“Self care” and “wellness” might as well have been the unofficial buzzwords of 2019. And yes, there are always certain wellness trends we’re happy to kiss goodbye (looking at you penis facials, goat yoga and sunscreen pills). But burnout is more real than ever, and many of us are realizing that we need to find healthy ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Which explains why many alternative healing modalities are finally gathering mainstream momentum. Habits like meditation and sound baths that not so long ago seemed “woo-woo” are now emerging as health practices that totally make sense.
Resting in conjunction with our circadian rhythms, eating based on intuition, and moving in ways that feel natural to how our bodies work are the new “it” ways to be healthy and happy in 2020.
And while we’re not saying not to drop some extra cash on a pricey face mask, we’re also excited to find ways to incorporate simple health practices into our every day, even if they seem a little unorthodox at first glance. Scroll on for nine health trends we can’t wait to try in 2020.
feature image: clairehuntsberger
With so much of our time spent indoors connected to technology, 2020 will see a purposful shift back to time outdoors. Ecotherapy, also called “green therapy” or” nature therapy,” aims to provide balancing and calming effects on our physiology, like lowering blood pressure and slowing breath, as well as improving our mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and stress. Top on the list of ecotherapy practices to try is grounding – it involves walking barefoot outside, discharging the positive charge we build up throughout the day returning our bodies to a neutral state. Some other types of ecotherapy we can’t wait to try in 2020 include meditation in nature, forest bathing (shinrin-yoku), horticultural therapy and simply working out outside.
Primal Movement Training
As our world continues to become more and more technologically-driven, we’re seeing an increase in people seeking out down-to-earth experiences. Functional fitness is all about strengthening and loosening our natural body movements and the newest iteration, primal movement (a part-dance, part-mobility workout) is popping up across the country. Primal movement classes go beyond their dancelike appeal and help with coordination, core strength, neurological development, and weight loss as well. 2020 will see us signing up for Equinox’s Animal Flow.
Salt Room Therapy
This sounds exactly like the type of wellness thing my husband would roll his eyes at, but I can’t wait to try it. You simply relax in the salt-enriched rooms, inhaling the fine particles, while the salt does it’s work. Salt generates negative ions, which help to counterbalance the influx of positive ions we get from our all-day exposure to our electronic devices. This gentle balancing improves your overall mental and emotional health, helping you to relax and de-stress. Dry salt therapy also promotes better breathing, healthier skin, sounder sleep and stronger immune system function, as well as help alleviate symptoms of many respiratory and skin conditions.
Goodbye counting calories and fad diets. In 2020, we’re ditching the restrictive meal plans and limiting food groups just because, and instead, focusing on mindful eating. Intuitive eating—or slowing down when you eat and learning how to follow hunger cues and cravings to create a healthier relationship with food —is finally the eating plan we can get behind. Check out Camille’s thoughts on it.
image: lucy laucht
Cold Water Therapy
Hear me out. While not the most comfortable thing in the world, ice baths and contrast showers (alternating water temp between cold and hot) are an easy way to try out cold therapy at home. Among many others, cold therapy boasts benefits that include improved circulation, reduced inflammation, increase in hormone levels and sex drive, improved deep sleep quality, speeded injury recovery, enhanced immune system function, increase in energy, decrease in seasonal anxiety and depression and lowering body fat. The simplest explanation for how it works is that cold water not only causes your lymph vessels to contract thus moving your fluid along and triggering your body to destroy any unwanted waste, it triggers a flood of mood boosting neurotransmitters which make you feel happy. Sign me up!
2020 is the year of the nap. Considered a public health epidemic by the CDC (60% of Americans say they are frequently exhausted at work), sleep deprivation cannot only wreak havoc on your physical appearance, but your cognition and mental health as well. Sleep is finally being addressed in the health and wellness space more than ever before. And since not all offices boast nap pods (yet!), we’re excited to get out and catch some mid-day z’s at nap bars like The Dreamery by Casper or NuCalm by RECOVER. If you haven’t yet, 2020 is the year to try blue-light blocking glasses, screen protectors, sleep enhancing mists and silk pillowcases all with the goal of giving you the best night of sleep ever.
It’s no secret that overexposure to digital technology is linked to issues with sleep, stress, burnout, depression and anxiety. Since totally ditching our dvices is not only unlikely, but impractical, trends are turning to a more mindful use of our devices. In 2020 we plan on growing in consciousness towards how we use our devices. This looks like purposeful choices, like having a social media free day each week, spending time in nature sans phone, taking an extended break from social media a few times throughout the year and actually using those apps that help us monitor how much time we spend on our phones.
image: hannah haston
Think music, yoga, hiking in nature, sound baths, acai bowls, meditation breaks and educational workshops. There’s no denying it: people have proved that they want to experience wellness, and unique events are popping up everywhere. From Camp Yoga to In Goop Health to Wanderlust Fest, full-blown wellness events are showing up across the country and we can’t wait to try one! They’re the perfect choice for mother-daughter trips, girls getaways and even bachelorette parties!
image: kate zimmerman
Incorporate Fermented Foods Into Literally Everything
Fermented foods may seem trendy, but they’ve been around for thousands of years. Ferments are considered superfoods due to the way they reintroduce beneficial bacteria back into our guts. Beneficial bacteria and a healthy gut keeps our immune system strong, skin healthy, digestion working optimally, helps us to better absorb nutrients from our food, and can even improve mood (since the gut is coined the second brain!). Try adding some kimchi or sauerkraut to your grain bowl, noodle dishes, and even with your morning eggs (seriously, try it!). Other fermented foods to add to your daily lineup include kefir, miso, kombucha, and yogurt.
Any unusual wellness trends you’re itching to try out?