As we enter finally quarter of 2022, the effects of the pandemic still linger nearly three years later. And for many, COVID-19 drastically changed how we view our wellness regimens, not to mention the collective sense that in times of uncertainty—whether health, career, or home—it’s up to us to take the lead in establishing self-care routines that boost our head-to-toe well-being.
Despite the pandemic affecting every facet of our lives, we think it’s fair to say that people have been looking at wellness with a fresh new lens. According to a 2020 study, 80% of American adults said they intend to pay more attention to incorporating and regularly practicing health rituals after the pandemic. But we have to ask, with the long-term effects of COVID-19 still in the ethos, layered with social injustices, economic hardship and powerful climate events, what does this mean for us”Total” well-being? How have mindsets (and manners) around one’s health changed, and how can we approach it more sustainably?
With the help of five top experts in their fields, from food to fitness, we’ve identified six trends we predict will be at the forefront of wellness in 2023. Keep scrolling to find out which ones will survive the effects of pandemic to redefine the healthcare landscape this year – and decades to come.
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More accessible health pathways
While the pandemic has placed massive burdens on healthcare systems across the globe, it has created a whole new (and effective) way we see our healthcare providers: virtually. The use of video visitation and remote monitoring has been at the center of our providers’ access to treat non-emergency situations, freeing ER rE.R.ms for more life-threatening conditions, which in turn places less strain on our essential staff and first responders.
For perspective, in February 2020, less than 1% of Zocdocs the total bookings were for telehealth and in May 2020 this proportion skyrocketed to around 30-40%. Furthermore, a 2021 study from the American Medical Association showed more than 80% of patients have better access to care since the use of telehealth, while 62% of patients have higher satisfaction since offering telehealth, and three-quarters of Americans said they would like to continue managing their health care virtually.
Renewed focus on upcycling food
A growing number of consumers have adopted a “zero waste” lifestyle, but during the pandemic, food waste remains a major problem. Enter upcycling – which is once again growing in popular stature. “While the concept is not new to chefs, the pandemic has undoubtedly prompted a shift in how I run my business,” explains Chef Boris Ginetrestaurateur and owner of Bib Gourmand-nominated restaurant Risbo. Now he’s focused on creating a “conscious practice I’m passionate about maintaining in my restaurant as much as possible.”
From repurposing rotisserie protein to make a “shepherd’s pie special” to saving the cilantro stalks most would throw away for flavor, to homemade salsa verde sauce and ever-changing daily soups, it’s safe to say, that chef Ginet is heading down the long road. -lasting, sustainable changes. It’s a line of thinking that will cause a significant ripple effect, as it could also be done at home by “reusing the pulp from juice to make vegetable stock or dehydrating the pulp to make veggie burgers,” adds Ginet.
This easy-to-implement practice can help conserve energy, minimize food insecurity and create healthy, sustainable habits. And over time, it will undeniably solve sustainability challenges in society and help save our beloved earth.
Author’s Note: If you would like to upgrade produce/edible ingredients to help feed your community, please consider donating to One Love Community fridgea 501(c)3 non-profit that helps feed the community one refrigerator at a time.
24/7 Fitness everywhere
With the temporary closure of gyms and studios, personal trainers, fitness instructors and owners of physical wellness spaces took a huge hit – and if they could, they had to switch to virtual classes that could recreate the sense of connection many longed to feel. April Silverman, Certified Pilates Instructor and Owner of April Nicole Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, says that “virtual sessions opened up a whole new world of access and convenience” for her business.
The pandemic gave many people a more flexible schedule and more time to focus and prioritize self-care. “The Grind culture quickly shifted toward a more wellness-oriented approach,” adds Silverman. Those who continue to work at their desks from home can use virtual fitness at their discretion, as it allows them access to shorter, faster, private “doses” of movement, if you will. Silverman says, “wellness is not a band-aid, but a necessary way of being that looks different for everyone.” Fitness will no longer be considered a casual activity, but an accepted, necessary norm.
Jyll Hubbard-Salkyoga instructor and owner of Urban Asanasa black-owned, female-led yoga studio in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has expanded its business since the pandemic to provide a holistic space as a way to provide a full spectrum of affordable services to the BIPOC community it resides in. From donation-based yoga to acupuncture and infrared saunas, Jyll says, “my mission is and always will be – to offer the benefits of yoga and holistic care – health, light, spirituality – while preserving the strength and diversity of the community we serve.”
Author’s note: Jyll is currently leading a “Heart Forward” fundraiser to help cope with the strain the pandemic has placed on her business. Please consider donate here to help save a shelter in Brooklyn.
Emphasis on mental well-being
Increased self-care and working from home was the biggest byproduct of the pandemic. But unfortunately, the incidence of depression and anxiety increased significantly, too 43% of people experience more anxiety and 45% more depression. Silver lined? The stigma around seeking help has lessened, and Americans are confidently confronting escalating mental health issues.
“The initiative to incorporate digital support was necessary and teletherapy has given the world more accessibility,” he explains Lia AvellinoLCSW and co-founder of Spoke Circles, an emotional and mental wellness space designed for quality connection. “The idea of getting therapy is much more normalized and the pandemic has made people more open about their struggles,” she adds.
According to the CDCthe percentage of US adults aged 18-44 who had received any form of mental health treatment increased from 18.5% to 23.2% in the last 12 months alone, and while it is unlikely that telemedicine will completely displace personal care, “illustrates and evolves into a balanced hybrid approach to both virtual and in-person care can be extremely beneficial to one’s mental health journey,” says Avellino.
In a May 2022 survey conducted by Zocdoc77% of patient respondents indicated that they plan to use a combination of telehealth and personal care in the future, while 83% of providers said the future of healthcare will include a combination of both telehealth and in-person visits.
Streamlined skincare routines
Simplification will be the name of the game for post-pandemic beauty. Cosmetic products boomed during the first few months of quarantine when we were all at home, spending more time in the mirror and using less or no makeup.
In a study from 2022, compared to 2019, makeup purchases fell by 19% and make up just 16% of the global market, while skin care sales surged – now making up 42% of the global market, expected to generate 177 billion. USD in 2025 in the US alone. Consumers are becoming more and more interested in sustainability, and two big shifts that can be seen across many companies are in refillable beauty packaging and upcycle disposals.
According to the market research company Mintel, the reusable packaging market is for beauty and cosmetic products increased by 65% from June 2020 to May 2021 exclusively in the US – and is expected to increase every year.
Author’s note: Like a beauty expert and esthetician himselfI truly believe that the sustainable less is more approach is here to stay.
Leisure trips for wellness
After hitting pause on travel commitments, many have vowed to embark on wellness-driven expeditions to renew their mental, spiritual and physical well-being moving forward. Not only did the pandemic cause a massive paradigm shift in wellness-based tourism, but people have emerged with a new outlook that’s more focused on *actually* feeling better.
Naturally, there is a new society that doubles down on the old slogan, health is wealth. Tanyka Reneeturned an elite travel entrepreneur travel consultant, has visited 111 countries to date and truly feels that travel as a wellness practice is on the rise and here to stay. Renee shares, “Some destinations my clients have chosen recently are off the beaten path: Mexico for traditional Mayan ceremonies, Peru to visit shamans and for solo travelers, Bali and Costa Rica to engage in meditation or spiritual life practices like yoga. ” And it doesn’t stop at international travel. People are working from the road more often and are taking advantage of their flexible work schedules by “picking road trip nature routes to Arizona, Utah and Nevada,” adds Renee.
A survey from 2021 showed that travel can have a “positive psychological outcome” under devastating circumstances and even sojourn can serve as a means of achieving better well-being. Thus, in the post-pandemic era, the need to enrich one’s physical, spiritual and mental well-being will push people to seek holistic approaches to their health, increasing global wellness tourism demand – one country at a time.