As the last weeks of summer slow down and so do our lives, I wanted to reflect and have the wellness and self-care conversation. For those who have always been a part of the wellness and healing community, this past year has been an interesting one to watch. While visiting with a number of beauty brands and accomplished artisans, holistic health sanctuaries and spas, the wellness and self-care conversation has always come up. When I am asked to have these conversations, my mind automatically goes back to my childhood and appreciation for all things green, natural and slower paced. Being a lifestyle blogger and beauty editor since 2006 and someone who grew up a part of my childhood in central Europe, living the wellness lifestyle has always been a given for me. Growing up in the mountains, hiking amongst untouched nature, watching my mother make healing salves and my father garden, makes me feel fortunate. It has showed me that wellness and self-care matters. This natural way of living did not need labeling.
So why is this particular year the year of “wellness”? The feeling of wellness in a lot of countries with deeply rooted rituals and spa traditions, such as in central Europe, is one of community. Spa living is easily accessible and appreciated by most, not just the few privileged who can afford it. I remember going to spas with my parents from an early age and being taught that a healthy lifestyle is more important than money. Having this conversations with a number of kindred spirits within the spa and beauty community has made me realize I am not the only one who feels this way. Wellness and self-care has always been a part of their lives as well but it was not always trendy. Just a few years ago the trend was to work, work and work more. To many, taking a time-out is still a luxury. Wellness was the last thing on our minds. If you worked hard and did not take a lunch break, you were a hero. I remember working in the fashion industry after college and there not being room for taking care of yourself. Then something shifted. The pendulum has swung towards people seeking spirituality, holistic health, alternative medicines, chemical-free beauty, enjoyment in experiences and even more importantly, the beauty and wellness industry is thriving. This has allowed for the number of women CEOs to go up. The beauty industry has become a big business and wellness has somehow positioned itself in the front and center of it all. Finally, we are paying attention to what truly matters – our health and living a life with vigor for mending the spirit.
Living a spiritual lifestyle, along with wellness and self-care has indeed become a trend. Don’t get me wrong. I am intensely happy we have taken on the path towards healing ourselves – mind, body and soul. With that said, I do feel that in some cases, these buzzwords are being used to sell products, while brands are not living what they preach. If you are going to use the wellness and self-care philosophy as your mission, I would hope you apply it to your office culture as well. Take care of your people, have empathy and let’s use wellness and advocacy for better health care as tools to elevate others, not just ourselves. When I seek out a beauty product or a place for respite, I look for authenticity.
The world is in need of healing. I hope this time it sticks and continues. This truly is an exciting time for those who have been there since the beginning (my mentors, spa advocates, the healers, the herbalists, the clean beauty innovators and more) yelling from the mountain tops, “Love your planet and yourself.” I have been fortunate to be invited to back to the exclusive iSPA media event this year and interview their President, Lynne McNees. My favorite part of our Q & A was when I asked her what she thought of the wellness movement. Her response –