Eight Self-Care Hot Tips from our "Anti-Wellness" Wellness Panel
What does it really take to feel healthy in our era of “self-care” overload? To celebrate the launch of Volume 30: The Health Issue, we invited readers and wellness insiders to join us at Bamford Wellness Spa in order to answer this very question.
28 February, 2020
Olivia Squire, our Print Editor-in-Chief, enlisted the help of wellness insiders Melissa Hemsley and Rachael McKeon, Travel Editor at goop, to help navigate the nebulous world of 21st-century wellness - one in which vagina candles occupy the same spiritual milieu as sacred Native American incense and a one-way flight to India costs the same as a pair of premium yoga leggings.
From the reclamation of cringeworthy wellness jargon to the complex, unseen mental-health problems triggered by so-called "wellbeing" influencers, the probing discussion was like a deep-tissue massage: sharp and relentless but mightily soothing. Couldn't make it? Fret not. We've picked out the evening's juiciest bits and broken them down into eight easily digestible hot takes.
How to feel well (minus the wellness jargon) in eight simple steps
1. Invest in yourself
The health and wellness industry is estimated to be worth $4.2 trillion worldwide - something to bear in mind when you're totting up your next purchase. Assess your own personal focus areas and ask whether this triple-figure gym class, dangerously acidic face mask or sound-healing marathon will really enact the changes for which you're looking. Be strong enough to say no; you don't have to try it all.
2. Ignore the industry when it suits you
Don't let others make you feel like you're not doing enough. The wellness industry itself is often the worst culprit here. In its bid to make you buy more - that rose quartz face roller, a new CBD capsule - it often leads to feelings of inferiority. The conclusion? Simply ignore the industry if it's making you feel "less than" and march to the beat of your own drum (or gong, whichever you prefer).
3. Follow influencers (or don't, actually)
While some draw energy from watching seemingly perfect avatars live out their best lives on the 'gram (and pocket a wad of cash in the process), for some it's understandably a source of negative energy. Do a sage cleanse of your Instagram feed and relegate those posturing types to the cold, barren realm of the unfollowed. You'll immediately feel a wave of relief.
4. Rifle through your old stuff
We know. We're as susceptible to the crinkly allure of an unboxing as the next person, but put down that sparkly new MALIN+GOETZ candle and reach for the slightly dusty Byredo number on your mantelpiece. Work through the products you already have in stock before seeking your next wellness fix. Less is more.
5. Reclaim wellness spiel
Everyone's become a little sniffy about wellness terms recently and we don't like it one bit. "Follow your bliss" is no longer cool and "YOLO" even in typed form sends some into spasmodic full-body cringes, but it's time we reclaimed wellbeing spiel. After all, judging others for such trivial matters isn't very Zen. Follow your bliss - and if anyone tells you otherwise, tell them to bliss off.
6. Every tiny gesture helps
Wherever you're going, ask yourself what positive impact you can make while you're there. You don't have to prostrate yourself to an elephant charity in Thailand for four months to "do your bit" as a traveller. It can be as simple as boycotting those mini hotel toiletries in favour of your own plastic-free travel soap or shunning suspiciously exotic-sounding restaurants and dining at farm-to-table joints instead.
7. Ditch the holiday shopping
A new trip doesn't have to mean a new wardrobe; the novelty of new stuff fades fast. Drop a call out to the most discerning contacts in your phonebook and arrange clothes swaps instead. Your travelling companions will be dazzled by your apparently limitless wardrobe, and that stylish friend will be quietly delighted by your validation.
8. Just walk out
Not working for you? Don't force yourself to sit through a session that's agonisingly dull. Time is precious. Throw in the (sweat) towel every now and again; it doesn't make you a loser.