Why trying wellness trends sometimes makes you feel worse

The wellness industry is worth billions in the UK.

That very thing people are promoting for the benefit of your wellbeing and mental health is also a business – it’s important to remember that side of the trend you’re buying into.

This can make it hard to navigate wellness in a way that’s authentic to you, when there are so many trends to try.

In fact, a study by Tui Blue found that 54% of Brits feel worse after trying a wellness trend and more than a third of us feel like failures when it comes to having a wellness routine.

Part of the problem is in the expectation social media sets up, as 32% said social media makes approaching wellness ‘look easy’ – though fancy candles and expensive meals out aren’t accessible to us all nor are they always good for our headspace.

This is where following trends can make us feel worse, as disappointment might be the emotion we’re left with after time, energy and money are put into something that doesn’t actually help.

Therapist Tasha Bailey says: ‘A supportive wellness practice doesn’t need to be regimented, consistent or Instagrammable.

‘What’s important is that a wellness practice works for you. As human beings, our wants and needs change constantly.

‘Although it can be good to be inspired by influencers, don’t feel pressured into doing something because you’ve seen it on your feed.

‘It’s great to try new things, however don’t force yourself into something
that doesn’t fit you personally.’

Ultimately, wellness is about looking after ourselves – therefore it’s deeply personal.

Tasha continues: ‘Trends can offer quick results with no long-term benefits.

‘Depending on the person and the trend, they can be incredibly unhealthy and unfulfilling.

‘The same wellness tools don’t work for everyone or even for one person all of the time.

‘For instance, some people feel energised by exciting or vigorous activity, whereas others will feel refreshed by more restful self-care practices like meditation.’

Where unsuccessful wellness attempts can make us feel worse is when the pursuit leave us ‘tense and stressed’.

‘We can easily move into shame when we haven’t met our own expectations, especially when what we actually need is self-care,’ Tasha adds.

You don’t need to feel shame for trying something new that didn’t work – rather, be openminded about the outcome.

Basic tried and tested wellness techniques

Put the candles and juices down and go back to the basics.

Tasha says: ‘It’s important to create a wellness toolkit. This could be a list of things that you can come to when your wellbeing tank feels low.

‘Ensure that it includes a wide variety of things so there is always something accessible to you.

‘For example, if money is sometimes an issue, include things which are free or low cost – like sitting in the sun.

‘If time is often tight, include things which are bite-size wellness moments, such as doing your skincare routine.

‘As you get more comfortable, build on the menu you’ve created by adding new things slightly out of your comfort zone.’

Aim to:

  • Go for a 15-minute walk in nature
  • Block out one afternoon a week to focus on yourself
  • Regularly take time away from your phone
  • Give time to hobbies unrelated to work – and they don’t have to be ‘wellness’ related, it might be going to a football club for example

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