The coronavirus pandemic instilled a new sense of anxiety that has seen a seismic shift in the wellness world. Everything from the way we work out to what we eat did a 360: diets were dropped for intuitive eating, carb cycling became real, outdoor cycling, and sleep took over socialising. Bedding into our new way of life has also brought about a whole host of wellness trends to help us feel better, and we've rounded up the very best to try now.
SEE: 23 best home workouts to kickstart 2021
1. Stress tracking
Stress is billed as the new health metric for 2021. Tech labels including Garmin, Whoop, Samsung Health and Oura previously measured levels using heart rate data, but the latest wearables record in new ways: the uses a blood oxygen monitor, while the watch looks at moisture levels on the skin.
MORE: The new FitBit watch can tell whether you're stressed or sick
2. Al fresco workouts
When COVID-19 permitted, fitness studios took to hosting classes outdoors, and apparently the movement is set to stay for the long haul. Weather dependent, gyms and studios hope to continue teaching outside, with the notion that fresh air and open sky will encourage endorphin production.
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Acupuncture has fallen out of favour amid the rise of EFT tapping. The wellness trends work by targeting the body's meridian points to encourage a natural energy balance, but while acupuncture uses needles, EFT tapping requires the use of your fingertips. Proponents claim that the process of tapping sends signals to the part of the brain that controls stress, and can thus reduce negative emotions.
4. House plants
In the same way that spending our weekends walking in the woods and having picnics in the park makes us feel infinitely better at the moment, bringing the outdoors inside with house plants will, too. The earthy tones and oxygen released are proven to make us feel more relaxed, while they also look great. Market research firm Technavio predicts that judging by 2020's interest in house plants, the industry worth is set to increase by approximately £21billion by 2024.
5. Therapy apps
Therapy apps including Talkspace, BetterHelp and Larkr offer on-demand access to therapists from the comfort of your own home. They're all tailored specifically to each user by quizzes and algorithms that work to recommend you the most appropriate expert.
6. Meditation apps
Meditation apps are proven to manipulate your mind into a calm and stress-free zone. Headspace, Calm and Simple Habit have all garnered a loyal following as effective wellness trends in 2020, with endless hubs of content to suit everyone including musical tracks and sleep stories and different durations.
7. Eye yoga
Chances are, without lunch breaks with colleagues and boardroom meetings, you're spending more time in front of a screen than ever before. Eye yoga uses tiny movements to stretch, move and massage the eyes and release tense. Chatty Dobson, Yoga Teacher and Owner of FLEX Chelsea says: "Our eyes are always on the go, though we never stretch out the muscles that do all the work as we would our quads after squats or our hamstrings after a run. It’s great to do after a long day spent looking at a screen.” Less is more: look up, down, left and right for 10 seconds each, gently kneading the brow bone and “palming” (cupping your hands over your eyes).
Train your brain while you exercise with GlideFit. Hailing from the USA, stability sits at the core of the work out – think HIIT sessions floating on a swimming pool, or yoga with a focus on balance. The level of concentration required will distract your mind from other worries.
9. Gaga Classes
The concept of insignificance can be comforting; while the idea that our influence over the world can have serious effects may be anxiety-inducing, some find that our small being in a never-ending universe puts things into perspective and reduces stress. Gaga Classes take this ideology and encourage people to "discover the virtue of silliness" by "expanding your palette of available movement options". Siobhan Davies Studios in London offers an hour-long class for £12.
10. Infrared sauna blankets
Infrared sauna blankets offer a bevy of health benefits, from speeding up metabolism to relieving sore muscles and improving digestion. They also kick anxiety to the curb by creating a cosy cocoon that will make you feel protected and calm.
11. Ear seeds
In a similar vein to tapping, ear seeds are placed on pressure points to release tension. They currently count Kate Moss and Penelope Cruz as fans, while reviews say they have also helped improve acne, migraines and addiction issues.
24-carat gold ear seeds, £29,
12. Rage rooms
Frustration is rife as the pandemic continues, and rage rooms could be the solution to letting out your anger. Once reopened, Wreck Room in London offers a space for people to go and destroy random items while wearing safety gear provided by the company.
Soundscaping combines noise therapy with psychedelics to activate parts of the brain that have a therapeutic effect. London-based company Wavepaths is spearheading the trend, and told Glamour magazine: "Emotional reconnection is really important and music is a channel through which to do that. It's something in your environment you can control." Users input their musical preference, timeframe, mental state and where you’d like to be once each session is complete, and the website generates a unique soundscape using AI.
Journaling can be a powerful wellness tool for shifting anxious thoughts into an action-oriented mindset. This can work by choosing a bullet journal in which you write lists and experience feelings of accomplishment as you complete tasks, or opt for a gratitude journal in which you record everything you are thankful for and focus on positivity in your life.
WATCH: Everything you need to know about meditation
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