As we head into winter, we could all use a little more wellness in our lives. And while all these feel-good tricks are having a bit of a moment RN, it's not without good reason. Researchers have cold hard proof about the benefits of these wellbeing trends. So if you're feeling burnout, stressed or just blooming exhausted, give one of these a go. Here comes the science bit...
Go off grid(ish)
Your nan's favourite saying "comparison is the thief of joy" is true. Spending all day looking at the edited best bits of people you vaguely remember from school ain't the way to a satisfied soul.
Who: The Happiness Research Institute in Denmark (of course they're Scandinavian)
What: Their study looks at how social media affects the quality of our lives. Participants were split into two groups, one continued with their normal Facebook usage and another that stayed off it for a week. People on Facebook were 55% more likely to feel stressed. The non-FBers' average happiness rating increased and they were also less worried and lonely.
How: You don't have to go and live in the wilderness to enjoy a digital detox. Designate yourself some tech-free time, switch off the push notifications on your phone. Try some tips from this book. And feel better.
It's so easy, you don't usually have to think about it. But are you breathing in a way that can actually improve your wellbeing? Transformational Breath isn't as faddy as it sounds.
Who: Researchers at Beijing's Normal University (yes, that is it's real name)
What: The study showed the potential that diaphragmatic breathing practice has for reducing stress. Shallow, upper chest breathing is the typical stress response, but focusing on your breathing can be a significant act of self-care. Learning certain breathing techniques, such as breath that comes from your diaphragm, not your chest, can help to alleviate stress, as well as help with migraines and tension anxiety.
How: Valerie Jenner is part of Birmingham Breathes and she runs workshops for groups or one-on-one sessions around the city on how to master breathing techniques that can improve your well-being.
If switching off doesn't come easily, flotation therapy might do the trick. Floating (in a specially made pod) is becoming increasingly popular to help relieve chronic pain, stress and anxiety.
Who: Researchers in the US
What: Their study found that a single 60 minute sesh of floating was capable of inducing a strong reduction in anxiety and a substantial improvement in mood for anxious or depressed people. But it doesn’t just help those with anxiety-related issues. It can produce a state of mind akin to deep meditation and complete relaxation. Yum.
How: Head to The Floating Spa in the JQ. Each pod is in a private room. The water is saturated with Epsom salts to give the sensation of weightlessness. Psst! Keep your eyes peeled on voucher sites to get a reduced rate.
Somewhere along the line, drinking has become synonymous with having a good time. Mimosas at brunch! Wine for a boozy lunch! But there's a growing push back. Are you part of the 'sober curious'?
Who: Researchers at the University of Sussex
What: Their study showed that giving up alcohol for just one month has lasting benefits, whether it's Sober October, Dry January or whatever the heck month you want to try it. Research shows less alcohol helps you sleep better, making you more productive during the day. Better hydration means fewer headaches. And it'll also improve your mood (not that your mood needs improving, I think you're perfect).
How: Macmillan Cancer Support is the charidee behind this month's booze-free initiative. But just because you're going alcohol-free doesn't mean you have to miss out on tasty af dranks. Seedlip's recipes will have you feeling like you're still supping on a G&T.