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Here are the biggest health and wellness trends for 2021

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness industry is valued at $ 4.5 trillion – and it hasn’t stopped growing for some time. Each year, we see certain trends in well-being take off: wellness tourism, sleep health, and even “well fashion”. But the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the face of the wellness industry in less than a year. Changed, but not diminished. “[Wellness] is one of the strengths of the economy right now, ”Beth McGroarty, vice president of research at the Global Wellness Institute, told Refinery29. While there are plenty of wellness trends we can’t wait to ditch in 2020 (detox, fad diets, and anti-masking, to name a few), there are some. that have arisen that we are more than happy to keep. . Here, McGroarty gives us an overview of the top wellness trends you can expect to see gaining momentum in 2021. Virtual Wellness Surprise! Online home wellness will continue to be a major trend in 2021, something you’ve probably seen coming. “It’s almost a cliché, but everything that was delivered digitally just took off,” McGroarty says. “Whether it’s telemedicine, virtual therapy, meditation apps, digital fitness platforms – even reiki classes are online. As soon as the pandemic hit, we saw an immediate and exponential explosion of people doing some sort of online course. Sales of fitness equipment also increased 170% during COVID-19, as those of us with the space and the means turned our homes into makeshift gyms. Although the move to virtual platforms that allowed us to introduce well-being practices into our homes was motivated by necessity, it had a very positive ripple effect: virtual well-being makes people feel better. much more accessible services to everyone, including those who live in areas where certain courses or practices are not offered. “We’ll see a return to classes someday, but most people predict that there will be a very powerful digital component or a mixed digital component in person,” McGroarty says. For almost a year now, people have become very comfortable taking fitness, yoga, meditation – you name it – at home; it is a permanent behavioral and cultural change. Preventive Treatments Traditional Western medicine has generally adopted a solution-oriented approach to wellness. Meaning: It focuses on treating health problems after they appear. But recently, consumers have pushed back, demanding a more preventative approach. We want to know how to stay healthy to avoid problems in the first place. And the pandemic has accelerated this change. “It immediately strengthened the case for what I would call responsible and preventative wellness,” McGroarty told Refinery29. By this, she intends to focus on exercise, healthy eating, sleep, and stress reduction, which she calls “the pillars of wellness, which have this huge, evidence-based impact on preventing conditions under. -jacent. So, less powders and potions that vaguely claim to “boost immunity” and more science-based strategies that support your body’s individual needs. As McGroarty says, “I think the healthcare industry needs to realize that we need a hell of a preventative wellness if we’re going to survive things like this pandemic.” Radical Self-Care This is another trend born out of necessity. After a year filled with trauma, our mental health is at risk. “There is a lot more anxiety [because of the pandemic]Mary K. Alvord, PhD, psychologist and director of Alvord, Baker & Associates in Md., Told Refinery29. “There has been a wave of sadness – and I’m afraid it will turn into depression for a lot of people – because they are home and really can’t go anywhere. And then there is the family dynamic which creates difficulties and adds stress. On top of that, there is economic stress. Getting back on track will be a priority as we head into 2021. Therefore, you will be hearing the term “radical personal care” a lot this year. Indiana University defines it as “the affirmation that you have a responsibility to take care of yourself before you try to take care of others.” It goes beyond bubble baths. We’re talking about really, really doing what you need to do to protect yourself and your sanity before you exert energy on others. Radical self-care will be different for different people – not everyone is able to take a mental health day from work or see a therapist, for example. You may notice a resurgence of interest in spiritual practices this year, from meditation and manifestation to traditional religious activities. One study found that Google searches for “prayer” increased amid the pandemic. Drug-Based Therapies In 2020, Oregon legalized and Washington DC decriminalized psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Experts expect these measures to further legitimize the burgeoning field of drug-based therapies: Ketamine is already gaining ground as a possible option for treatment-resistant depression, for example. It’s a trend that may not have a direct impact on your life right away. You’re not going to be buying over-the-counter shrooms anytime soon, for example. But decriminalizing or legalizing ingredients like psilocybin helps open the door for more research on the compound, which will help us understand all of the potential uses. To be fowarding something! Dying Well This trend has been picking up steam for some time. In 2019, the Global Wellness Institute launched what it called a “Dying Well” initiative, which aimed to open up more conversations about death, and the pandemic has brought the subject back to the surface, due to the enormous amount of losses we’ve experienced this year. Talking openly about death in beloved ways may seem uncomfortable at first, but it can ultimately reduce stress. Joel Rowe, MD, an emergency physician at Mount Sinai in New York City, wrote an article for The Atlantic last summer on how we talk about dying and rethought his own mother’s death due to liver disease he six years ago. He had had conversations with her before about how she wanted to end her time on Earth – comfortably, not on life support. “For the rest of my life, I will live in gratitude for his last and precious gift – preparing us both for his death before it happens,” he wrote. Perhaps more of us will be having conversations about death in the coming year, and we may begin to see tools designed to help us do so. “There’s a lot of innovation going on in the way people try to help people overcome death and their fear of death,” McGroarty says. “These new advanced care planning companies, often started by women, are seeing a lot more activity.” Death doulas also seem to be becoming more common. Respiratory well-being Although at the start of the pandemic, great attention was paid to the cleanliness of the surface – so much so that hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes were scarce – the revelation that COVID-19 was airborne drew our attention to air purification measures. “A lot of people have bought very sophisticated air purification technology or air monitoring systems, be it HVAC purification, whole house HEPA filters, air treatment. UV in homes, ”says McGroarty. “I mean, this is the most pressing health and wellness issue, period.” Clean air will likely become more important as people begin to return to work. Another reason why respiratory wellness in general can be a hot topic this year: COVID-19 can lead to lung complications, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Coughing and shortness of breath are among the most common symptoms of the virus and can linger for weeks or even months after recovery. It’s no wonder people care more about air quality than ever before. No one could have predicted all the ways COVID-19 would change well-being in 2020. Many innovations have the potential to be good – high-tech air purifiers, a return to the foundational pillars of well-being – being, products that help make well-being more accessible. at home, an emphasis on radical personal care. But if we take one thing from 2020, it’s the importance of keeping an open mind. Everything can happen. Like what you see? 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