As we greet 2020 with positive aspirations, if a little blurry eyed as we emerge from the fog of the festive season, wellness enthusiasts have been forecasting this year’s leading trends and practices. At the forefront is self-care. So what does this slightly nebulous term really mean and what is it set to entail over the coming months?
Naturally, the concept of self-care hinges on taking time to look after ourselves, but doing that in a way that will have a meaningful impact isn’t always clear. Of course, to some extent it varies from person to person. For some it might mean addressing the root of stress and anxiety and then putting aside a little time each day for something that helps relieve it.
Perhaps you spend 30 minutes doing a yoga session, give yourself 45 minutes to go for a walk at lunchtime, or maybe 15 minutes of meditation in the morning will become your uncompromisable me-time. It might even be allocating dedicated time to catch up with a best friend once a month or setting a target for a wellness goal such as quitting smoking.
To us, self-care is ultimately about checking in with ourselves and being a little more mindful about what we need in order to feel healthy and happy – at least more often than not. Crucially, to us self-care is a combination of what we do a little and often, as well as bigger things we can prepare for and look forward to once in a while. Here are a few trending ideas from the world of wellness for self care in 2020…
In a 2020 wellness index study, 42% of people said this was the year of valuable experiences over material possessions. That means we’re looking for meaningful wellness holidays such as yoga retreats and self-care vacations with details such as healthy food demonstrations that will inspire us at home, and fitness ideas that will fit into our daily routines. Homefield Grange offers a choice of health-focused spa experiences including vegan cuisine and Moors mud wraps.
We’re all exhausted. It turns out we’re in a bit of a collective tiredness crisis. We’re either not getting enough sleep or not getting enough good quality sleep. Some turn to apps to help create healthy routines. Others prefer to embrace the digital detox route – that means no phones or iPads from a set time in the evening (9pm for example). Of course, a health retreat where the views are more inspiring can really help with that. If you haven’t tried the Sleep Therapy spa break at Careys Manor for example, you’re in for a treat.
Our headspace is such a huge part of our sense of wellbeing, it’s where we live so much of our lives, and it impacts both how we perceive and deal with the world around us. We’re all more aware of the need to take care of our mental health, but that includes making emotional wellbeing a fundamental part of self care. That can be addressing concerns or simply observing and being in tune with our feelings. There’s no magic potion, but there’s a significant rise in meditation to counteract busy lives and abundant white noise. Also, journaling, therapy and spending time outside in nature. For example, you might want to try Forest Bathing – seasonally available at spas including the Spread Eagle.
We always have to be aware that complementary medicine is not necessarily an alternative to conventional medicine, but it can support wellbeing at different stages of personal wellness (hence the name – it complements your primary care).
Increasingly, we are aware of the benefits that treatments such as acupuncture, or even a good old fashioned massage, can have on our physical and mental wellbeing, either to help soothe stress, tension and sleep issues, or to support the body through other treatments. Perhaps improving physical resilience or emotional wellbeing through improved nutrition as a complement to modern medicine for example.
If you are undergoing treatment for any illness, you should always seek medical advice before any complementary therapies. However, dedicated wellness retreats such as Grayshott Spa in Surrey, for example, can be extremely supportive. Here, Elaine Williams is the Director of Natural Therapeutics qualified in osteopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy and advanced massage. She is also a registered general nurse and has a BSc in Psychology.
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