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The 2021 Wellness Trends Sparking Joy This Fall

From hiking to self-pleasure, here is what the fall season has in store for you in the form of wellness trends.

Wellness

One of my favorite things about the changing seasons are the new vibes and new energies that change welcomes with it. September represents a transition from the white sand beaches, bottomless brunches, and undeniable romantic vibes long nights, festivals, and impromptu road trips often thought of when we think about the summer. In its place comes romanticism in a different approach. Pumpkin spice anything, the excuse to cuddle up, and the leaves of the trees turning warm shades sparks joy in a different way as fall begins. Perhaps what I am most excited about though are the 2021 wellness trends that come with it.


From hiking to self-pleasure, here is what the fall season has in store for you in the form of wellness trends.

1.Cold Water Therapy

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Cold water therapy can look like indulging in cold showers every morning or as immersive as ice water baths, swims or cold chambers. While cold water therapy might have gained popularity from Wim Hof and his infamous breathing methods, it turns out, opting for cold water over hot water comes with its share of benefits. From boosting your immune system and energy levels to improving your quality of sleep and overall mood, the benefits of cold water therapy aren't only limited to recovery (i.e. muscle soreness).

And if you were wondering what temperature qualifies as cold water therapy, according to Dr. Michael Barnish, anything below 15 degrees Celsius. Talk about icy.

2.Hiking

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I first fell in love with hiking while in the mountains of Mexico and have indulged in the activity whenever I can ever since. Although it is a great thing to do for the mind, body, and spirit year-round, there is something special about fall hikes. Perhaps, it is the changing foilage. Perhaps, it is the not-too-hot, not-too-cold weather combo. Whatever it is, Outdoor Industry Association, has seen a spike in the amount of hiking people have been engaging in in 2021, and it doesn't look like it's a trend that will stop. What's better is that it it is a way to tap into escapism while being safe (because we are still in a panorama out here).

If you haven't been hiking yet this year, the fall season might be the perfect time to begin. Travel + Leisure has a great list of the best hikes in the U.S. that you can check out here.

3.Ritual Baths

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I first became introduced to the magical world of ritual baths in the metaphysical space where tarot readers and other spiritual practices noted the benefits of sacred ritual baths as a way to detox, ground, and cleanse. Bathing in general is about the cleansing of one's body, but ritual baths take things a step further by adding a spiritual component to how you bathe. Florida water, Epsom salt, sage, crystals, rose petals and coconut milk can be common staples in ritual bathing. Bathing can be more than a cleansing practice, it can be transformative and healing.

Mama Medicine, author of Ritual Baths, recommends starting with foundational elements like cinnamon sticks and unscented candles with your ritual baths. Depending on what you are trying to attract or channel, there are a plethora of recipes you can choose from, including ones for clarity, strength, grounding, and self-love. For more information on starting your restorative ritual bathing practice, start here.

4.Self-Pleasure

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Nothing speaks to me quite as strongly as the word "pleasure", add some self to that, and I'm all about it. Self-pleasure through masturbation has been a staple of my life for years now, but 2021 finally marked the year where sexual wellness is much more mainstream and therefore being looked at as a means of self-care, aka self-pleasure is something to be prioritized in order to truly live well.

Besides the euphoria that usually follows a self-pleasure experience, orgasms are good for the mind, body, and soul. From regulating your cycle to being nature's painkillers, pleasure can maintain your health and your peace of mind. Doing so through acts of self-pleasure increases your self-esteem as well as your knowledge of your body and your ability to communicate your pleasure needs to others. Invest in your sexual wellness by adding sex toys to your toy box, getting some lubricant, watching ethical porn, and/or experimenting with doing more of what feels good to you.

Pleasure is your birthright. Indulge accordingly.

5.Face Yoga

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On the surface, face yoga can seem like yet another pathway into aging backwards. However, in reality, it's more like another way to assist you in aging gracefully. In order to combat the effects of tension, worry, and stress on your face muscles, enter face yoga. Through a series of facial exercises that include massages targeting the lymphatic system, the skin, and the muscles, face yoga is a natural approach to revitalizing the look and appearance of your skin.

The end result is a more youthful look without the Botox (allegedly). Want to give face yoga a try? The Face Yoga Expert has a 10-minute evening routine you can join in on here.

6.Adaptogenic Drinks

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Want to stress less? The secret might be in implementing adaptogenic drinks into your everyday life. With stress and anxiety at an all-time high, there's no wonder people are looking everywhere for holistic approaches to stress relief, from CBD and now to adaptogenic drinks. Known for their ability to help our bodies adapt to stress and regulate our hormones, adaptogens have long since been heralded in the wellness industry for their benefits. Now that they are being consumed in readily available beverage forms, that hype has become next-level.

While adaptogens like maca, ginseng, ashwagandha, and holy basil are where it's at, adaptogenic drinks from brands like Recess, Trip, and Vybes are definitely paving the way for the adaptogenic wellness drink trend.

For more inspiration, self-care, and wellness tips, check out xoNecole's Wellness section here.

Originally published on Sheriden Chanel

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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