If we know one thing for sure, it's that 2020 has set us all out of whack. Our brains, our bodies, even our bank accounts - it's not exactly been a year of a balance.
Pre-COVID, you might have established a routine that meant exercising and eating well was built into your day-to-day life.
Now, you might find it a lot harder.
And even as restrictions ease in some parts of the nation, many of us are feeling the after-effects of the past few months. 'COVID skin' is totally a thing, and we'd add 'COVID belly' to that. You'd know the symptoms - an unsettled tummy, feeling sluggish and bloated, toilet, ahem, issues. All the fun stuff (not).
Thankfully, it's not too late to get your gut back on track. We spoke to Nutra-Life's in-house naturopath Jelena Savic, to find out some straightforward, sustainable ways to get 'gut fit'. And the best part? It doesn't need to be a difficult, deprivation-filled process. Of course, if you're ever in doubt, speak to a healthcare professional.
1. Focus on the basics to keep it sustainable.
While you may be aware of the obvious signs of poor gut health (we're looking at you gas, bloating, constipation and heartburn), there are a whole host of other symptoms you may not have considered.
"The gut is an extraordinarily complex organ," Savic tells Mamamia. "It plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health and function of our whole body, both physically and mentally."
Everything from your skin and sleep patterns to your mental health can be impacted by your gut, and it's an obvious place to start if you feel like you're experiencing a little "off".
So where do you start without getting overwhelmed? Jelena advises focusing on improvements one step at a time and getting back to basics.
"Consuming more wholefoods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains and legumes and fermented food such as sauerkraut, miso and good-quality yoghurts will effectively help to rebalance and restore the health of the gut," she says.
Small, sustainable steps are a far better option than massive, sweeping changes that are impossible to maintain long term.