19 wellness trends that will continue into 2022 thanks to COVID-19

22.10.2021

As we enter into the last throes of 2021 and a new year beckons, we still have to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is not only the physical effects of the coronavirus we are dealing with, but its toll on our wellness levels and wellness trends as we head into 2022. 

How has wellness been affected by COVID-19?
The wellness business generates over $4.5 trillion per year with wellness products and services ranging from classes, products, weekends away and home sanctuaries. Most of the interacting wellness sessions were placed on hold during the pandemic as people were locked down and unable to meet face to face.
The remote workforce increased from 20% to 70% overnight, disrupting work, social and sleep patterns. Homes became classrooms, spas, yoga sessions, home offices, cookery venues, and date nights were virtual or on our own sofas.
But the pandemic made us understand what is important to us with all this unlimited time at home. Households searched for new ways to support their physical, mental and spiritual well-being by developing new trends to keep their wellness levels up.
Our 2022 wellness trends are a reflection of this new normal.
Yes, vaccinations are on the rise, but society is understandably apprehensive about gathering en masse just yet.

What is wellness, and what does it mean?
Wellness is different things to different people. It can be occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional. Furthermore, people do not have to practice healthy habits in all these areas. Some are more important than others.
After all, we all practice healthy habits daily – from eating well, or seeking spiritual solace, to financial security. What has become more apparent during the post-COVID world is several trends that have become more important this year and next.
We’ve listed 19 wellness trends related to the above six areas that you can consider doing for 2022. You do not have to do them all. Some are more relevant and affordable than others.

The 19 wellness trends that will continue into 2022
1. Touchless spas 
Spa retreats have been a popular way to improve wellness levels. Still, with being close to people, they have had to close. The answer has seen the rise in touchless spas provide services including: 
– No-touch facials
– Dry hydrotherapy massages
– Relaxation pods 

2. Home sanctuary and sauna
Maybe you do not wish to visit a touchless spa but build your own little home sanctuary? Building your own sauna has proven to have many health benefits for your physical and mental well-being. These include physical attributes like boosting blood circulation, easing joint and muscle pain, clearer skin and detoxification.
Building your own home sauna has never been easier to invest in your long-term wellness with faster delivery times and style to match all household tastes and budgets. In fact, many consider a sauna as one way to better spiritual rebirth.

3. Virtual and online fitness
Virtual and online fitness classes were already increasing in popularity before the COVID pandemic. When the coronavirus broke out, those online fitness classes were in a prime position to take advantage of virtual fitness at home. Classes included:
– Spin classes
– Yoga sessions
– Pilates
– Workouts with weights
– Even virtual marathons! 
With any of these classes taking place online, class attendees could also make new online friends with others worldwide and their desired interests.

4. Immune health
Unsurprisingly, many of us living through a global health crisis has made us more aware of how to boost our immune system. The idea is that the immune system can be boosted to fight viruses and colds and ensure that our bodies’ mental health is in good shape, whether eating so-called superfoods or taking vitamin supplements.

5. Eating better
Being at home has led us to boredom eat – snacking out of the fridge and not eating food that we need to ensure a healthy weight but foods that can help us focus better. Another trend that has caught on is home deliveries from local restaurants to support local businesses suffering from the closure of business. 

6. Cooking
Even those who have shown little enthusiasm or knowledge for home cooking in our kitchen are cooking more. Because of being confined to home, households have more time to cook healthier and tastier meals rather than getting deliveries or buying ready-made food from supermarkets.  What began as a reaction to scarcity on supermarket shelves has turned into a nutrition-filled hobby.

7. Upcycling food
During the pandemic, panic about food insecurity and those losing jobs or furloughed saw people willing to buy cheaper food – namely those that were misshapen or usually considered grocery scraps like jellied meat or overripe fruit. Rather than throw this away, it was purchased by the public as it was cheaper and was better for the environment. 

8. Take a deep breath
Deep breathing is simple, accessible, and easy to do anywhere. Whilst this may sound a cliche, with so many Zoom meetings and homeschooling to do, taking some time to stop and breathe is actually quite effective in battling anxiety and setting yourself up to face the challenges of further pandemic restrictions. 

9. Better sleep
Society thrives on routine, and not having to take kids to school or avoid rush hour madness impacted our sleep patterns. Even if oversleeping for work was not so important, our sleep health is essential. Many took advantage of this ability to sleep in to cancel out our sleep deficiency, our sleep debt, and thus better sleep quality. 

10. Meditation apps
Anyone with a smartphone can download a meditation app. Most have excellent features and options for every budget, making mediation apps accessible to ensure mental and emotional mindfulness. 

11. Mental fitness
One positive about the COVID-19 pandemic (if you can find anything positive about it) is that it took more stigma off discussing mental health.  
It’s now more acceptable to reach out for mental health support, whether amongst your family and friends or even professionals, including coaches, therapists, or taking a mental health day off work to recover from burnout, anxiety, depression or stress.

12. Virtual hangouts
All-day MS teams, Google Meets, and Zoom meetings get very tiring. However, the rise in virtual meetings is likely to remain as people and businesses realise how much time they saved from meeting face to face. 
Even as a more vaccinated workforce returns to the office, virtual hangouts will continue if snap lockdown and more significant events are being moved online as a precautions. This allows those who cannot travel or who don’t yet feel comfortable, to still participate.

13. Physical distancing (not social distancing)
While group hugs are definitely OUT and the elbow way of greeting is IN, there are still so many ways to create magical settings for gatherings. Most can still gather alfresco style if the weather permits it:
– Dining under the stars 
– Tea ceremonies 
– Forest walks
– Outdoor cinemas
– Bike rides 
– Group hikes

14. Outdoor activities
An (evidence-based) lower rate of transmission outdoors has encouraged us to spend more time in the fresh air. When temperatures rise in spring, outdoor hobbies like gardening, sailing, team sports, and running have grown – boosting our physical and emotional wellness as we spend more time outdoors and not on our phone screens. 

15. Wear what you want
No longer do we have to concern ourselves with buying business attire when working so much at home. Yes, during virtual meetings, we may have business apparel on top, but likely shorts and jeans at the bottom as they have hidden offscreen. 
This change in work attire has made us less concerned and anxious about what to wear, saving our budgets and worrying about getting the right outfit. Being comfortable in your clothes creates self-positivity that really reflects who you are and not who you must dress to be.

16.Tracking stress
Stress is at record highs, with mothers and children most affected by it during the longevity of the lockdowns. People have taken to fitness trackers to monitor how much stress they are receiving and how it impacts their health. Fitness trackers document physiological responses to detect how stressed individuals become, enabling them to change their daily routines.

17. Digital healthcare 
Countries embrace digital healthcare as they can no longer meet patients face to face for fear of spreading the coronavirus. Doctors and healthcare professionals are now offering virtual sessions to prescribe and diagnose patient illnesses. Patients can even book virtual sessions with personal trainers
– Physical therapists
– Spiritual coaches
– Nutritionists
– Mental health professionals
– Nurses
– Sleep specialists

18. Decluttering and decorating
The need to convert homes into multi-functional places has turned into some serious decluttering about what we really need in our homes. Decluttering has always been a popular buzzword when discussing wellness. 
Still, the tiny home movement has helped many households throw out and recycle what they don’t need and make their home more functional and stress-free. As families have become more creative with their space, they have also taken to doing creative DIY projects at home, which creates an enormous sense of fulfilment if they go right.

19. Travel and recuperation
Remote working is freeing employees from living in urban centres near offices and moving out of them as commuting is no longer necessary. For many, this means relocating to more affordable housing with more space.  Vaccinated individuals can travel to most countries quarantine-free and use the time to visit places to get some much-needed change of environment (even working remotely) after being not permitted to travel for such a long time. Others are taking the opportunity to explore their own countries, especially if they can work more remote.

20. Financial security
On both a national and household level, conversations about money and financial security have dominated 2020 and 2021. People struggled with unemployment, being furloughed, uncertainty, and balancing their needs to make money with homeschooling and concerns about their mental health. 
It spurred discussions around individuals caring for themselves, their families, extended families like elderly relatives and ensuring they save some funds for future uncertainty. Having savings or some side income has provided a burden of relief for many who worried if they would be able to pay the bills and feed their families. Having some financial security equates to better mental well-being. It helps reduce the burden of wondering where the next weekly or monthly salary is coming from. 

2022 wellness trends
Although inspired by the pandemic, these health and wellness trends reflect long-term conversations and changes in society. 
When we consider where people spend their money and put their time, we get a good idea of their priorities and personal definition of wellness.
It could be from virtual yoga sessions with others, running outdoors alone, saving for a rainy day, or building your very own wellness sanctuary at home, complete with sauna and relaxation. Whatever 2022 wellness trend suits you, consider how it will make you more resilient to future global crises.