minutes. If you like it raw, you can dip it in guacamole, tahini, or hummus. Or you can add shredded or chopped broccoli to coleslaw or salads. If you like it cooked, you can add it to a wide variety of dishes, like fajitas, frittatas, stews, soups, and stir-fries. 




Alliumphobia means fear of garlic and that’s not a joke. While allium phobia is uncommon, people either hate it or are bonkers about it. If you are one of those who love garlic, it will love you back. It is a good source of minerals like manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and zinc as well as vitamins K, E, and C. Garlic also contains a total of 33 sulfur compounds which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.

To get maximum benefits, it’s best to eat garlic raw. It contains more allicin, a sulfur compound that lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar and helps the body fight infections. If you don’t like it as is, there are plenty of ways to add more of it to your menu. You can mix it into salsas, pesto, dips, or pasta, add it to salad dressings, or sprinkle it on buttered toast.

Brussels sprouts

Low in calories and nutrient-dense, Brussels sprouts supply your daily dose of vitamins K and C and are rich in folate, vitamins A and B6, manganese, and fiber. Crunchy vegetables like Brussels sprouts help reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. Phytochemicals in Brussels sprouts have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and protect cells from DNA damage.


To enjoy the benefits this crunchy vegetable offers, you can eat it roasted, sauteed, or baked. Or you can add fresh Brussels sprouts to pasta, frittatas, stir-fries, and other tasty dishes. There are plenty of recipes to try, like parmesan and roasted garlic sprouts, chorizo and sprout carbonara, and chicken and veggie fall skillet. 


With high amounts of manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, and vitamins C, B6, A, and K, it is no surprise that kale is one of the veggie world’s superstars. It contains three times as much vitamin C as collard greens and spinach and more calcium than cow’s milk. The minerals, vitamins, and plant compounds that kale contains support bone and heart health, improve digestive function, and strengthen the immune response.


Not only is kale a true superfood but its sweet, mild taste works well with a variety of recipes. It can be baked, boiled, sauteed, steamed, or consumed raw in smoothies and salads. You’ll find a variety of tasty kale recipes, including side dishes, pesto, pasta, soups, quesadillas, and more.  

Green peas

Green peas supply a decent amount of fiber, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C. Nutrients like potassium and magnesium support heart health while phosphorus keeps the teeth and bones healthy. Green peas are also a good source of vitamin A and B vitamins which reduce the risk of arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes and decrease inflammation in your body. Zinc and vitamins E and C in peas enhance immunity and prevent DNA damage in healthy cells.


With a high nutrient content, beany flavor, and sweet and savory notes, green peas can be a great addition to your diet. There are plenty of recipes to inspire your meal times, like avocado and green bean salad, peas and watercress soup, and peas on toast. You can use these little green guys to prepare a variety of meals, including pasta, pesto, dips, salsa, frittatas, risotto, and gratin. 

Swiss chard 

This green leafy vegetable is an excellent source of magnesium, iron, and copper and vitamins A and K. It is high in a number of antioxidants, including flavonoids and beta carotene which reduce inflammation, regulate enzyme activity, and prevent gene mutation. Like other leafy greens, Swiss chard is considered a powerhouse food that protects the body against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.


Thanks to the variety of nutrients, Swiss chard can be a valuable addition to your meal routine. It is readily available, versatile, and easy to cook and can be added to salads, side dishes, soups, pasta, and even desserts. 


Beets are loaded with nutrients and worthy of a second look. They contain potassium, vitamin B2, folate, and manganese which promote bone and muscle health, fight inflammation, and enhance cognition.


In addition to their impressive nutritional profile, they come in a great variety, including sugar, striped, golden, red, and Mangel-wurzel beets. As versatile as they are, beets work well with a wide selection of recipes, including dips, salads, soups, and pasta. You can also prepare hummus, risotto, vinaigrette, borscht, and if you have a sweet tooth – a beet cake. 


Asparagus is low in sodium and calories and an excellent source of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as selenium, manganese, zinc, vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. It also contains asparagine, an amino acid that breaks down toxins in cells, supports brain function, and aids the production of muscle tissue, enzymes, and proteins. 


This highly nutritious vegetable can be a delicious addition to your meals. You can cook it in a variety of ways, including blanched, stir-fried, steamed, sauteed, and grilled. Asparagus can be added to omelets, pasta, soups, frittatas, and pizzas or you can eat it raw.


Rich in phosphorus, manganese, potassium, and vitamins B6, K, and C, this healthy vegetable packs a nutritious punch. Just one cup supplies over 75 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. In addition to its role in supporting a healthy immune system, vitamin C improves iron absorption, aids in collagen production, and eliminates free radicals from your cells. Cauliflower is also an excellent source of vitamin K which is crucial for bone metabolism, blood clotting, and heart health.


From a culinary perspective, there are virtually endless ways to enjoy cauliflower. You can prepare soups, pasta, tacos, crust pizzas, stir-fries, and even cauliflower cheese and rice. 

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, packing a good amount of potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and A into each serving. They vary from red and purple to white, yellow-orange, and orange and are rich in fiber and antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids, along with phenolic compounds help balance blood sugar levels, aiding diabetes management.  Purple sweet potatoes also contain anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants shown to inhibit the growth of colon, gastric, and breast cancer.


Packed with nutrients, tasty, and versatile, sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into a healthy diet. They can be pureed, whipped, grilled, roasted, baked, and boiled. Sweet potatoes can be tossed into bread, pies, muffins, chili, and salads and pair well with a variety of seasonings, including paprika, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

Bell peppers 

Found in a variety of colors, like white, orange, yellow, purple, and red, bell peppers are packed with nutrients, including vitamins C, B6, and A, potassium, and manganese. They also contain antioxidants like lutein, beta-carotene, and lycopene which protect cells from DNA damage, suppress inflammation and support eye and skin health.  


Red bell peppers pack the most nutrients but you can use any variety to prepare tasty meals. Peppers can be pureed for dips and soups, sauteed, grilled, baked, and stuffed with whole grains, beans, or meat. You can use them in condiments, sauces, stews, and chilis, add them to sandwiches or salads, or eat them raw with your favorite dip.

Wrapping Up


No single vegetable supplies all the minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and plant compounds you need to stay healthy and feel your best. Eating a variety of colors, flavors, and types provides your body with the mix of fibers, phytochemicals, and nutrients you need. Expanding variety and increasing your consumption of veggies can benefit your health in a number of different ways. Nutrients in vegetables improve blood pressure, balance blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve digestive health, and enhance immunity.


Yet, even with this laundry list of health benefits that vegetables provide, the majority of Americans don’t get enough. Why? Some people are unsure how to prepare them or don’t have time for prepping and cooking. Others don’t have a veggie habit or don’t find vegetables satisfying or appealing. Some people have grown accustomed to fat, sugar, and salt in processed foods and don’t like the earthy or bitter taste of some vegetables.


So, if you’re one of them and don’t get your five a day or simply loathe your greens, making vegetables a little more enticing can help up your intake. Luckily, there are so many ways to chop your way to a healthy diet and lifestyle and add veggies to your meals. Vegetables can be enjoyed steamed, roasted, grilled, or stir-fried for any meal occasion. Whatever cooking method or recipe you use to make friends with vegetables, incorporating them into your diet will pay off in the long run. 

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.

Perimenopause and menopause can have a big impact on your family, personal, and social life, work, and day-to-day activities. It often means night sweats, hot flashes, palpitations, trouble sleeping, and headaches and migraines. Itchy skin, poor wound healing, thinning hair, and brittle nails occur frequently. Without estrogen, the salivary glands produce less saliva, increasing your risk for mouth infections, gum problems, and tooth decay. Bone density starts to decrease, making you more susceptible to fractures and injury. 


Along with reduced bone density, decreases in muscle strength and mass can impact your flexibility, agility, strength, and mobility. Problems with concentration and memory, feelings of anxiety and depression, mood swings, and irritability are also common. Your risk of menopause complications and health conditions increases as well, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and urinary tract infections.


While many changes occur, which can affect your health, well-being, and quality of life, menopause is not a diagnosis, nor is it a disease. And there are healthful lifestyle changes that you can make to manage the changes it brings. 


Cultivating a growth mindset, prioritizing rest, exercise, and a healthy diet, and cutting back on stress are all ways to make menopause easier on your body and brain. 

How Does Menopause Start?

Stressed,Frustrated,Middle,Aged,Lady,Suffering,From,Headache,Massaging,Temples,Menopause is the point when your ovaries stop releasing eggs and reproductive hormones and you no longer have menstrual periods. The diagnosis of menopause is based on the absence of menstrual bleeding for 12 consecutive months. It is made by reviewing a woman’s symptoms and menstrual and medical history.


Perimenopause is more challenging to diagnose because it is a gradual transition that can last from just a few months to 10 years. It can begin without knowing it or having any menopause-like symptoms. 15 percent of women experience no symptoms, and for those who have, the incidence and severity of symptoms may increase with age (BMC Women Health).


For the majority of women, perimenopause starts in their mid-40s, and the average age at which women in the U.S. reach menopause is 51.  

What Does Menopause Feel Like?

Here are a few symptoms that you might experience during menopause.

Hot Flashes


Hot flashes are not only uncomfortable and annoying but aren’t a short-term problem. They can last for many years and some women experience them daily or a few times a week. Hot flashes also vary in severity, from mild to very intense where day-to-day activities cannot be performed.


When a flash happens, you may experience a feeling of heat in your face, neck, arms, and chest. Other symptoms include tingling in your fingers, sweating, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and chill once the hot flash subsides. 

Night Sweats And/Or Cold Flashes


Like hot flashes, night sweats are common during perimenopause and menopause. About 36 percent of women experience them while 6 percent find night sweats to be bothersome, one study found. Frequency varies between women but has been shown to increase significantly at menopause, peaking 1 month before the final menstrual period.


Excessive sweating or perspiration is one symptom that night sweats and hot flashes have in common. These episodes occur during sleep and can be so severe as to wake you up with soaked bedding and sleepwear. Contributing factors include early age at first pregnancy, smoking, diabetes, high-risk drinking, and premenstrual tension (Menopause). 

Vaginal Dryness That Causes Discomfort During Sex


Vaginal dryness is a common condition in menopausal women, with 25 to 57 percent reporting dryness and urinary symptoms (Menopause). It is characterized by burning and itching sensations, discomfort and pain during intercourse, and frequent urinary tract infections. Other symptoms include burning with or frequent urination, incontinence, vaginal discharge, and bleeding after intercourse.


At menopause, vaginal dryness is caused by a lack of lubrication due to low levels of estrogen. This drop in reproductive hormones causes the vaginal tissues to thin, leaving fewer cells secreting moisture. Other factors that contribute to dryness in post- and perimenopausal women include inflammatory and metabolic conditions, certain medications, and unhealthy behaviors such as cigarette smoking. 

Urinary Incontinence 


The drop in estrogen near menopause causes the pelvic floor muscles to weaken. When put under strain, the pelvic floor may be unable to prevent urination. Symptoms include leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, lifting heavy, and exercising, pelvic pain, waking up to urinate, and wetting your bed at night. 


While short-term insomnia is often due to a traumatic event or stress, menopause-related sleep disturbances are caused by falling levels of progesterone and estrogen. Depression and anxiety, changes in mood, night sweats, and hot flashes also contribute to frequent waking and poor sleep. Symptoms of insomnia include feeling tired or sleepy during the day, waking up too early, less than 6 hours of sleep at night, and not feeling rested when you wake up.


Insomnia can affect your body in several ways such as feeling stressed, irritable, and anxious, having slowed reaction time and poor concentration, and experiencing more accidents and errors. Complications include mood disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. 

Emotional Changes 


Declining levels of estrogen can cause a range of emotional symptoms, from mood swings and irritation to depression. Symptoms also include crying, snappiness, bursts of anger, panic attacks, worsening premenstrual tension, and loss of confidence and self-esteem. Some women are at a greater risk of experiencing emotional distress, including those in a difficult living situation or toxic relationship, women under a lot of stress, and those with a history of severe PMS. 

Dry Skin, Dry Eyes, Or Dry Mouth


Skin loses collagen during menopause, causing it to dry and age faster. You are likely to find your skin dry just about anywhere, like your legs, elbows, chest, back, and face. Fine wrinkles and dark spots also appear as your skin loses moisture and elasticity.

Menopausal women are more prone to dry eyes as well. While the relationship is unknown, estrogen and androgen, which decline near menopause, may play a role in tear production. 

Other factors, including the use of antihistamines, diabetes, and thyroid disease may also contribute to developing dry eye disease. Environmental factors are also known to cause increased tear evaporation, including air conditioning, wind, dry air in winter, and outdoor sports like boating and skiing.


Symptoms of dry eyes include:


– Blurred vision

– Itchy or red eyes

– Burning

– Pain

– Dry or tired eyes

– Light sensitivity

– Visual discomfort

– Gritty feeling in the eyes


Likewise, the exact link between falling levels of reproductive hormones and dry mouth is not well understood. One hypothesis is that the drop in estrogen during menopause causes a reduction in the flow of saliva. When the production of saliva is reduced, this can cause gum disease, tooth decay, soreness and burning sensations, and frequent mouth infections. 

Breast Tenderness and Pain


Breast pain or mastalgia affects up to 70 percent of women at different stages of life but is most common in women aged 40 to 50 (Breast Care). Some women experience soreness, burning, or tenderness while others report a throbbing, sharp, or stabbing pain.


Women who are on hormonal therapy or oral contraceptives are more prone to experience cyclical breast pain in the years leading to the onset of menopause (Harvard Health Publishing). Other factors that contribute to breast pain and tenderness at midlife include fibrocystic changes, infections, trauma, and medications like diuretics and psychiatric and cardiovascular drugs. 


Worsening of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)


Bloating, fatigue, mood swings, breast tenderness, and food cravings are symptoms of PMS that most of us are familiar with. Some women also experience sleep issues, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, sadness, and irritability.


During the transition to menopause, women are more likely to experience PMS symptoms. When you add hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia, they may feel worse, with women tolerating them less well.  


Irregular Periods or Periods That Are Heavier/Lighter Than Usual

As the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen during perimenopause, your cycle may become lighter, heavier, or more irregular or erratic. Irregular periods may be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, cramping, and pain, with spotting or bleeding occurring between periods.


In addition, your cycle can become shorter or longer, and a space of 60 days or more shows that you are likely approaching menopause. You may also skip periods, notice blood clots, or experience changes in the menstrual flow such as clumpy and thick or watery and thin discharge. All these are due to estrogen fluctuations causing irregularities in your menstrual cycle. 

How to Make Menopausal Changes Less Painful?

Going through menopause is tough enough, so here are a few tips you might find helpful while going through that time.

1. Develop a Growth Mindset


Menopause is a natural stage of a woman’s reproductive cycle. It isn’t something that can be or needs to be fixed but a normal transition in life. If menopausal symptoms are more severe, however, you’ll want to develop a growth mindset as a way to mitigate symptoms. 


Challenges, pleasures, and ups and downs are all part of the human experience. Cultivating a positive mindset can also help ease your way through menopause. One study shows that women who view menopause as a positive experience have fewer depressive symptoms and report a more positive body image. A review of 16 studies also found that women with a more positive attitude experience fewer symptoms. 


2. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight 




Pounds begin to accumulate around your middle once you hit menopause. And excess belly fat isn’t just frustrating but dangerous because it puts you at risk for a range of health conditions like liver problems, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 


To maintain a healthy weight at menopause, it’s best to focus on a balanced, varied diet that supports weight loss and low body fat. Include lean proteins such as beef, turkey, and chicken which help prevent muscle loss, boost your metabolism, and keep you fuller for longer. 


Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as well, including avocado, pears, raspberries, and broccoli. High-fiber foods reduce hunger and appetite and keep insulin in check. Make sure you consume dairy products as they help the body maintain muscle mass and support weight loss. 

3. Prioritize Strength Training and Build Muscle


The risk for osteoporosis increases at menopause, making physical activity an important protective factor. Strength training, in particular, boosts metabolism, enhances muscle mass, supports bone health, and promotes flexibility and mobility. Studies also show that strength training improves insulin sensitivity, decreases blood pressure, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.


With plenty of benefits to your body, if you’ve never done weight training, now it’s a good time to give it a try. Start with exercises that improve core stability and balance, including pulling, pushing, bend-and-lift, and bodyweight squats. Then you can include machines with cables and weights to build muscle mass and strength and improve endurance. 

4. Prioritize Rest, Recovery, and Sleep


If you are supporting children, caring for aging parents, and dealing with tight deadlines at work, anxiety, and stress may keep you from sleeping. Add night sweats and hot flashes, and you may find yourself struggling with waking up night after night.


Not getting enough sleep can lead to injuries and falls, sabotaging decision-making and resulting in impaired judgment. An ongoing lack of sleep also increases the risk of anxiety and depression, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. 


To improve your sleep and minimize health risks associated with insomnia, avoid exercise, heavy meals, and caffeine before going to bed. Try not to use your mobile or laptop around bedtime and listen to relaxing music or read a book instead. Stick to a sleep schedule, avoid napping during the day, and make sure your sleeping environment is as relaxing and comfortable as possible. 


 5. Reduce Stress


The time around menopause is stressful for many women. In addition to troubling symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings, busy work schedules, aging parents, demands of teenage children, and other responsibilities can lead to stress, strain, and responsibility fatigue.


As stress can lead to a ton of health issues, including hypertension and heart disease, you should try to limit the amount of stress in your life. Seek out social support, ask for help when feeling exhausted, and sort out tasks according to priority. Find ways to relax, try yoga, meditation, and music relaxation, and treat yourself to a long bath, manicure, or massage. 

Wrapping Up

Menopause and the symptoms it can bring can hurt your quality of life. Sleep may become elusive, with hot flashes and night sweats leaving you exhausted and low. Many women also experience anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, and a devastating loss of confidence and become socially withdrawn as a result.


As troublesome as your symptoms might be, menopause is not a disorder, and nor is it a disease. As with every new life chapter, the changes menopause brings call for lifestyle modifications. What is to be done? Your old trusty allies, food, exercise, and rest can help. Engage in weight training exercises, eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, and be protective of your sleep. Give yourself the love and compassion you need, cultivate a positive mindset, and embrace menopause as a natural stage of aging, with all the pros and cons and good and bad.

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.


DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.

Perimenopause is marked by intense hormonal fluctuations that can cause considerable distress. You may experience a combination of symptoms such as hot flashes, early awakenings, irritability, lack of energy, and anxiety. This is a vulnerable period for gaining weight and losing muscle mass, and it’s no picnic, you may agree. Yet, what you put on your plate (and in your mouth) can have a huge impact on how you experience symptoms and on your risk factors for a variety of health conditions. 


A targeted diet that includes whole grains, low-fat fish and low-fat meat, dairy, and plenty of fruit and vegetables will supply the needed nutrients to protect your vital tissues and organs. Limiting items like sugar, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can make a huge difference in how you feel and help you to stay healthy during menopause and beyond. 


Why is Diet Important During Menopause and Perimenopause?

Diet is important during perimenopause and menopause for a number of reasons. Hormonal fluctuations can lead to certain mineral and vitamin deficiencies, including vitamins B and D, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. As estrogen levels start to fluctuate and drop, the risk for osteoporosis and fractures increases, and vitamin D and calcium deficiency can contribute to poor bone health. 

Declining levels of estrogen also lead to decreases in muscle mass, and a lack of protein can lead to a further loss of muscle strength and mass. As the metabolism changes, an ingredient like fiber is another item you want to be tracking for optimal menopausal nutrition. It’s common for women to develop constipation, which weakens the pelvic floor organs and can lead to prolapse. Beyond pelvic floor health, fiber deficiency can increase your risk for all sorts of health conditions, from diabetes and heart disease to hemorrhoids and bowel cancer.  

What Foods Naturally Help Menopausal Symptoms?


Here are a few types of food that should help you with menopausal symptoms

Fruits & Vegetables


Adding color to your plate supplies your body with essential antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. The more shades of green, yellow, and orange you add, the more nutrients you are getting. Dark leafy greens such as celery, romaine lettuce, and spinach are not only loaded with antioxidants that mitigate menopausal symptoms but help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease which goes up when your ovaries slow down. 


Bright-colored fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and grapefruit are high in carotenoids which have been shown to prevent bone loss and reduce the risk for inflammatory bowel disease and breast and ovarian cancer (Nutritional Neuroscience). 

Onions & Garlic



Menopause is associated with lower levels of antioxidants in the blood and an increase in oxidative stress. The consumption of garlic extracts, along with crude black seeds, has been found to have a beneficial effect on both antioxidant enzyme activity and oxidative stress in menopausal women (SAGE Open Medicine). 


Likewise, research has shown that regular onion consumption improves antioxidant activities and contributes to increased bone density during perimenopause and menopause. 




Dairy products are an excellent source of B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and protein which are essential for bone health. Regular consumption of dairy also positively affects menopausal symptoms, including psychological and somatic (tiredness, dizziness, etc.). 


In fact, a large-scale study in Spain established that low dairy consumption and calcium intake are associated with more severe menopausal symptoms, including irritability, insomnia, and hot flashes. Some evidence also suggests that a higher intake of calcium and vitamin D, which dairy products are rich in, lowers the risk of early menopause by 17 percent. 




A diet rich in oily fish, which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, can help delay menopause by 3 years, a recent study found. Oily fish such as mackerel, trout, and salmon are also high in zinc which is also linked with a later stage of menopause.


In addition to helping delay the onset of menopause, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to alleviate night sweats in menopausal women.  Omega-3 also helps regulate blood pressure, supports heart health, boosts immunity, and reduces inflammation. 

Whole Grains


Past their 40s, women are at a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Yet, a menopause diet high in wholewheat bread and wholegrain can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases by 20 – 30 percent (Public Health Nutrition). 


A study with 11,040 participants also found that menopausal women who consumed more whole grains (4.7 grams per 2,000 calories) had a 17 percent lower risk of early death than women who only had 1.3 grams per 2,000 calories. 

Low Fat Protein


Eating leaner meats such as beef, turkey, and chicken not only helps the body hang on to muscle mass but reduces the risk of being overweight and developing heart disease. Lean meat is also a rich source of vitamin B which helps fight anxiety and depression in menopausal and perimenopausal women.


Good sources of lean protein include:


– Prime and choice cuts of beef

– Flat-iron steak

– Beef sirloin

– Pork or beef with a label “round” or “loin”

– Wild game

– Lean ground chicken and turkey

– Skinless turkey and chicken

Foods Containing Vitamin E


Vitamin E has been shown to alleviate the severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. The results of а recent study also suggest that vitamin E supplementation is effective in reducing the incidence of hot flashes by 30 percent. In addition, vitamin E has been found to have a positive effect on heart and liver health.


To increase vitamin E, good sources can be:


– Sunflower seeds

– Avocado

– Almonds

– Wheat germ

– Pumpkin

Foods with a High Boron Content



Boron is known to benefit bone density and health during menopause. Boron in vegetables and fruits has been shown to prevent the loss of bone mineral density which occurs due to a drop in estrogen levels. Boron also helps with vitamin D absorption, reduces inflammation, and supports joint health. 


Instead of supplementation, boron intake can be increased by consuming more:


– Avocado

– Beans

– Apples

– Broccoli

– Peanuts

– Raisins 

Foods Containing Magnesium

Offering a range of health benefits during all stages of life, magnesium supports the bone, nerve, and heart function regulates insulin and glucose metabolism, and aids energy metabolism. During menopause, magnesium can help with symptoms like anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping. 


One study involving menopausal women, for example, found that participants with a low blood level of magnesium had more severe symptoms of depression than those with higher serum levels.


While no direct link between menopause and magnesium deficiency has been proven, the incidence of deficiency ranges from 2.5 to 15 percent in women. This is mainly due to unbalanced dietary patterns low in fruit and vegetables and high in processed foods (NFS Journal). 


Fortunately, magnesium is easy to incorporate into a healthy menopausal diet as it is found in a wide variety of foods, including:


– Almonds

– Leafy greens

– Broccoli

– Dark chocolate 

Foods Containing Potassium

While stroke incidence is lower in women, transitioning to menopause is when estrogen levels drop and increase the risk for stroke. High blood pressure is one risk factor for stroke which you can change by consuming foods rich in potassium. In fact, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have found that women on a high-potassium diet have a 12 percent lower incidence of stroke than those who eat the least potassium. 


The findings suggest that the menopause transition is the time to consume more potassium-rich foods, including:


– Beet greens

– Beans

– Bananas, and 

– Potatoes

What Foods to Avoid During Menopause?

One mistake that some women make is giving many foods (or entire groups) the boot in an attempt to lose weight. Yet, an unbalanced diet can lead to a wide range of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 


There are some foods that best be avoided, like smoked meats and fried foods, but the key to good health is eating a varied diet with foods across all groups. 

Fast Food



Fast food may taste good but it often contains massive amounts of saturated fat and salt. Saturated fat increases the risk for heart disease while salt raises blood pressure both of which menopausal women are already at risk for. Truly, fast-food chains can be convenient when we are low on energy and short on time but there can be a better solution. If you have to eat a meal while on the move, egg bites or a grilled chicken sandwich are healthier options. 

Sugary Foods



Menopause and sugary foods do not go well. Sweets cause blood sugar to rise which can trigger hot flashes. Besides, eating too much sugar can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression. While it can be hard to give up sugar, if you look around, you will find healthier and safer alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth. Greek yogurt, dried fruits, chia pudding, and baked apples or pears are all good alternatives. 




While you don’t have to cut out alcohol necessarily, there are good reasons to cut back. Alcohol can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression and affect the quality of your sleep. Plus, women who drink regularly are more likely to experience night sweats and hot flashes, studies suggest. So, if you still want to indulge, this is fine as long as you limit yourself to an occasional drink to celebrate or socialize. 

Smoked Meats & High Fat “Red” Meats



High-fat meats contain a lot of saturated fat which can cause a wide range of health issues, including heart disease and stroke. 

So, skip or reduce:


– Sausage

– Bacon

– Fast Food Burgers, in favor of healthier options like turkey and chicken 

Some Hot & Spicy Dishes 


Think twice before you order a spicy chicken sandwich or burrito with extra-hot salsa. Spicy foods contain a compound known as capsaicin which can cause the body to sweat abruptly. So, if you are already dealing with annoying night sweats and hot flashes, you may want to cut back on spicy foods and make use of basil, curry, or cumin to add flavor to your meals



Can’t start the day without your morning coffee? It can make your menopause symptoms worse. Evidence from a survey of 2,507 women shows that caffeine use is associated with both night sweats and hot flashes. Menopausal women who drink coffee are more likely to suffer worse symptoms than those who don’t consume caffeine. So, if hot flashes keep you up at night but you are literally unable to function without coffee, consume them in moderation. 

Wrapping Up

Perimenopause and menopause make your body go through many changes, making it age faster. The perimenopausal transition can bring night sweats, hot flashes, irritability and mood swings, sleep problems, and anxiety and depression. Hormonal fluctuations also affect cholesterol production, blood sugar control, and calcium absorption in your body.


The changes your body goes through contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, overweight, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, and may require some lifestyle modifications to stay healthy. 


Changes in your diet, in particular, can help counteract metabolic upsets and alleviate symptoms. A balanced menopause diet high in lean protein, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and fish, and wholegrain foods can help reduce long-term health risks and make menopause symptoms less severe and easier to manage.

DISCLAIMER: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new routines, programs, or nutrition plans to ensure you receive the best medical advice and strategy for your specific individual needs.