Millenials are all too aware of the relationship between our inner reality and our outward appearance. For those in their 20’s and 30’s, looking good is synonymous with feeling good. It’s an expression of their emotional and physical self.
It’s a huge departure from the cosmetic perfection that’s been prevalent in the last few decades. Now, the focus is very much set on identifying the root causes and fixing them. Instagram is full of images of green juices, workouts and motivational statements and those you don’t see talking about their latest health craze are probably on a digital detox.
Much has been taken from the LA lifestyle that we are so keen to emulate and the quest for beauty from cleanses and detoxes to yoga and fit bits are as important to millenials as a tube of moisturiser. Never before has the idea of suffering for one’s beauty been so true.
“Millenials are very conscious of how their parents have handled their health and how they’re ageing” says Sue Harmsworth, an outspoken advocate of holistic living, in Raconteur recently.
With this in mind, the very act of beautifying has become a lifestyle choice rather than something that is done from time to time like a facial or a diet. Retailers have notice and now offer options such as Face Workout (cardio sculpting workout for your face) and marine collagen drinks such as those offered by Elle McPherson.
The Stateside phrase ‘wellness’ is now becoming commonplace in the UK also, an amalgamation of fitness and wellbeing that implies health is ultimately about balancing all aspects of ourselves. The term is open to misinterpretation however, perhaps a little like the word ‘eco’. People and particularly companies, use it with little understanding of the true, authentic meaning. So offering a healthy option on the menu may be offered under ‘Wellness’ but that isn’t what it’s about. Broadly speaking it encompasses fitness, nutrition, mind and body to create a very ‘mindful’ and holistic way of living. The Global Wellness Summit values the wellness market at $3.4 trillion, 3.4 times larger than the pharmaceutical industry. Of that, $1.025 trillion is spent on beauty and anti-aging, fitness, mind and body is $446.4 billion and healthy eating, $574.2 billion. The spa industry which is generally thought of as being at the centre of the wellness movement accounts for $94 trillion.
The desire to detoxify is, in part, in response to the technological process of the past 2 decades. Computers means we’re consuming far more information then we can mentally process which has a huge impact on many areas of our lives, including how long and well we sleep. Long working hours on top of that means that fatigue, illness, low-level pain and depression are almost at epidemic levels.
Of course, much of the kale eating (and drinking) and hot yoga does seem to be the playground of the middle-classes, but there is no denying that we’ve never been so exposed to as much psychological stress as we face today. The realisation that we may crack or burnout is very much a driver for wellness as much as it is for the desire to look beautiful.
Destination spas are cited as being the epitome of the wellness movement; they can be life-changing places, yet there are only a handful of them in the world. Mayr in Austria for example and Chiva-Som in Thailand are two of the most famous, with their preventative approach a far cry from a visit to the GP (but a whole lot more expensive). With dated music and a pounding massage a thing of the past, these places are pioneering with a strong sense of medical and spiritual outlooks. Most offer results-driving programmes devised by resident nutritionists, naturopaths, personal trainers, meditation teachers and a variety of effective complementary therapists. Most visitors arrive with a very clear goal in mind (to sleep better, overcome depression, lose weight, detox etc).
Of course, these objectives cannot be hit overnight and expecting a miracle in 7 days is just not going to happen. Living in a 24/7 fast-paced, connected world, means it’s extremely difficult to take 2 or perhaps 3 weeks to really get the results you need. So the idea is to use places like this, to really kick-start consistent life-changing practices. That, along with acquiring education and knowledge which will help us take better care of ourselves. After all, prevention is what it’s all about – all too often people leave things far too late.