Do you make New Year’s resolutions such as to drop a dress size, exercise three to four times a week or be a more positive parent? While admirable, these goals can be quite difficult to uphold. Instead, why not look after your wellbeing by signing up for something new and exciting this year? From meditation apps to flotation pods, here’s our pick of the top wellness and health trends worth getting on board with.
1. Book A me Treat
In a fast-paced world, in which there’s barely time to breathe between clocking off from work, collecting the kids and cooking the dinner, me-time is becoming a must. This year, unapologetically clear space in your schedule to spend time on yourself, knowing that the whole family will benefit from your time-out. This could be as simple as an uninterrupted hour spent cosied on the couch reading your favourite book, or you could opt in for a luxurious wellness weekend such as bestselling author Angela Cox’s Me Treat (angela-cox.co.uk).
2. Try a health coach
Forget fad diets and take a longer-lasting approach to wellness by overhauling your whole self this year. Holistic health coaches are an emerging group of health and nutrition specialists that take a 360° approach to wellbeing by finding solutions that fit into an individual’s lifestyle and goals, whether that’s to lose weight or de-stress. Health coaches are available online (try visiting feelglorious.com). Not ready to splash out? Be your own health coach by making time to cook, exercise, enjoy nature, meet friends, and do anything else that nourishes your body and mind.
3. Don’t procrastinate, meditate
With benefits including less stress, increased happiness levels, boosted productivity and even a reduced chance of illness, meditation is fast becoming the go-to health solution. “People are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of meditation and have realised that meditation can help them better manage their daily life,” says meditation expert and founder of Inhere (inherestudio.com), Adiba Osmani. “Work stress and unexplained unhappiness are the major contributors. Instead of being known as just an ancient religious practice, recent scientific research is showing that meditation can help us navigate through these difficulties.” Once reserved for spiritual types, meditating has gone mainstream and is enjoyed by busy mums, high-flyer workers and stress-out students alike. Those London-bound can get their fix at a meditation studio such as Inhere. No time for that? Download a meditation app such as Buddify or Headspace and zen out on the go.
4. Go booze-free
Hate the morning after the night before? With an increasing amount of evidence showing links between drinking and some illnesses, including various types of cancer, you’ve a right to be nervous. It’s no wonder then that low- and no-alcohol lifestyles are booming. No-alcohol drinks are on the increase, with a growing number of zero alcohol spirits and beers launching in supermarkets nationwide, from Waitrose to Aldi. In fact, there’s even an alcohol-free brewery called East London’s Nirvana Brewery, which has just been officially certified organic, too. Dry January, during which folk make a pledge to abstain from drinking for the month, might be the kick-start you need.
5. Float away from stress
Did you know that 74 percent of people in the UK felt ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ at some point in 2017? Stress is a growing health concern, affecting everyone from 18 to 80-year-olds. There’s no escaping it but there are measures you can take to downsize your stress levels. One growing trend is flotation therapy, in which you float unaided in a pool of water. A meta-analysis of 27 studies reveals that it can lower blood pressure and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Yue Float, one of the UK’s top wellness centres (yuefloat.com), offers rejuvenating float pods that are saturated with 500kg of Epsom salts to soothe aches and pains. Not ready to attend a spa? Try adding a relaxing essential oil such as lavender to a warm bath and enjoying a long soak.
6. Hit the trails
More British adults than ever are taking up the simple sport of going for a stroll. According to a YouGov survey poll of 2,000 people, commissioned by outdoor footwear brand merrell.co.uk, 54 percent of Brits lace up their walking boots for leisure at least once a week. Getting active among nature is not only good for physical fitness but also great for mental wellbeing – it improves self-perception, selfesteem, mood and sleep quality, plus reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, so why not commit to a goal such as clocking 5,000 steps every day?
7. Overhaul your diet
Being diet-aware is a growing trend but, amazingly, a recent poll shows that six in 10 of us eat the same food every day, with many claiming that they don’t have time to vary their diet. A lack of colour in your diet could mean you’re missing out on vital vitamins and minerals. The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has developed a Try, Swap, Change weekly planner, which includes 15 easy suggestions to help folk lead a healthier lifestyle, whether that’s eating more fruit and vegetables or cutting down on salt. “The Try, Swap, Change planner has been developed by BNF nutrition scientists to provide a practical guide, to help people put their New Year’s resolutions into action, and to provide an extra motivator for keeping things going longer-term,” explains Sara Stanner, science director for the BNF. “It is a great feeling at the end of each day to be able to tick off completed challenges and, in turn, the goals you have started to achieve.” You can download the planner at nutrition.org.uk.