Wellness seems to be the "it" buzzword of the day, but it's not something to take lightly. As Black women, it's important to be able to tap into what keeps us happy, mentally balanced, and all-around good. And while beauty and fashion are important aspects of life, there are a few trends we all should at least consider in order to not only stay on top of what keeps us ticking, but also upgrade out of the obligatory coach seat of that wellness journey.
Here are four trends that might be your perfect intro to a new way to approach wellness and meet the needs of that glow up you've been experiencing (or are set to achieve) this year:
Holistic Fitness & Wellness That's Personalized
When many of us hear the word "fitness" or "wellness," we often think of going to the gym, getting our usual physicals or pap smears, and making an appointment with a therapist. Today's trends take things a bit further, incorporating activities and methods that get beyond the usual preventative care and get more customized and personal, with vaginal and sexual wellness being a huge part of it. It's all about customized nutrition plans and workouts via apps like PlateJoy or Yummly or workouts tailored to your personal goals, unique interests, and a focus on self-love and care.
Hotels are also investing in offering sexual wellness retreats and spas that focus on issues like tapping into intimacy, utilizing fitness activities to combat postpartum challenges, and increasing arousal, a healthy part of both partnered and solo sex as well as relationships.
Suppositories and probiotic pills are nothing new, but Black- and women-owned companies are offering other innovations in products that enhance both inside and out, including The Honey Pot's Boric Acid And Herbs Suppositories used for balancing vaginal PH, Love Wellness's Probiotics Kits for intimate and gut health, or Kushae's Feminine Skin Balm made just for the skin in your nether regions).
Animal Support For Mental Wellness
More than 25 million households added a new pet to their families during the pandemic according to a recent study, and many saw the emotional and mental benefits of having them. You might have heard of emotional support animals and raised an eyebrow in disbelief, but research has shown that animals positively affect your mood, balance, happiness, and empathy functions, especially for many still dealing with stress and anxiety related to the pandemic. (And in most cases, emotional support animals are part of a therapy plan spearheaded and monitored by a mental health professional.)
For dog-lovers, walking, running, swimming, and even doing yoga with their pets, for example, have been popular fitness activities that provide a fun way to not only stay active but ensure your pet is healthy, too. Playing games as well as utilizing pet-friendly fitness equipment are also other trends that add animals to your routine. And if a dog or cat is not an option for you, there are several other options that might be more feasible, affordable, and manageable based on your lifestyle. Caring for them can be a great way to ease your mind, add a calming routine to your day, and incorporate practices that contribute to your overall well-being.
Innovations In Menstruation
Cycle tracking and syncing have been found, in some cases, to have major wellness benefits and it's a trend that's gaining traction. It involves getting in tune with your body, finding out the best nutrition options for you, and keeping track of your menstrual ebbs and flows (literally) so that you can be better able (along with the help of a medical professional of your choice) to figure out any issues that might arise related to your period and reproductive health. This is well beyond just logging your cycles and tolerating them. Trends point further into empowering yourself, being more strategic, and figuring out the best plan of action to be your best self during your period.
Apps like Aavia (launched by a company that offers a Smart Pill Case, a smart device that helps you keep track of your birth control routine) have options for hormonal health solutions supported by femtech developments, and platforms like Hued provide a seamless and easy way to find Black and "culturally competent" specialists and doctors via a directory.
Maternity Tribes, Plant-Based Remedies & Connections
From communities of Black doulas and maternity consultants to virtual and in-person mommy retreats and mommy spas, more and more spaces are thriving and expanding to give Black mothers and mothers-to-be the space to use their voice and advocate for one another and share healthcare and wellness resources. Apps like Meet Akina also provide connection and networking opportunities for moms. While there's still more work to be done to address maternal health and the disparities Black women face in the areas of premature births, stillbirths, and horrific hospital experiences, this is one trend that's growing more.
Vaginal personal care products like Ebi's plant-based oils and herbal bath mixes are being touted as great additions to one's day, weekend, or nighttime bathing routines especially those related to postpartum wellness, and vulva care is also on the agenda, with companies like Private Packs offering discreet hot and cold remedy methods for relaxation, pain or inflammation.
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