In lockdown many of us took up new habits. Perhaps you ventured out for a job knowing your wanted to make your daily outing count, or perhaps the digital realm came to your rescue with a workout app. For others, wellness meant focusing more on mental wellbeing at a time of enormous psychological strain. As we return to some elements of normality however, what are the predictions for the future of wellness?
The powers that be at McKinsey & Co. did a “Future of Wellness” survey to get a sense of what we’re all thinking, wanting, hoping for and planning. Where once upon a time many of us might have thought of wellness as a ‘nice to have’ amongst all the ‘have to dos’, the global survey: “found that 79% of worldwide consumers said they believe wellness is important, and 42% consider it a top priority.”
What was also clear is that we tend to think of wellness in a much more holistic way than we used to as well. We might have thought of it as exercise and diet before, but now it seems we’re much more all encompassing about our health, recognising that it’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and – here’s the big one – ongoing.
McKinsey & Co. identified six key wellness areas that we, the general public, are interested in:
Nutrition: what we eat is not a new part of wellness, but we are paying more attention in a more proactive way. Apps, subscription food services, healthy eating programmes and generally getting educated about what we eat all factored into respondents feedback on life post-pandemic.
Appearance: This is sometimes where wellness and beauty separate, and indeed there is a difference between wellness and beauty. However, how we feel about our appearance is an increasingly recognised area of wellness. Skincare and collagen supplements, non-surgical aesthetic procedures and facials, all factored into our sense of self. That’s not about having to look a certain way, but rather treating ourselves so that we feel good in our own skins, whatever that means to the individual.
Fitness: Again, not a new one, but more of us have had to be more creative about fitness as gyms were shut for so long. The likes of Peloton have been a great help, while the natural world has also provided respite. What’s clear however is that many of us have found time for fitness or used it as a healthy way to support mental as well as physical wellbeing, and we’re committed to carrying on.
Sleep: No one has ever felt their best without a good night’s sleep and it’s definitely something we’re all craving. Consumers continue to invest in blackout curtains and gravity blankets, sleep trackers and other sleep-enhancing products on the quest for a good kip.
Mindfulness: Mental health has been a big topic over the last year, and mindfulness has been playing a large part in helping people to manage that. Again, apps have had a valuable role while we’re all at home and it seems the appetite for more remains strong.
In addition to those key areas, the trends we’re all gravitating towards are:
In short, what’s happening is that we’re all focused on taking better care of ourselves, and that might just be a silver lining on a very challenging year and a half.
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