As we head into spring, you might be surprised by how quickly the year is passing by. But if you feel like you’ve stumbled off-track to reaching those wellness goals you set in January, fear not – there is still plenty of time to become your best self in 2022.
There’s never been more of a need for wellness in our lives. 2021 saw a rise in mental wellness disorders, with the Office for National Statistics finding that around 21% of adults had experienced depression in early 2021; a figure that had more than doubled since before the COVID-19 pandemic (10%).
So if there’s a time to up the self-care game and look after your physical and mental wellbeing, it’s now. Wellness can cover a wide range of aspects from supporting your mental health to caring for the environment, and if you’re looking for the latest wellbeing tools to help shape your actions and attitudes for 2022 and beyond, check out our list of the year’s hottest self-care trends.
1. Cold Water Therapy
The Wim Hof Method of immersing yourself in cold water is an increasingly popular wellness method that appears to be here to stay. While not a new trend (cold water immersion as a cure for illnesses dates back to around 1850), Wim Hof, also known as “The Ice Man” has popularised the wellness tool with claims that cold temperatures can relieve stress, boost energy, improve circulation and leave you feeling invigorated. But before you rush to fill up the tub with blocks of ice, a simple cold shower can provide enough wellness benefits to leave you feeling completely revitalised.
While hot showers are excellent for relieving stiff muscles, cold water hitting the body results in the shift of blood to your organs to provide warmth. This process boosts overall circulation. Coldwater can also reduce muscle soreness, give skin a healthy glow, increase resistance to stress and possibly even assist in weight loss. Experts recommend switching between hot and cold showers in quick bursts to feel awake and invigorated. If a cold shower sounds seriously unappealing, try starting with just 30 seconds of cold water at the end of your shower and building up gradually as your body becomes accustomed.
2. CBD Oil
CBD (cannabidiol) is the fastest-growing wellness supplement of the past couple of years and shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to millions of anecdotal reports of noticeable benefits for the mind and body, preclinical research shows promising scientific evidence of the cannabis compound’s ability to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, help you sleep better, boost focus and reduce pain and inflammation.
CBD is available to purchase in several formats to suit your lifestyle, from CBD oils and gummies to topical creams and even CBD bath bombs. Choose a reputable brand such as Mission C, which offers premium, organically extracted CBD with independent lab reports and third-party testing on all products.
3. Bed of Nails
Bed of nails acupressure – although trending in 2022 – certainly isn’t a new phenomenon. Lying on a prickly bed of nails has many healing benefits and dates back to around 400-200 BCE. The practice combines the benefits of massage and acupuncture/acupressure, offering stress and tension release, relaxation and a circulation boost. There’s no need to lie on an old-fashioned block of wood these days either, with an abundance of beautifully-designed mats with affixed plastic nails available to buy. The spikes – while uncomfortable at first - do not pierce the skin, and the more sessions you have, the more accustomed your body becomes.
4. Greater Gut Health
2022 is the year many of us will focus more on our gut health thanks to increasing awareness of the impact that the gut microbiome has on the whole body. The bacteria found in your gut assists with food digestion and is also influential on your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s important to have a healthy balance of ‘good’ bacteria in your gut so that there is little room for the ‘bad’ bacteria to grow. An unhealthy balance has been linked to illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and can affect nutrient absorption and waste product excretion.
Your gut microbiome has been developed by birth, but your environment and what you eat affect the balance as you grow. To encourage a healthy gut microbiome, eating whole foods, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, while reducing the consumption of processed foods (which can significantly disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut) is an important starting point.
5. Mood Journals
This wellness trend has already surged in popularity and looks set to stay. Mood journaling is simply the process of keeping a diary that records how you feel and why you feel that way. The concept stems from the notion that logging your emotions will help to boost your mental wellness, since awareness of your emotions and understanding the root cause of negative feelings can help lower symptoms of depression and anxiety. Simply grab a notepad and start writing – some people like to do their mood journal every night before bedtime, but you can add to it at any time of day.
6. Good Sleep Hygiene
We have never been more aware of the importance of sleep on our overall health and wellbeing than in 2022. If you struggle with restful sleep, it’s time to improve your sleep hygiene by creating healthier bedtime habits such as avoiding your mobile phone in the evenings, going to bed earlier, avoiding caffeine later in the day and creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Many people now use smartwatches and devices to track their sleep and sleep aids such as lavender essential oil, pillow sprays and CBD oil.
7. Mindful Drinking
Mindful drinking focuses on a healthier relationship with alcoholic beverages, and there’s never been a better time to start. If you feel that your wellbeing would benefit from reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, rather than cutting it out completely (which can lead to cravings and could be unsustainable), mindful drinking is a gentler approach that encourages awareness of why you’re drinking and how much alcohol you are having. When you pour yourself a drink, simply pause and consider why you’re choosing to drink alcohol and how you might feel afterwards. Many people report drinking less alcohol when they begin drinking more mindfully.
Research shows that time spent in nature is fundamental for good health and has a soothing effect on our mental and physical wellness. Indoor, urbanised lifestyles can be linked to anxiety, depression, chronic illness and social isolation.
Concentrating on the human-nature relationship, ecotherapy is a trend that seeks to balance and calm the body and mind. Ecotherapy involves outdoor activities such as outdoor meditation and yoga, conservation projects, animal-based therapy or simply a long walk through the forest. The idea is based on humans’ deep connection to the earth and environment and aims to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety, stress and depression.
9. Digital Detoxing
Digital detox refers to the concept of giving up your digital devices for some time. This could include smartphones, computers, tablets, TV or simply social media websites, and is an opportunity to let go of digital distractions and concentrate on real-life social connections. Your digital detox timeframe is completely up to you, but the longer the detox, the greater the effects are likely to be. The potential benefits of detox can include decreased stress and anxiety, improved sleep, feelings of happiness and positive thinking, and a healthier work-life balance.
10. Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness is the connection to a power greater than oneself and the integration of a set of beliefs, values, morals and principles that provide a sense of purpose to one’s life. Spirituality has increased in popularity lately as more people are keen to find a purpose and reconnect with themselves on a greater level.
Increasingly popular spiritual wellness practices include chakra balancing, breathwork, energy healing, rebirthing and shadow work.