Thanks to the influx of news alerts, social media notifications and daily updates on the spread of coronavirus, people across the world are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety, no matter what their mental health looks like on a “normal” day.
But if going for a walk, reading a self-care book, doing a face mask or turning off news notifications on your phone still isn't helping...it might be time to try a wellness activity.
2019 was the year we learned that listening to the sound of Thunder could help us sleep, ear seeding could be the answer to giving up cigarettes for good, and CBD oil can be factored into pretty much everything – from your morning coffee to your night-time skincare.
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But forget all that now – because 2020 not only brings a new decade but a whole host of wellness trends with it.
From virtual spas, clearing out your home and taking sound baths – here's the 2020 wellness trends you can do at home.
We hear a lot about pollution and its effects on our skin, hair and health but have you considered the quality of air in your home? It’s set to become a big focus in 2020. Last year researches at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US found that daily actives such as cooking and cleaning can result in indoor air quality levels on par with a polluted major city. What to do? Opening windows (and curtains) to encourage airflow is a good start. If you want to go high tech, window company Velux now has an indoor climate control option with sensors that monitor temperature, humidity and CO2 levels and open or close windows and blinds as needed. IKEA is also about to launch air-purifying curtains that are aimed at reducing indoor air pollution. Elsewhere, using your extractor fan while cooking, and opting for natural cleaning brands - such as Tincture, available in Harvey Nichols - and soy-based candles over synthetic options can also help.
You’re probably incorporating a little virtual wellness into your life already - perhaps a meditation app or a health monitoring device - but with advancements in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) there is much more of it in our futures. From virtual doctors offering medical advice online to US fitness sensation Peloton - exercise bikes equipped with high def screens that allow users to join fitness classes from their homes (not yet available in Ireland but we’re sure that will change!) there is no end to how this cyber world can impact our health and wellness. The virtual world is even making inroads into real-life spas, with therapists incorporating elements such as Virtual Reality headsets into treatments.
Skip To It
The hottest fitness trend for the new year? Skipping! And if you haven’t done it since childhood, you might be surprised at just how much of a workout it is - there’s a reason boxers are devoted to skipping. It burns through calories better than many other exercise options, it improves coordination, timing and balance and it’s also great for cardiovascular health. Skipping works particularly well into a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine - and recent research has suggested it’s less taxing on the knees than running. One of the major draws is you can ‘jump rope’ anywhere - you just need a little space and a skipping rope. Note: while a basic one will do - just make sure it’s long enough - you can also go for the likes of this adjustable smart one from Tangram, which can track and store fitness data as you skip.
Technology aimed at women or, more specifically, women’s health is going to be one of the big news stories of this year and beyond. US business title Forbes has reported that the Femtech category is expected to reach the $1.3 billion mark in 2020 and where the money goes, innovation follows. By the end of 2019, German startup Inne had secured €8.8 million for its “hormone-based mini lab for women”, which aims to revolutionise how we navigate contraception and fertility. And tech giant Apple has teamed up with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Harvard University for a long-term study on women’s health using data captured from its Apple Watch to learn more about female health, with a particular focus on menstrual cycles and gynaecological conditions.
Sounds of Silence
Many of us are trying to find for moments of quiet and relaxation in our busy lives - and, strangely enough, seeking out sounds may be just the thing to quieten our hectic minds. Google Trends reported a 285 per cent increase in searches for sound bath healing this year so expect to see this ancient practice more in 2020. It incorporates sounds and vibrations - through Tibetan singing bowls, gongs and even human voices - to encourage relaxation and reduce stress. Other forms of sound therapy have hit the mainstream recently with phone apps and YouTube videos offering everything from sounds of rain to whale singing. Although you could always ditch the digital and take a stroll - walking among trees has been found to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improve mood.
CBD, Better Than Ever
CBD (or cannabidiol) was a major player in 2019, turning up in all sorts of supplements and beauty products - and it’s not going anywhere. However, after the kerfuffle of cannabis (or a form of it) arriving in2019, the focus now will be on efficacy and quality. As the industry is flooded with creams, serums, tinctures and ingestible, consumers will be getting smarter about what products
and brands offer - and promise.
Main image by @jheneaiko on Instagram