The Wellness Shift
Katrina Thorpe examines the latest shifts in the world of wellness and what it means for consumers.
Wellness is about practicing healthy habits to attain better physical and mental health; it’s a lifestyle choice geared for those who aspire to thrive rather than just survive.
It is also a growing sector, with the prediction of growth in the wellness industry to be on an upward trend.
This is mostly due to the pandemic creating shifts in how consumers better understanding of what constitutes a wellness experience – and what they expect from it.
According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) there is a significant “values shift” underway that will lead to a predicted growth of the $4.5 trillion wellness economy of 10% annually for the next few years.
Over the past three years we have already seen the changes taking place and acted on them to communicate the benefits of wellness better with our customers at ikatan Spa.
Here are some of the relevant trends identified in the Global Wellness Institute’s latest report:
‘Self-care’ shifts from pampering and escapism to a means for self-preservation and survival.
I have always thought the word ‘pampering’ insinuates something unnecessary, meaningless or spoilt and this is not what wellness is about. Acts of self-care to maintain one’s wellbeing are a necessity, not a luxury.
‘Escapism’ is a term I like and I think it’s easily understood and immediately relatable and sought after.
We all need to escape and leave our life behind for a few hours; a day; or a holiday to recalibrate so that we can go back to our lives feeling refreshed. To me, escapism is self-preservation for survival.
Prevention becomes a lifestyle and a bigger public health priority.
To this I say “it’s about time!” We all know prevention is better than finding a cure and we have already seen constant conversations and attention to mental health, particularly over the past few years.
There’s now more funding for mental health and a better understanding and awareness in caring for our mental health as well as the help that is available.
Wellness and science move closer together.
There’s an abundance of scientific research now to support the things that people used to see as a bit ‘hippy trippy’ – but have you ever stopped to think how chilled out the so-called hippies were – and still are?
Many of the wellness practices may have seemed ‘out there’ decades ago but now yoga, meditation, healthy eating, and self-care practitioners such as osteopaths, massage or acupuncture therapists are backed by science and encouraged as preventive health measures.
We will lean into nature for nourishment and healing.
This is one of my favourite shifts in wellness and I see it as an ‘enlightenment’ from the GWI research.
I have always believed in the power of nature for relaxation, particularly mental and emotional health as well as a place for physical activity.
It’s one of the main reasons we established a wellness business surrounded by gardens where the design and plant selection all play a part in helping people feel nurtured in nature.
You may think it’s just aesthetically pleasing to have a lush garden, thriving pot plants or to get outside for a walk in the park but there is so much more to be gained from our living environment.
It’s something that I have always found fascinating and shown a great interest in learning – how nature helps to nurture us as humans, why it works, what it is about water, trees and plants that have such a profound effect on us.
Balancing physical and virtual connections becomes critical.
We all tried to make the most of our lockdown and pandemic work environment in isolation with Zoom and screen time. But there’s been an unpredicted surge in people returning to gyms, yoga, pilates, sports clubs and anywhere they can be part of social gatherings. As humans, we are social creatures and the need for contact with others is important, particularly for singles, elderly, and children to gather with like-minded others.
Some companies are selling up large office spaces in cities because they realise that employees working from home are productive, happier to have more flexibility and time with family while avoiding commuting into the office. It’s saving money, time, energy and fuel and this all adds up to a better environmental impact.
One American company recently sold their city offices and purchased a ranch to create a working retreat as a place for employees to come together for work related meetings, team building and planning sessions, where wellness sessions are combined with work.
Their employees experience yoga, meditation, walks, Day Spa treatments along with health food at their wellness and work ranch and it’s proving to be a very productive way to engage employees for better performance outcomes.
The shifts in wellness predictions upwards to 2025 are already here and they will only become prevalent as the new norm, more available and offer all of us a preventative way to live for an improved lifestyle.
I feel we have the opportunity for this shift to a wellness lifestyle on the Sunshine Coast and many already live it and embrace it.
It’s sure to be a shift for the better.