In celebration of Hip & Healthy’s 10-year anniversary (wahoo) we thought it would be interesting to cast our minds back over the last decade as a wellness business and discuss how this wonderful industry has evolved. We’ve reflected on our own journey where Sadie candidly reveals the highs and lows of running a wellness business, shared our most memorable and proudest moments and also have spoken to some like-minded wellness peeps also celebrating their 10-year birthday too. Below we’ve sifted through the many wellness trends that have come (and maybe gone) over the past decade or so and picked out the…. let’s call them “movements” instead of trends, that have really stood the test of time and will continue to shape the industry for many years to come.
Breathing is life
If you’ve heard of Wim Hof, you’ll have heard of Breathwork! It refers to intentional breathing exercises where you are guided to change your breathing technique or pattern for a number of positive outcomes such as improved energy and focus, boost immunity and calm anxiety or stress. Like most things in wellness, breathwork has been around for years but a bit like meditation it can feel daunting as to where to start and how to start too – especially because you’re unlikely to find a breathwork centre on the corner of your street. There are some amazing breathwork practitioners out there (we love Richie Bostock) but we’d also highly recommend apps like Breath Hub, that will help you get your breathwork practice in anywhere, anytime. Understanding how to use your breath as a tool, you become the master of your inner world and how you react to the world around you. Reduced stress and anxiety, increased energy levels, improved sleep, improved creativity, induced flow states, increased athletic performance and cardiovascular health – are just a few of the benefits that can result from Breathwork.
It’s all about the gut
They don’t call it the “second brain” for nothing! The gut microbiome, which consists of no less than 100 TRILLION bacteria, affects everything from skin health to energy levels and hormone balance. 2018 really thrust gut health into the spotlight, proving just how vital a role our digestive system plays in all sorts of bodily functions and now we really understand how life-changing good gut health can be. Now in 2022, with coronavirus a part of our lives, immunity has never been more important… and it’s not just about topping up on vitamin C. Taking care of your gut is probably one of the most important things you can do for your immunity, after all, it houses roughly 70% of the cells that form the immune system. We’ve talked about gut health so much over the last decade (it feels like we’re experts by now!) showcasing incredible brands, talking to many experts and shedding light on how to optimise your microbiome for better overall health. It’s been an eye-opener and we hope to continue talking about it for years to come!
Sleep-care is the new self-care
There’s no doubt the message of self-care has dominated the last decade and with each year we gain an even better understanding of how to prioritise our wellbeing in so many different ways, mentally, physically, spiritually etc. But what if instead of simply luxuriating in an Epsom salt bath of an evening, or booking a monthly massage, you turned your attention to an often overlooked part of your day, one which plays a huge role in your mental and physical health? By making some small tweaks, you could optimise your sleep care and elevate your self-care efforts exponentially. Why sleep care? Because sleep is the third pillar of wellness after exercise and nutrition. It’s crucial for so many functions in our body and can have a drastic impact on things like immunity (essential right now), mood, appetite, energy, memory and even happiness. Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a huge shift in how we prioritise our rest time and along with that has come many innovative gadgets, products, tech innovations and even some incredible therapeutic treatments all aiming at improving our shut-eye. Sleep care is most definitely a “trend” that’s here to stay.
CBD is still fairly new to the wellness world, but its shot to stardom over the last few years hasn’t gone unnoticed. Most evidence is anecdotal but numerous studies are currently underway to prove CBD’s power. From pain relief to reducing anxiety, it’s been hailed as a natural alternative to many medications that cause some unwanted side effects. We believe this is only the beginning of our understanding of the effects of CBD and we think mainstream usage is set to increase over the coming years. So many science-backed, credible brands have emerged aiming to help people with stress, chronic illnesses, mental health and sleep (if you’re interested to discover the brands we swear by check out our CBD Awards). We’ve even seen a move towards CBD in beauty which is unsurprising given its anti-inflammatory properties. Stay tuned, there is much more to come in the world of CBD!
We’ve already seen developments in virtual wellness over the last couple of years but the next decade will see this industry soar to new heights. With the increasing demand for better accessibility in all wellness areas, you’ll see more brands extending their product and service offerings to help you better integrate wellness into your everyday lives, be it at home or on your smartphone. We predict companies will be tackling the “convenience of wellbeing” and trying to find ways to make living, eating, thinking and exercising even easier. Platforms we think are doing fab things for virtual wellness are the likes of Silver Linings, Headspace, GRNDHOUSE to name just a few… there are so many we love! According to Google trends, virtual wellness has had an increase in searches by 242%… a sign that there’s a growing number of people needing more conducive ways to maintain or up their wellbeing.
Wellness in the workplace
At the start of 2020, before COVID-19 hit, we predicted a significant step forward for workplace wellbeing. 2 years and pandemic later, the evolution of our working habits is almost unrecognisable with many companies embracing things like working from home and putting more of an emphasis on employee wellbeing. The benefits have been proven to work both ways. In 2018/19 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost due to ill health (Health & Safety Executive, October 2019). In addition, burnout has now been officially recognised by the World Health Organisation as a health condition. One London-based company, Heka, takes a flexible approach by offering employers a benefits system that allows employees to make use of fitness studios such as Digme and Victus Soul with the aim to show them how exercise and diverse wellness-focused experiences directly impact employee morale. In fact, this all-encompassing portfolio of experiences-style benefits system has led to an 83% employee engagement. Facts like these will certainly dictate the future of wellness in the workplace and why it’s hugely important to prioritise and establish a health-focused system that benefits employees AND businesses.
Sustainability has obviously become a huge focal point over the last decade and there is no doubt it will continue to be an important topic for years and years to come. It’s so far-reaching (think food waste, the plastic-free movement, fast fashion, etc) that we could write a separate article about it but one thing that has grown in popularity is conscious tourism. It’s become big news over the last few years and we’re expecting even more hotels, tour operators and even tourism boards to embrace travellers’ desires to think more eco when it comes to holidaying and travelling abroad. Travellers are putting more forethought into how their trips impact the planet and luxury travellers are no exception. According to research, 56% of high net worth travellers said that the environment is a top concern for them. Bookings for ethical and eco-friendly escapes are predicted to rise further according to Stay One Degree, a luxury home rental company, which has an emphasis on eco-friendly homes with natural energy and locally sourced produce. According to GWS’s 2019 Global Wellness Trends Report, “wellness pilgrims are realising that the health of the places they are visiting, and their impact upon that health, is an important consideration when seeking venues aligning with their ideals of wellness and sustainability.” With more concerns about the effects of our carbon footprint, we think a lot more people will have the environment in mind when booking trips away and with Covid-19 also playing a huge part, “staycations” are coming into their own as people realise a great holiday doesn’t need to involve extensive travel.