5 wellness trends that actually work
Navigating wellness trends can be challenging. For Inform, Zoe Simmons takes a look at what has worked for her.
Like many people living with a disability or chronic illness, I have a love-hate relationship with wellness trends.
There are so many of them—and often, they don’t work. With product after product vying for our hard-earned cash, it can be hard to know what works. And it can be so stressful and overwhelming sifting trash from treasure.
I live with endometriosis and a complex mental illness, and most of the time, I’m in severe pain. I’m willing to give just about anything a go on the off chance it might help—but it takes a lot of spoons to keep trying new things. So, to make things easier, I’ve done the investigative work for you to test which wellness trends actually work.
Everybody is different, so I can’t promise what works for me will work for you. But it’s worth a shot, right?
I’ve always had trouble sleeping, which is why I love my weighted blanket so much. It feels like a giant hug, all around my body. A gentle pressure that makes me feel calm. Safe.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people who use weighted blankets—for sleep, for sensory soothing, and to curb anxiety. I use mine almost every day, and it’s great for when I’m trying to nap, when I’m relaxing, or even when the world just feels like a little too much. Taking even a few minutes to close my eyes, breathe and relax under the comforting weight has done wonders for my wellbeing and anxiety.
You can get blankets with different weights, as well as ones that heat and cool—so it pays to do research to figure out which one will work best for you. My only regret is that I didn’t try this sooner!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a shakti mat. It’s literally a sharp, spikey mat you lay on. But after one helped a pal with her sciatica, I knew I had to give it a try.
And boy, was I impressed. Living with chronic pain, my muscles are often very tense and very tight. For a milder use of the mat, I put a light sarong across the spikes—which I’d highly recommend if it’s your first time. At first, it felt quite sharp but after a few minutes, I began to feel a delightfully warming, almost tingling sensation. The spikes encourage blood flow, so it helped my back and shoulders feel a little less tight. After five minutes, I started to feel pretty darn relaxed and I slept great afterwards.
Plus, after laying on the spikes, anything you lay on afterwards will feel like an actual cloud which is a pretty nice feeling!
There are so many teas on the market that make enormous claims about their benefits. I’m a skeptic. But recently, I tried an anti-inflammation tea that genuinely helped.
Roogenics is an all-natural health food company that specialises in traditional uses of Australian native plants. And so far, their adorably dubbed Anti-Inflammatea has worked wonders.
After three days of having 3-4 cups a day, my daily severe endometriosis flares were almost non-existent. I still have pain (because even with tea, I still have endometriosis) but I’ve definitely noticed a difference. Their sleepy tea has also been helping me get a better night’s rest! Plus, it’s just nice to take even a small moment out of your day that’s entirely for you.
When looking for a tea, look out for natural ingredients and research their anti-inflammatory properties. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me!
For the first 25 years of my life, I wondered why on Earth people meditated. I couldn’t fathom how you could just stop thinking. Or why you’d want to spend more time alone with the thoughts inside your mind and how that could possibly help.
But with nothing else to lose, in lockdown, I gave it a go and I’m happy to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Did you know meditation can actually change your brain? It can increase the parts of your brain responsible for learning, memory and emotional regulation, and decrease the parts responsible for fear, anxiety and stress.
Now most nights before bed, I pop on a quick guided meditation. I sometimes do morning ones when I have time. And any time I have a few spare seconds, I focus on breathing deep: in and out. Meditation doesn’t have to be huge. It can be for a few moments and still have awesome impacts.
I feel calmer, and a little more in control. Plus, there’s oodles of free meditations on Spotify and YouTube—as well as a snazzy show by headspace on Netflix called ‘Guide to Meditation’. Give it a try!
Let’s face it: it’s almost Aussie culture to enjoy a beverage or two. But is it good for our health? Well, no.
At the beginning of lockdown last year, I drank heavily. It left me feeling bloated, sad, out of control, and in even more pain and inflammation. So, I stopped. And while it is a little unusual attending social events sober, I feel more in control and my body feels better, too.
Ditching the booze for even a month can help our liver, help lose weight (alcohol is high in calories and often high in sugar), and reduce your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. And, it can save a lot of money.