In many ways, COVID-19 has triggered a paradigm shift in the way we think about wellness. Unlikely to be the last ‘killer virus’ we see in our lifetimes, there is a renewed sense of energy on getting back to wellness basics and preventative medicine to future proof our health. At the same time, there is growing fatigue with ‘wellness nonsense’ as more people seek proven solutions grounded in evidence.
According to the Global Wellness Institute’s Future of Wellness Report 2021, there are a number of key trends changing the way we think about wellness. So, what can we learn from this about what proactive and science-backed actions we can take to maintain our health and wellbeing now, and into the future?
Wellness TV - From Passive Watching to Active Participation
From dedicated wellness channels that move us from passive watching to active participation, the future of wellness will make the most of AI and technology to create digital platforms focused solely on increasing our health and wellbeing.
According to GWI, this increase in wellness experiences and binge-able wellness programming on big media platforms like Netflix is a story of unprecedented reach and affordability. Similarly, Alexia Marchetti, Global Director of PR at Calm, confirmed that: “we’re seeing explosive growth in the media wellness category. Many streaming platforms are adding self-care and meditation content, and we anticipate that growth to continue.”
Wellness Music - Soundscapes to Escapes
The rise of meditation apps like Calm and Headspace, as well as playlists to optimise wellbeing, and generative music that tracks biometrics and creates healing and energising soundscapes, are set to become an even bigger part of our wellness routines. The sequences of chords, beats, tones, keys and musical textures in so-called ‘Wellness Music’ are specifically designed and scientifically-backed to ‘nudge’ your brain and body in the right direction, depending on whether you need to calm down or wake up.
Whether it's Spotify's ‘Daily Wellness’ mix or more of a hand-picked playlist, streaming is steadily becoming an acceptable form of self-care. Indeed, Spotify announced recently that the pandemic has led to a steep rise in streams of so-called ‘mental health playlists’ on the platform, with playlists related to topics like ‘mindfulness,’ ‘calm’ and ‘self-care’ seeing a 57 percent increase in streams on the previous year. Music is not only good for your soul, but apparently it’s great for your brain and for your overall health as well, with it being shown to have a powerful impact on everything from depression to Alzheimer’s disease.
Immune Health - Stop Boosting, Start Balancing
In the same way that ‘sustainability’ has become part of our everyday lives, the future of wellness is all about balancing immunity and shifting from short-term immune ‘boosters’ to long-term immune health stabilisers and balancers. Basic building blocks of good health such as exercise, sleep, diet, and even a good sweat in an infrared sauna, will be the foundation of immune balancing with a focus on science-backed diets that drive metabolic health and improve the gut microbiome.
For more on eating well to help cleanse your body, try these ‘5 ways to strengthen your immune system’ and ‘9 Detox Foods to Add to Your Diet’.
Architecture - A Built Environment That Touches Our Souls
Cross-disciplinary studies have begun to show that the built environment impacts our wellbeing from hormone production, inflammation responses, gut and respiratory health, stress levels, immunity, emotional and mental wellbeing, and other aspects of our wellness.
GWI suggests that, now more than ever, we need to be looking for spaces designed to make ‘sacred and numinous’ moments part of our consciousness. That means taking a more holistic approach to the design of your home spaces, and for some will mean bringing the benefits of Sunlighten’s infrared saunas to your home.
For more on how to start the wellness revolution at home, try these three tips to engage the senses through architecture and to learn more about the benefits of Sunlighten’s infrared sauna for your health and wellbeing, visit our website.