The Wellness Trends Set To Take Over 2023

Ready for that "new year, new you" energy? Whether you're determined to get fit or double down on self-care, you're in good company. Almost 39% of American adults set New Year's resolutions each year, and the majority of these are tied to health and wellness (per Insideout Mastery). However, most people also give up on these resolutions pretty quickly — sometimes, within the first week.

"I think most people want a second chance to improve the quality of their lives," psychologist and leadership coach Dennis Buttimer tells Piedmont Healthcare. "The New Year offers a blank slate — an opportunity to get things right. When we set New Year's resolutions, we are utilizing a very important concept called self-efficacy, which means that by virtue of aspiring to a goal and following through on it, I have a sense of control over what's happening in my life." However, he adds, "If you don't have a structure in place to keep you motivated, the behavior you are engaging in will tend to trail off."

To keep going strong, it's important to choose goals that will be both meaningful and rewarding. Of course, you may be wondering how to get started. With each new year, we see different wellness fads hit the scene, from holistic therapies like sound baths to the use of IV fluid for hangovers. So if you're trying to build healthier habits this year, where should you begin? Look no further, because we're rounding up the exciting wellness trends set to dominate 2023.

Exercising anywhere, anytime

When the pandemic was at its height, in-person gyms took a serious hit. But social distancing restrictions also opened up new avenues and standards for what it means to work out, and we can anticipate this open approach to continue through 2023. For one thing, many people are getting reacquainted with nature by taking their exercise regimen outside. In a special report on the pandemic, The Trust for Public Land states that many parks saw record-breaking attendance in 2020 as the public turned to nature for recreation.

Virtual fitness classes also became the norm, making various types of exercise more accessible than ever before. From dance and aerobics to powerlifting, professional courses became available to all interested participants, no matter where they were located. And as NPR points out, virtual classes also provide a fitness solution for people who feel too insecure or unmotivated to work out in public.

But getting more exercise doesn't always have to mean long, dedicated workout sessions. As people adopt more flexible work schedules, they're also able to take advantage of bite-sized moments of exercise known as movement snacks. As fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur Aly Giampolo explains the idea to Forbes, "More and more studies are finding that breaking up your exercise regimen into smaller movement snacks throughout the day is not only perfectly healthy, but it can also be more beneficial than forcing yourself to do one longer workout session. I believe that movement snacks are the key to shifting our general mindset around fitness, letting us find enjoyment and strength without the pressure of carving out a large amount of time. It also lets you take advantage of the endorphin rush—that movement gives you—multiple times a day."

A focus on healthy work-life balance

When you think of wellness, chances are good that you don't envision yourself at work. More often than not, our jobs are a source of anxiety, rather than a break from it. This has led to a growing conversation around the importance of work-life balance — or, in other words, the ability to equally prioritize the needs of both your job and your personal life (via Business News Daily).

Work-life balance came to the fore during COVID-19, especially as many companies moved to remote or hybrid work models. According to McKinsey, 58% of Americans are able to work from home at least one day per week. And as remote work has become more normalized, it has shown signs of presenting better balance, improved mental health, and an overall shift away from the mindset of the corporate grind. In fact, a survey from Cisco reveals that nearly 79% of respondents feel that working remotely has improved their work-life balance.

Through 2023, we can anticipate this wellness trend to continue. As LinkedIn points out, more than 97% of remote employees indicate that they want to continue working remotely for the rest of their careers. The implication is clear: Workers want work-life balance, and they want it for good.

An emphasis on natural beauty and skincare over makeup

We all love a good smoky eye or pouty lip, but trends suggest that our interest as a society is moving away from endless makeup products and more toward natural beauty — namely, with emphasis on high-quality skincare. Data from Statista reveals that makeup sales dropped by 19% between 2019 and 2020. Skincare sales, on the other hand, remained dominant, representing a full 42% of the global cosmetics market — versus makeup's mere 16%.

In their 2023 beauty forecast, Trendalytics identifies this shifting mindset as "New Natural," a trend that values a clean, fresh aesthetic. As they put it, New Natural is all about hydrated skin and minimal cosmetics. And already, we can see these predictions reflected in an overall shift in our favorite makeup looks. In many circles, heavy contouring is out in favor of subtler techniques, such as soft sculpting and transparent eyeliner. The idea is to use makeup minimally to enhance your natural beauty, with more importance placed on the quality and health of your skin itself. And this shift is gaining ground — already, the hashtag #cleanlook has over 250 million views on TikTok.

Of course, there will still be a time and place for bold, extra makeup looks in 2023. But even for makeup lovers who hate to leave the house without a full face, it stands to reason that skincare would become a crucial part of any daily regimen. After all, quality skincare can help prep your face to serve as the perfect canvas for your desired cosmetics. So expect to embrace skincare as your beauty go-to this year.

Less stigma around mental health

The past few years have been particularly challenging and stressful for many of us. So it tracks that a study published in the journal Psychiatry Research found that in 2020, 45% of respondents were experiencing high anxiety, and 43% were struggling with depression. But we've also seen some positive progress as the stigma around mental health issues begins to wane. People are becoming more open about seeking help and having discussions around their mental and emotional well-being.

As psychology professor Kevin Antshel says in conversation with Syracuse University News, "While still present, mental health stigma — stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination towards those with mental health conditions — has been weakened. This is likely due to at least two factors. First, COVID-19 has increased our contact with people with mental health conditions. ... Second, COVID-19 has also increased our own personal experiences with mental health symptoms and conditions. Thus, many of us now have improved knowledge of mental health and know more about the impact of mental health."

Plus, social distancing measures during the pandemic spurred the development of many telehealth therapy and counseling options. As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) observes, telehealth appointments addressing mental health concerns increased by 556% in a single month between March 11 and April 22, 2020. Normalization of these counseling resources means that mental health support has now become more accessible than ever before. So if you want to take better care of your mental health in 2023, plenty of options are waiting for you.

Digital detoxes

It probably won't surprise anyone to hear that our society is a bit addicted to our devices. According to Exploding Topics, the global average for screen time has reached nearly seven hours per day. But there is such a thing as too much technology, and it's important that you don't ignore the signs that you're getting too much screen time. Excess screen time can impact everything from your eyesight to your sleep habits — which may be why digital detoxes are growing in popularity, and are set to be a major wellness trend in 2023.

As WebMD explains, a digital detox is a period of time when you choose to limit or completely eliminate your use of digital devices. A digital detox can take many different forms, based on where you're battling stress points and how strict you want to get. Your priority may be a social media detox to ease stress or setting a firm no-screens rule before bed to capture better sleep. Of course, depending on your job, a total break from screens may not be in the cards. But limiting device use in your leisure time may still help you feel more centered and rested as you pursue wellness this year.

Eating earlier

Nutrition and weight loss goals are among the most popular New Year's Resolutions every year. And in 2023, we can anticipate more of the same. But this year, there may be a new strategy for those seeking a more balanced diet: eating earlier.

Recent research suggests that eating meals earlier in the day and keeping them all within a 10-hour window could help people manage hunger pangs and burn calories faster (via Medical Xpress). As Nina Vujovic, one of the study's authors, reports, "We found that eating four hours later makes a significant difference for our hunger levels, the way we burn calories after we eat, and the way we store fat."

And it seems the public is taking notice. "We're already seeing a shift to earlier dinner reservations across the hospitality industry and with the additional information people can get from wearables, people are more informed of the effects a late dinner has on their sleep, readiness, and recovery. So expect to see a lot of wellness gurus eating early with plenty of time to digest and set themselves up for a successful sleep routine," wellness entrepreneur Colette Dong tells PureWow. She refers to this meal schedule as "The AARP Special," a tongue-in-cheek nod to the stereotype that older generations prefer to eat dinner early. But in 2023, people in all age groups can get in on this trend as an easy way to support healthier eating habits.

Wellness traveling

After a few years with the limited ability to travel, it's no surprise that people are interested in getting out to see the world. But with both our physical and mental health now top of mind, 2023 is poised to see more of a very specific type of trip planning: wellness travel. As the Global Wellness Institute explains, this kind of travel — also called wellness tourism — is centered around experiences that promote the enhancement of your overall well-being. This could include anything from yoga retreats and hiking vacations to wellness cruises or thermal water parks.

Travel consultant Tanyka Renee tells Elle, "Some destinations my clients have opted for recently are off-the-beaten-path: Mexico for traditional Mayan ceremonies, Peru to visit Shamans and for solo travelers, Bali and Costa Rica to partake in meditation or spiritual life practices like yoga."

But even if international jet setting isn't within your reach for 2023, Renee adds that there are also plenty of ideal domestic U.S. destinations, with her clients "opting for road-trip nature itineraries to Arizona, Utah, and Nevada." The American Southwest is known as a hub for holistic wellness and the arts, so why not explore some of its coveted retreats? Even Forbes acknowledges the timeless allure of the desert, touting its quiet, expansive landscape and the selection of local spas, resorts, and ranches as perfect reasons to make this area your wellness destination in 2023.