So your barre studio is closed, the local health food store has limited stock, and you’re lacking motivation to cook anything that doesn’t come from a box or the frozen section. Just because this year looks a little different than you thought it would when you made your New Year’s resolutions, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be working towards your health goals and achieving your best self. With scary headlines and a stay-at-home order, 2020 also brought wellness trends less focused on buzzwords and more focused on actual self-care. Here are 13 of them that you can try at home:
1. A tech detox
A juice detox is so last year (or, like, 2010… does anybody think foregoing food for multiple days is a good idea anymore?). In 2020, it’s all about the technology detox. Whether this means keeping your phone at the bottom of your beach bag for the entirety of a pool day or turning off Netflix for an afternoon of reading or painting, designate a specific amount of time to go tech-free. Try an entire day every week (yes, Instagram can wait!), or just an hour tech-free before bed. Read a book, sip some tea, and enjoy the freedom of not having your phone as a fifth limb, 24/7.
If you find it difficult to designate a specific amount of time to go tech-free, designate a space in your home. Whether it’s your kitchen table, bedroom, or meditation corner, setting tech-free rules for your space helps set expectations and guidelines. A designated tech-free area can help you remember to put away phones during meals or to turn off Netflix before bed.
2. Intuitive eating
Luckily for our fridges (and our sanity), “dieting” is officially a bad word. Rather than labeling foods as “good” or “bad” and driving ourselves crazy with guilt, we’re eating intuitively. That’s right: restrictive diets and calorie counting are canceled. Instead, tune in to your body to feed it what it needs (and when it needs), and don’t worry so much about outside rules, recommendations, and regulations.
Intuitive eating can help you not only take control of your eating habits, but can help you know your body better and become your healthiest self. When you’re eating, step away from the laptop, turn off the TV, and notice the smells and tastes of the food. Take time to thoroughly chew and enjoy, feeling thankful for the nourishment you’re receiving. Notice how your body is feeling and stop when you’re no longer hungry.
3. Body hair (and identifying what’s best for you)
Emily Ratajkowski sported body hair in a sexy editorial shoot, Miley Cyrus notoriously dyes her armpit hair, and even Vogue ruled the bush is back. For decades, women’s bodies have been expected to be completely hairless everywhere, all over, and all the time. But we are mammals, and more importantly, humans, and humans have body hair. Humans also have different preferences, so while some of us feel best with the smoothness of just-shaved legs and a freshly waxed bikini line, others of us prefer to grow it all out, and that’s OK.
Whether you feel better with hair, your waxing salon is closed, or you just don’t give a damn (because there are more important things to worry about than leg hair), experiment with what level of body hair makes you feel most confident. If you feel best without hair (or without hair in certain parts and grown out hair in others), check out our guide to removing body hair. And if you’re enjoying the freedom of not having to worry about hair removal and feel sexier or more badass with body hair, then let it rage.
4. Ayurvedic rituals (and other ancient practices)
OK, let me nerd out for a sec. I have been obsessed with Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine, since I wrote my college thesis on it (back in the good old days) and even saw an Ayurvedic practitioner. The system was developed over 3,000 years ago in India and is still widely practiced all over the world today. I know I’m a nerd, but how cool is that!? Imagine my delight when ancient rituals like tongue-scraping, adaptogens, palo santo burning, and oil pulling started to become a part of mainstream media over the past couple of years. Practices that have been around for centuries are officially “trending” in the 2020 wellness space.
I love this “trend” because we have so much to learn about our own bodies through looking at practices in other cultures, time periods, and belief systems. To try some of these ancient practices at home, don’t just do it because your favorite wellness blogger says so. Read up on the history, benefits, and beliefs behind each of the rituals; talk about them with your doctor, and be your own guinea pig.
5. CBD for relaxation
We’ve talked about CBD for your beauty routine and have tried it in everything from candles to sunburn relief. But this year, we’re focused on how CBD can be used to boost relaxation and soothe anxiety (because 2020 is the year of constant anxiety). CBD can be used for many different purposes, but it has a reputation for its calming effects, delivered in easy and accessible ways. Check out our favorite products of all time, and try incorporating the buzziest wellness ingredient into your routine in whatever way is best for you, whether it’s a bath bomb, a lotion, or ingestible drops.
6. Period tracking
Staying at home 24/7 means you’re probably spending a lot more time bingeing Netflix, cleaning out your junk drawer, and teaching yourself more TikTok dances than you care to admit. Why not spend a little of your extra time getting to know your reproductive system better? The latest trend in menstrual health is not just holistic gynecology or non-toxic tampons (although both are great!), but tracking your cycle to find out what foods, workouts, and lifestyle tips are best for your body during each phase.
To learn more, check out seven things every woman should know about her period and download a period-tracking app like MyFlo that gives you information about each day of your cycle. While we’re on the subject, having a period does not have to be a weakness; besides the fact that we can, you know, grow a freaking human being, women can use period tracking as a biohack to achieve better productivity. That goes for your work-from-home schedule, too.
7. Red light therapy
Dubbed “the fountain of youth” by Glamour Magazine, red light therapy has been popping up everywhere from dermatologist offices to fitness centers. Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and Everygirl editor girl-crush, told Shape Magazine, “Red light therapy speeds the healing of the body, reduces inflammation, and helps hydration levels in the skin.” Luckily for 2020, this buzzy wellness trend is not just for expensive spas or wellness retreats. The latest products offer benefits of red light therapy from home (which is good since even wrinkles and low back pain isn’t worth risking your or other people’s safety). Try it for yourself with at-home devices that are more effective and affordable than ever.
8. A tech-focused approach to fitness
When you’re not detoxing from tech, technology can actually be used for good. Since going on a run can get boring and going to a yoga studio isn’t possible (or safe), technology has been trending in the fitness world. For regular class-goers, fitness apps and online subscriptions (like Everygirl-favorite, obé fitness) provide an alternative to studios, and equipment like The Mirror and Peloton bike bring the fun of workout classes to the comfort of your home (even if they’re out of my price range).
Besides just alternatives to classes, technology can help you make the most out of your workouts too. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, technology (such as the Fitbit and Apple Watch) was the most popular form of wearable devices in 2019, and in 2020, they’re being used to motivate and monitor at-home exercise. Look out for virtual reality and even smarter fitness equipment making its way into your at-home fitness routine in the future.
9. Mental health is #1 priority
The past few months have been a wake-up call for several reasons, but one of the biggest was where we’re not prioritizing mental health. Self-care has been trending for years when it comes to face masks and bubble baths, but this year, sh*t got real, and we were all forced to prioritize self-care in the ways that are best for us and will actually help us feel better. Maybe you’ve taken action by prioritizing yourself or booking a session with a therapist, or maybe you’re still struggling like many of us are.
Staying safe at home doesn’t have to be an excuse for not getting the help you need; many therapists are offering sessions over Zoom, and apps like Talkspace are revolutionizing virtual therapy. Check out resources to find a therapist for you, like BetterHelp, Dr. on Demand, and Therapy for Black Girls, or ask your therapist to schedule a virtual session. Besides getting honest about what you need to soothe stress and anxiety, bring your mental health into everything you do: perfect work-life balance, eat mindfully, and work out to release stress instead of burning calories.
10. Beauty that’s good for you (and the earth)
Health is no longer just about what you put in your body, but also what you put on it. Not only are more non-toxic skincare and makeup brands popping up in the beauty space, but the brands we’ve been shopping for years are adding cleaner options to their offerings (clean beauty is the way of the future). The biggest benefit is that beauty products are not only stopping the use of harmful ingredients, but replacing with natural ingredients that are good for your skin and hair (like a concealer or lipstick with hydrating jojoba oil). Bonus: it’s much better for the earth too.
To begin your quest towards a cleaner beauty routine, check out clean brands we love, read up on 10 experts’ clean beauty hacks, and shop our favorite non-toxic sunscreens. If it feels overwhelming to go totally clean, try replacing each product you run out of with a non-toxic, sustainable, and ethically-sourced alternative. Bonus points for buying from a small business!
11. Prioritizing pleasure
2020 is the year of the “pleasure revolution,” and we could not be more excited about it (literally). Female sexuality is no longer a taboo subject; it’s self-care. To prioritize your sexuality, educate yourself, take time to experiment, and read our ultimate self-isolation guide to masturbation. Oh, and pleasure is not just reserved for the bedroom; it’s about living your life more pleasurably. Start by basing decisions off of what would bring you more pleasure (like a warm bath versus a cold shower, or a slow yoga flow versus a sweaty dance workout). Also, take extra time to pamper yourself (turn on a playlist and dry brush or massage in body oil), and don’t forget to check yourself out in the mirror (because you know you look good).
12. Biohacking your water
Kool-Aid is so last decade. This summer, wellness influencers and health experts are making the most of their drink of choice (AKA some good old-fashioned water) with add-ins that are packed with nutrients. Turn any glass of water or reusable bottle (#ecofriendly) into a refreshing drink that not only hydrates you, but fills your body with antioxidants, electrolytes, or vitamins. Just watch out for high-sugar content and make sure the ingredients are as clean and natural as possible. PS check out newcomer Tandem, which uses ingredients like beetroot, turmeric, and ginger. Now that’s my kind of summer drink!
13. Inclusivity in wellness
A necessary change in the wellness industry is way overdue, and it’s time all of us do what we can to promote more diversity in the health and wellness space. Practice inclusivity at home by educating yourself, supporting businesses that promote diversity (yes, that goes for your local yoga studio and favorite athleticwear brand), purchasing Black-owned brands, following Women of Color who are nutritionists, influencers, and wellness experts on social media; and supporting, donating, and attending resources for/from Women of Color (like Loom, Brown Girl Self-Care, The Loveland Foundation, and Dive in Well).