What Wellness Looks Like In 2023
Every time we turn the page on a new year, we find ourselves knee-deep in a flood of predictions and life coach mantras that, for better or worse, impart certain wisdoms about the year ahead. If we’re honest, it makes most of us feel a sense of inadequacy for not being more “on it”, not being more “new year new me” about it, and not being more proactive. Well, infobesity has never been a good look, so let’s regroup. So what if January’s almost on its head and you’re only getting to thinking about the new year now? You can reset at any time of the year. To break all the 2023 talk up into manageable cocktail-party canapés, here’s the roundup of the conversation, in case you missed it.
Last year was all about walkies, getting your greens in a variety of powders, airing your mental wellness laundry on social, and quitting your job in favour of a less stressful life. This year, there’s a big move towards working smarter, not harder, and tech solutions are paving the way for a more “zen” existence.
The athleisure world is catching on to the fact that exercise is so much less effective when you don’t factor in exercise recovery, which is why you’ll be seeing a lot more massage guns and air compression boots advertised in online pop-up ads. App-compatible, at-home blood testing kits (squeamish much?) are becoming as accessible as home pregnancy kits, and in the skincare realm, you’ll be reading a lot more about micronutrients, facial tools and laser therapies.
You might have picked up in regular braai conversation that “micro” is the word du jour at the moment, with terms like micro workouts (think one-minute TikTok dances and fitness challenges) being all the rage – and not just amongst Gen-Zs, but anyone who sees time as a limitation to achieving better physical wellness.
The science of sleep is also having a moment. Look out for words like sleep syncing (adjusting your sleep cycles to nature’s rhythms and maintaining a consistent sleep pattern) and on the more extreme side of the scale, mouth taping, which does exactly what it says on the box in an attempt to get you to breathe through your nose when you sleep.
In a world in which more and more people are questioning their spiritual beliefs, there’s an uptick in spiritual awareness this year. Where some might be leaving the Church, others are finding new ways to connect to something greater than themselves, which brings a greater sense of peace and contentment. But true to form, we are looking to ways to do it ourselves through breathwork, meditation or mastering a new physical skill, like martial arts.
Full-day spa visits are becoming increasingly popular, where we unplug for a day, do a digital detox, and follow a massage with a facial. It’s me-time taken to the max.
Food is fuel. But as with so much, we’re becoming wiser to the effects of nutrients on our bodies. The sober-curious lifestyle is arguably at its peak right now, as we’re increasingly rethinking our relationship with alcohol. Beverages with benefits and adaptogenic drinks laced with complex concoctions of herbs and plants to help your body adapt to stress and boost immunity, are dominating the food and beverage market at the moment.
In the world of caffeine, matcha is growing in popularity as a replacement for coffee. Containing between 50% and 90% less caffeine than coffee, this powdered green tea is said to reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus and boost immunity.
And finally, staying with the plant-based theme, mushrooms are poised to become even more popular than last year, particularly functional mushrooms that are loaded with goodies like antioxidants (eliminate free radicals that cause cancer), and vitamins and minerals (boost immunity). Look out for turkey tail (immune booster), lion’s mane (improves focus and memory), reishi (reduces stress levels), chaga (anti-inflammatory) and cordyceps (increases energy levels). Many of these are not native to South Africa but are available in tincture form from leading health shops.
The road to Wellville may be paved with good intentions, but it’s always a good time to turn intention into action. Let’s make the most of this year!