To say our concept of wellness changed in 2020 would be something of an understatement. With a pandemic sending most of the world into periods of isolation, and the realisation that, health is, as cliché as it sounds, our greatest wealth, the desire to truly be and feel well has arguably never been stronger.
After all, we saw our standard exercise routines disrupted, gyms closed, spas and touch-based therapy placed on extended pause, and an increased discussion around immune health, as the coronavirus continued its rampant spread. We saw the rise of working from home, unprecedented burnout, and many hours of sleep lost—and now we’re here, in a brand new year, many of us hoping to adopt healthier habits that will lead us back to wellness.
Hence, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many of the wellness trends experts and data are predicting to dominate 2021 are largely rooted in a return to simplicity and nature (but not without a few fresh twists).
Curious? Scroll on for the eight wellness trends that will be everywhere this year.
1. Infrared Sauna Blankets
While the hype around infrared saunas began gaining momentum in 2020, touting a host of benefits including improved sleep, muscle relief, weight loss and improved circulation, it seems that 2021 is the year we bring it in-house—and make it cosy. Enter: the infrared sauna blanket. A high-tech step up from the weighted blanket, it’s sleeping bag-style design is designed to sandwich you snugly between layers of PU leather, infrared heating and waterproof sheets to deliver the same purported benefits (and then some) from the comfort of your own home.
Infrared Sauna Blanket by MiHIGH, $699 at MiHIGH
2. Cold Water Therapy
Perhaps inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Lab on Netflix, which featured extreme athlete Wim Hof’s breathing and cold water therapy in one of its episodes, it appears 2021 is going to be the year that we intentionally immerse ourselves in some icy H20. Cold water therapy—which can start with something as simple as a warm-to-cold showers on one end, and involve cold or ice water swimming on the other—has a number of science-backed health benefits, such as reduced muscle soreness, potential immune-boosting qualities, and assist with improving symptoms of anxiety and depression (but should not be treated as a replacement for medication or professional help).
3. Mini Digital Detoxes
With the last year seeing an unprecedented level of negative news in the world and on social media, it’s clear that, in 2021, the desire is not to switch off completely from the important news and movements of the world, but to establish boundaries with our devices for better mental health. While living a life off the grid is simply not a realistic option for the vast majority of us, ‘mini digital detoxes’ are the perfect way to occasionally detach ourselves from an increasingly online life.
While traditional digital detoxes involve going cold turkey or heading to a weeks-long retreat where you check your phone at the door, the mini digital detox will see us taking nano-breaks and make smaller moves away from our apps and devices. Be it taking evenings or Sundays off social media, deleting apps for periods of time to reduce the urge to mindlessly log in, or turning one’s phone off for hours at at a time, even small steps can have a great impact.
4. Investing In Rest
While trying to go to bed earlier and get more sleep is nothing new, it appears that 2021 will be the year that sleep is cemented as ritualistic self-care. According to Pinterest’s ‘Predict’ Report for 2021, searches around sleep and bedtime routines have been on the rise, with more and more people seeking to turn slumber into a luxurious occasion. Per the report, we’ll likely see a rise in home goods and fashions just for sleep (diffuser blends, silk sleepwear) to bedtime exercise routines (sleep yoga). Meditation will also veer into a sleep specific-space, with searches for night affirmations up by 100 per cent from 2020.
5. Ritual Baths
Like sleep, bath time is also set to get an upgrade this year. According to Pinterest’s report, bath time is going to become an even greater former of self-care than it already appears to be on Instagram. In fact, these are not going to be your typical tubs. Bath time (or shower time) is going to be drawing on mystical elements for a sacred bathing experience. Per the data gathered by the social media platform, searches for ‘spiritual cleansing baths’ are up 180 per cent, followed closely by full moon bath rituals (up 90 per cent) and bath tea recipes (up 60 per cent).
6. Protective Crystals
Although crystals have been gaining popularity for quite some time (particularly in the form of jade rollers and Gua sha tools), 2021’s take on crystals is all about feeling protected, with Pinterest’s data finding searches for protection crystals up 100 per cent on the site. Protective varieties of crystals include amethyst (said to offer high vibrations to ward off negative energy), black obsidian (which is said to form a shield against negativity) and black tourmaline crystal (supposedly good for protecting your house), among others.
Amethyst Crystal Geo-Gem (Double Terminated Point) by Wicks & Stone, $69.90 at THE ICONIC
7. Face Yoga
It’s perhaps unsurprising that the onset of the pandemic in 2020 saw a spike in interest in at-home beauty treatments, however it is worth noting that one particular treatment has seemingly stuck around, despite the reopening of many skin clinics and salons: face yoga. Per Pinterest’s findings, searches for face yoga have quadrupled in the last year, with the DIY beauty treatment, consisting of a series of simple exercises designed to strengthen, tone, lift, and relax the facial muscles supporting the skin, on the rise.
8. Mindful Travel
While 2020 saw the majority of the world in isolation and international holidays largely out of the question, 2021 is poised to be the year we begin to explore again—just a little differently. The Global Wellness Summit is predicting that mindful travel, particularly as it relates to experiencing nature and getting in touch with the world around us with meaningful intention, is going to be become a prominent part of the way we holiday. In short? Wellness travel experiences that connect us with both the planet and ourselves is the way to go.
Main image: @oliviacooke/Instagram