We’ve all heard of shopping addictions and whimsically joked about Carrie Bradshaw’s Jimmy Choo fetish or Isla Fisher’s comedic portrayal of spending out of control in Confessions of a Shopaholic. But this is a new phenomenon, and one that probably won’t surprise anyone who has looked at the price of a bag of chia seeds and had a small heart attack. The Wellness Debt Cycle is when your ultra healthy lifestyle gets out of balance with what you can afford.
Instagram is littered with yoga bodies and raw foodies with their beautiful photos and covetous existences. How often do you look at them and think ‘I want to be them’? It’s not solely the body beautiful they portray but the accompanying peace of mind, healthy glow, impossibly perfect culinary masterpieces and presumed lifestyle that goes with it all. What’s hard to get your head around though, is the cost of these Insta-perfect lives – the recipes are all well and good for the odd occasion but so often you look at them and think that they’re just unsustainable.
It turns out that from the superfoods to the yoga classes, wellness trends are costing a small fortune. From designer gym wear to chocolate nibs, the weird and wonderful world of designer wellness is perversely causing high levels of stress and financial debt. According to Magzter.com it’s even damaging relationships! The magazine reported about one yoga instructor whose gym membership and ultra healthy food deliveries were costing just shy of £1000 a month on their own – that’s before the clothing, travel and general lifestyle costs.
The unfortunate thing about this type of story is that it seems that we have veered away from the real purpose of a happy, healthy lifestyle, which actually doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Simple vegetables, beans and pulses, lean living and unprocessed foods are very much at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to cost in the supermarkets.
However, while all super powders and not-sure-how-to-pronounce-ables are interesting, wonderful and a great thing to try, compulsively including them in our diets seems both over the top and unnecessary. Surely if they cause the phenomenal stress that financial concerns are capable of then they are very much defeating their own point given the ultimate damage that stress has on your overall health and wellbeing?
So how can we be healthy on a budget? Well the Internet is littered with suggestions, but they boil down to some wonderfully simple tips – drink water instead of juices, soft drinks and alcohol, cook at home rather than eating out, buy whole foods (whole veggies instead of chopped ones), plan meals and make shopping lists, fill up on beans and pulses and buy seasonal fruit and veg.
We all want to be the girl/boy on Instagram, but it’s probably better to be balanced and be you – just learn to use your filters correctly and it’s basically the same thing!
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