If 2021 switched us on to self-care, 2022 is set to take it even further, with everything from our evening baths to our yoga practice taking on a wellbeing spin. If it makes us feel better in these trying times, we're all for it.
Here are the trends you can expect to see take the lead in the world of wellness in 2022.
Full moon bathing for better sleep
Image: Instagram: @marciedawnn
Pinterest has seen a 90 per cent rise in searches for ‘full moon bath ritual’ and while bathing in moonlight might seem a bit hocus pocus it’s not as bonkers as it sounds.
Studies have shown that the full moon has a big impact on our sleep. When the moon is full we spend 30 per cent less time in deep sleep and our sleep cycles are reduced by 20 minutes, says Semra Haksever author of Everyday Magic: Rituals, Spells & Potions to Live Your Best Life and founder of Mama Moon Candles.
“Taking a bath when it’s a full moon is great for balancing out increased energy and for releasing what you no longer need,” says Haksever. Luckily, the ritual doesn't require you to actually set up a bath outside and bathe in the dark. It's more about being aware of the effect that the full moon has on your mind and body by using your bathing time as a way to restore your energy, notes Haksever.
How then, to prepare for a full moon bath? Haksever suggests tapping into some aromatherapy and sprinkling in some grounding bath salts such as Mama Moon Legendary Love Bath Salts £15, rose and frankincense are both grounding ingredients or adding a few drops of rosemary oil (or actual rosemary) which is great for helping you tune into your intuition.
She also recommends using visualization techniques when in the bath. "If you have been in a negative situation or need a sense of renewal, soak in the bath and think about what you want to release. Take some time for introspection and speak to yourself with compassion, make peace with what you want to release and allow the water to absorb this. When it feels right, pull the plug and watch the water drain out of the bath".
The next full moon is January 17th so clear your diary and schedule in some tub time.
Mindful movement for getting fit, slowly
Image: Instagram @hayoufit
Since the start of the pandemic, 26 per cent of people report exercising more but the way we move is slowing down. Low impact exercise will replace HIIT classes, predicts Pinterest. The site has seen searches of ‘lazy workout in bed’ rise by 135 per cent and hits on 'daily stretching routine' grow by 80 per cent.
Last year Hayo’u Fit launched calming qigong flows, making the ancient art of mindful movement accessible to the masses. In 2022, the slow sequence to practice is tai chi. Launching 13 January, i-qi-coaching offers an eight-week week courses combining tai chi, breathing, meditation and qigong as techniques to manage stress and anxiety.
From getting outside for a leisurely stroll, attending a stretching class at dedicated studios such as Stretch Lab in central London, be sure to move, but make it mellow.
Infusion therapy for bouncing back from viruses
Getting your daily dose of vitamins via a medical drip into your veins sounds very Gwyneth but the pandemic has increased our awareness of keeping our immune systems in check. At-home beauty service Ruuby has seen bookings of their vitamin IV drips increase by 300 per cent compared with pre-Covid levels.
The increase in demand for intravenous nutrient therapy or IV drips is spearheaded by a desire to sidestep colds, help with hangovers and generally lift mood and support wellbeing. The cocktail of nutrients can now be administered from the comfort of your own home or in-clinic if you prefer.
We recommend booking in for your vitamin fix with a doctor or a certified specialist such as the 111 Harley St consultants. For post-Covid recovery, which frankly we could all do with, health and medical facility Lanserhof at The Arts Club creates bespoke packages which include cryotherapy and infusion therapy to help you bounce back. Sign us up!
Therapy apps to look after your mental health on the go
According to the Office for National Statistics, one in six adults experienced some form of depression in summer 2021, compared with one in ten before the pandemic. Although the UK offers access to free mental health care, the wait times are often so long (nine months) that patients are forced to seek emergency services.
As usual, the tech world is a step ahead. Enter the apps normalising making looking after our mental health as easy as working out. “You should invest in your mental health in the same way that you would pay for a gym membership,” says Kit Norman, founder of mental health platform Augmentive, which matches users to a therapist that best suits their needs via personal consultation with an expert mental health concierge.
Mindler is a mental health app that allows you to book in for a video consultation with a psychologist there and then, while Self Space is an instant therapy service offering fully flexible booking, no waitlists and at a time that suits you and your schedule.
Paradym is a mental health app offering guided programmes intended to create a lifetime of support, while NHS-approved mental health app Mypossibleself created in collaboration with The Priory Group, has just added yoga flows to its cognitive behavioural therapy platform.
And, launching in January is the world’s first live mental health platform, Mindlabs , which will offer live video classes with qualified therapists designed to help combat anxiety and loneliness.
MORE GLOSS: How to find the right therapist for you online
Breath tech to ease anxiety
Here’s a spoiler for you, our stress levels are high. Almost 50 per cent of people in the UK have reported high anxiety since the start of the pandemic. What's more, pandemic plus Christmas does not make for a relaxed huma. High street shopping can raise your heart rate by up to 33 per cent, so it's no wonder that we’re all in a frenzy right now.
So, in 2022 the experts are recommending that we focus on breathing. “When we tune in and connect with our breath it can have transformative effects on our mood and sense of wellbeing” notes Vivien Leung, founder of bathtime relaxation brand Verdant Alchemy.
The 4-7-8 breath method is a great place to start. Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of seven and breathe out for a count of eight. Easy. “It’s scientifically proven to alter your emotional state,” says Leung.
Or, you could try the sonic power Sensate 2 £199 , a pebble-shaped device that works in tandem with your smartphone. You lie down with the calming tool on your breastbone, where it sends deep sonic pulses to your vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the gut and slows down the breath and heart rate to send the body into a more chilled out state.
Another pebble-shaped breath controller is the Beurer Stress Releazer £99.99 which encourages you to control your breathing by aligning each of your breaths with the slow pulses the pebble makes. And...breathe.
MORE GLOSS: 8 breathing techniques to calm anxiety
Mind-sharpening supplements to think more clearly
As we emerge into 2022 and try and find a clearing in the haze of the last two years, not to mention breaking through actual brain fog caused by Covid, we’ll see an increased demand for mind sharpening supplements, known as nootropics. Indi’s Mind powder, £45 , does just that while The Nue Co’s Nootro-focus, £65 , uses natural ingredients known to improve memory such as ginkgo biloba and lion’s mane extract.
Newcomer supplement brand Karmacist works with Harvard Medical School's Dr Uram Naidoo, a nutritional psychiatrist to create mood and energy blends from £22.50 , while Cymbiotika’s Golden Mind Advanced Brain Nutrients, £49 , are fortified with the adaptogenic herb rhodiola rosea which is thought to help you deal with stress.
Mindful menstruation for a calmer cycle
Period education is getting an upgrade. We're no longer satisfied with biology lesson diagrams and instead are getting into the nitty-gritty of our cycles. Pinterest saw searches for 'follicular phase' and 'menstrual cycle chart' boom as people want to know how they are going to feel on each day of their cycle and what they can do to lean into each phase.
Apps such Flo enable and Clue users to track their mood, symptoms and cycle and give advice on maximising each stage. The next evolution of the period tracker though is the at-home fertility tester. Female health tech company Hertility Health offers at-home blood tests to check your hormone status (fertility, PCOS and coming in 2022 a menopause hormone test) accompanied by a lifestyle questionnaire and follow-ups with doctors and other specialist health practitioners.
Meanwhile, Jessica-Ennis Hill fitness platform Jennis has pivoted to prioritise working out around your cycle – something that the Olympic heptathlete herself did while competing. We’re taking control. Period.
In the stones and the stars: crystal yoga mats, spiritual skincare and energy readings
Images: higherdose.com & inlightbeauty.co.uk
Interest in astrology has been booming for a while but the pandemic has seen 10.2 million Brits become more likely to use astrology for direction.
Beauty and wellness routines are being influenced by star signs, birth charts and lunar cycles.
Each product from Cornish brand Inlight Beauty is bathed beneath the moon for a full lunar cycle and nurtured with music and mindful affirmations. Try the Face Serum Treatment, £350 , which is designed to see your skin through each weekly cycle of the moon.
With tarot having had a resurgence in 2021, in 2022 we'll be using 'medicine cards' and having 'energy readings.' Renowned acupuncturists and fertility expert Emma Cannon , loved by the likes of Jasmine Hemsley, is your woman to book in with as her Medicine Cards launch in January.
Her cards, based on the five elements of earth, wood, fire, water and metal, unlike tarot, are not divination cards, she stresses. "I don't predict the future, but I help the person (or they help themselves) understand some of the issues that might be playing out in their life. It's accessing your inner medicine." Rather than the cups, swords and coins, you'll find in tarot, with an energy reading, you'll be inspired to reflect for example on a 'courage' or 'adaptability' card. Emma has been using the cards on her Medicine Woman mentorship programme this past year and is launching them in mid-January by popular demand, price £30. Follow Emma @you_are_the_medicine for news and readings.
Crytsals aren't going anywhere either. In fact they are becomung mire high tech. Higherdose Infrared Mat, £890, is a bed of rose quartz and tourmaline which heats up as you lie on it. The combination of crystals and infrared supposedly grounds you, whether you believe that or not, the heat sends you into a sedative state which is utterly addictive. Perfect for gentler styles of yoga such as yin - or even simply skipping to savasana.
Nutrition mentors - take yourself to the food gym
Images: artah.co & createacademy.com
The recipe box delivery service is very 2021. The new way to look after your mind and body is to invest in a total well-being package. Launching in January is nutrition platform Artah's membership scheme created by Psycle's former CEO Rhian Stephenson. The £12 per month package is dlike a gym memership for your diet. It offers weekly meal plans, regular check-ins with nutritionists and coaches, advice on supplements you need plus the option of retreats.
Similarly, at Create Academy they've taken the cook book to the next levels with in-depth online video courses doable at your own pace with stars of the culinary world. Last year we signed up for with superstar nutritional therapist Amelia Freer's The Joy of Healthy Eating. Now Thomasina Miers OBE, has just joined the platform with her first online course in eight video episodes plus downloadable kitchen equipment guides and workbooks showing you basic meal building plans, easy hacks for seasonal eating and becoming more sustainable.
Silver pillowcases and towels - your nighttime routine is getting cleaner
The pandemic has driven us to wash our hands more regularly, keep away from germs and take measures to support our immunity but what’s the point of taking all those measures if the materials you use to keep clean (towels, bedding and the like) are covered in bacteria?
Seventy-eight per cent of us dry our faces on a bacteria-riddled bath or hand towel. Yuck! Luxury bedding company Mela recently launched a range of 'clean' bedding and towels. The range uses clean silver technology (silver being antibacterial) and works by keeping bacteria away from your skin. Clean silver pillow case £80 and Clean Silver Face Towel, £20, Smart. And clean!
MORE GLOSS: Keep healthy this winter with these supplements