I love this time of year. We start to put aside the previous year (and for many of us this was a particularly rough one), and move onto our New Year’s goals, inspirations, and ideally a clean slate. If you’re into wellness, this is also a great time of year to incorporate some new healthy resolutions, whether mainstream, i.e. exercising more regularly, or a bit more on the fringe, i.e. daily turmeric shots. Without further ado, here are our top 2018 wellness predictions!
1. Skincare That is Even More Protective
You want your skincare to help your skin look and feel better, but you also want your skincare to protect you not only from damaging UVA and UVB but also from the daily onslaught of potential toxins you might be exposed to—whether from pollution or even your daily computer use. According to such lines as Mother Dirt, we need our skincare to infuse more into the skin as opposed to focusing so much on what to take out of it. Says President of Mother Dirt, “Much of modern skincare and personal care is subtractive—it’s about removing things (dirt, oil, bacteria etc). In the process we have taken things to an extreme. At Mother Dirt, we focus on the microbiome of the skin. With this lens, modern hygiene has been about removing 99.9% of bacteria. Mother Dirt products are not only additive, restoring a key bacteria that once existed there, but they take into account the big role of bacteria in how it looks and feels with products that are compatible and not disruptive to the ecosystem.”
2. We Redefine Self-Care
Self-care sometimes gets a bad rap. Searching Instagram there is a plethora of young women taking selfies of themselves using face masks while drinking matcha tea. And while this looks more indulgent than necessary, there is still a need for true self-care—even in the form of the face mask and tea (just without the selfie). The key is rethinking what self-care is for you. Do you feel constantly drained? Do you feel hurried no matter the day? Maybe self-care is signing up for a weekly yoga class. Or maybe its scheduling a lights-off, candlelit bath night at home. It doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. Its more the act of saying, “this time is for ME, and this is how I’d like to fill it.”
3. We’re Embracing Our Periods
Its no longer something that we have to dread or make excuses for. Some women have given up the tampon in favor of the cup while other women are learning to feel empowered about their cycles, understanding everything from the cycle phases (do you know the difference between the follicular phase and the luteal phase?) to how to eat and exercise for different weeks of their cycle. We particularly love the My Flo Tracker App, which is designed to not only track your period, but offers food, exercise, and work activities best suited to support your body. It also helps improve fertility, and can even help slow down perimenopause. Created by functional medicine hormone expert, Alisa Vitti, CHHC, you’ll find that this app will truly change how you view your period.
4. We’re Boosting Our Brain Health
So you meditate and practice yoga (or at least plan to in 2018!), now you’ll also want to add in brain-boosting supplements that are designed to help reduce brain fog as well as stress. Beekeeper’s Naturals Brain Fuel, an adaptogen made with royal jelly and gingko biloba leaf is designed to help “turn up productivity.” Other companies like HVMN have offerings that include monthly subscriptions to their brain boosters like Rise, a brain-booster made with Bacopa Monnieri, a-GPC and Rhodiola Rosea; proponents say daily use of Rise helps reduce anxiety, mental fatigue and brain fog. Both HVMN and Tru Brain (another brain-focused supplement company) utilize ingredients called nootropics. Nootropics are functional amino acids, nutrients and minerals that directly support cognitive function.
5. We’re More Focused On Sleep
This isn’t new. We’ve been starting to look at sleep over the last decade, a complete reversal from previous decades that were all work and no rest. But as Americans, we’re not very good at sleep either. Recent reports say that up to 68 percent of Americans struggle with sleep at least once a week. And nearly $50 billion is spent each year on sleep aids and remedies. This year, expect to find more technology-focused sleep solutions, including watches that monitor your REM sleep (and help you relax into a deeper state of rest) and even smart mattresses that analyze your REM cycle, and allow you to control the temperature for optimal sleep.
6. We’re Eschewing Dairy
Whether Paleo, vegan or just sensitive to dairy the “non-dairy” aisle is expanding. New favorites include Califia Farms, Kite Hill yogurts, and Coconut Cult. When you’re shopping pay attention to the ingredients, forgo products that have extra gums, and also pay attention to the sugar content. You don’t want to swap out relatively low-sugar dairy for a high-sugar, low-protein alternative.
7. We’re Expanding Upon Book Clubs
We need connection—with girlfriends that is. As we age, it seems the first thing that diminishes is the time we spend with the people that make us laugh and see the world from a fresh perspective. We still have our book clubs, but now women are looking to broaden the scope. And if the past year is any prediction, we see women’s groups growing both out of desire and necessity. Whether it’s a group that meets to give back to charity or one that meets exclusively to try new breweries, we think more women are going to lean-in and create a stronger connection with their female friends.
8. We Will Move Away From Digital Life
Research is showing that the more “connected” we are with social media and devices, the less connected we feel to the real people around us. People who spend more time on social media report feeling more stressed and more depressed. Not to mention how much of a time suck social media trolling can be. Check out the Moment App and see how much you’re using your phone or iPad each day. Feel like you’re using either too much? Set a daily limit and be notified if you go over. Or try the Forest App, which is designed to help you stay focused on the tasks at hand while planting trees. Or join a new type of club; we love the folks at Folk Rebellion that have this as their ethos:
We Believe…. In real-life, in face to face convos, nature heals, phones on the table are rude, tech needs balance, in raising hell, kids are the future, writing shit by hand, disappearing is a-ok, less is more, countercultures make change happen, sex is better than scrolling, curiosity is more than googling, in eye contact, rock and roll will save the world…
If you want to truly commit to a less digital experience, try a three-day stint at Camp Grounded. Offered two times a year, this summer camp for adults is designed to let you disconnect in order to reconnect with hidden talents, community, passions and more. Try archery, acroyoga, carving, dance, truffle making, hiking and more. Food is included and is designed to be healthy and tasty, yet still remind you of “camp” fare.
9. We’re More Focused On Our Gut
This has been a trend that’s been gaining steam for a few years, and we expect it to continue into 2018 as more research studies show that our gut health truly determines our overall health, and that we need to learn how to live in a way that keeps our gut happy and well. Expect to see pre-biotics in our probiotic supplements and more at-home testing options to learn how to optimize our health.
10. Protecting the Planet Will Be Essential, and Our Wellness Routines Will Reflect this Ethos
2017 wasn’t a great year for the environment. From natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, and fires, to President Trump’s plans to pull America out of the Paris Climate Agreement or slash the size of several of America’s national monuments, it’s looking grim. But large and small companies are taking charge, and committing more of their funds to environmental causes as well as sourcing more materials in an eco-friendly way.
11. We’re Pro-Fat
Wow, what a turnaround from the nonfat 1980s, but recent research supports that not only do we need fat, we need a lot more of it. Prominent physicians including Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Frank Lipman led a conference just this past year, discussing the need to eat more fat in order to fuel the mitochondria in our cells. When the mitochondria are not functioning well, we age quicker, feel tired, and can experience brain fog. 2018 wellness prediction: this will be the year of the fat. Check out Lee from America’s Coconut Fat Balls if you need some tasty inspiration.
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.