01 | Self-care
Google “self care”, and out pops about 3,570,000,000 results within 0.54 seconds. As Mayo Clinic Health System notes: “The Covid-19 pandemic can feel overwhelming due to new information, long work hours, and caring for your family and yourself. You could also feel helpless, discouraged and, occasionally, out of control.
Physical responses may include headache, muscle tension, fatigue and sleeplessness”. We can all certainly relate. That’s why the notion of self-care has become all-important — we need to deliberately engage in activities and practices on a regular basis to maintain and enhance our health and well-being.
02 | Teleconsultations
From GP consultations to psychotherapy and even reproductive health issues, Zoom-ing your health professional has become the new normal.
03 | Stress trackers
While fitness-related wearables used to track everything from calories burnt to steps taken and sleep quality, the new crop also keeps tabs on your stress levels through heart-rate data, built-in oximeters to monitor fast and shallow breathing, even electrodermal activity (how well skin conducts electricity). They’ll even give wearers a stress “score” and suggest stress management tips to help you lower that score over time.
04 | Clean beauty
A combination of factors — more WFH, less socialising, worries about our finances and concern for the environment — led us to reconsider our beauty regimens. What a relief it was to ditch that time-sucking 15-step skincare routine! In its place: a pared-down three- to five-step ingredient- or issue-based system. And our skin has never looked better.
05 | Blue light difference
Due to the increased amount of time spent indoors and in front of screens, we were concerned about overexposure to blue light, which could lead to hyperpigmentation, collagen degradation and free radical damage. To the rescue: everything from skincare to sunscreen, special glasses and screen stickers to block the harmful rays.
06 | Sex toys
The Covid pandemic saw a huge rise in the demand for sex toys as couples had a lot more time to stay in and play, while singles were required to refrain from hooking up. Indeed, the sexual wellness industry is estimated to grow 9.8 per cent annually, reaching a valuation of $40.5 billion by 2025. A slew of youthful celeb ambassadors hawking female-centric designs — think singer-songwriter Lily Allen who released a special edition Womanizer vibrator and actress Dakota Johnson’s collab with Maude — has normalised the idea of playing with ourselves.
07 | Omnichannel fitness
Having been faced with Covid-related gym and yoga studio closures and class-size limits, we looked to alternatives such as outdoor sessions, live-streamed online classes, Youtube fitness vids and exercise apps. Of course, IRL sessions are the most fun and engaging. To tackle issues such as distance, timing, cost, fear of germs/crowds while acknowledging the human need for the social aspect of exercise, fitness brands have embraced an “omnichannel” approach that combines IRL sessions, live-streaming classes and on-demand libraries.
08 | Mindful eating/drinking
Many of us binged mindlessly on comfort food and drank ourselves silly during the darkest days of lockdown, but the new normal of living with the endemic has boosted our mood and motivation somewhat. So we’re taking a more mindful approach to eating and drinking. Think plant-based foods, sustainably-sourced ingredients, alcohol-free cocktails, gourmet-level home-cooking, superfood- or probiotic-infused sparkling water over sugary sodas, and so on.
09 | Zero-waste bars
Many of our personal care products, from shampoos to conditioners, moisturisers, facial masks and deodorants, come in liquid or cream form, wastefully packaged in plastic. The way forward: get them in compact, solid bars. Not only do they take up less space and create less waste, they make better travel companions as you don’t have to worry about IATA’s 100ml restriction.
10 | Workleisure
With the hybrid work model, we’re now likely to spend half our time WFH and the other half in the office. If you can’t imagine squeezing back into those restrictive work outfits, think workleisure pieces. They’re comfortable, functional, elevated and well-designed enough to wear between WFH, the office and small-group gatherings. And yes, they MUST be buttery-soft.