December 13th, 2023

Wellness Trends To Look For In 2024

2023 has been a year of investing and researching how to better achieve wellness, inside and out. This has been fueled by the millennial generation, who are eating healthier and are more active and exercising than any generation before them. Honestly, they are killing it. Millennials are more healthy lifestyle driven and I am here for it.

Texas Health states a 2019 survey by the American Heart Association found that millennials are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet, than in previous generations. (1) Like millennials, Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012), are more likely to prioritize eating healthy and getting regular exercise, however, they also prioritize their mental health and managing stress. (1) As a Gen X, my heart is filled with nothing but happiness to see them grow, have that awareness and find that personal success- and do it better than my generation.

As these two generations pioneer, improve and even bring some old skills back, we can always expect for trends to change and evolve.

It makes sense then to pay attention to what everyone is projecting for that next year’s trends. It could be that I am researching this for my clients home care, and sometimes I am researching it for myself- what can I add to my business next year that will be beneficial for my clients? I am always interested to see too, what projected trends from the year before had a lasting impact, and which ones sizzled out as just a fad.

I look at Yelp, Google, Wellspa 360, Mindbody, Skin Inc and other reputable sources and compare. I look for trends on Tik Tok, as well as Facebook and Instagram. I will also look at magazine articles and take notes as well. Then I take the comparisons and look for studies that have been done to see how much of an impact this has on overall health and wellness.

Sustainability: Waterless Pedicures & Services

The one thing that I can say is years ago many projected a movement toward sustainability and this is standing the testament of time, starting to make a major impact in the beauty and wellness industry. Searches increased for “waterless pedicure alternatives” by 177% on Yelp this year. (2)

Traditional spa pedicure bowls should have the sanitation liquids run for 15 minutes between clients. I rarely see this happen in salons.

A traditional pedicure typically uses somewhere between 13 and 18 gallons of water. The portable pedicure sink used in my spa takes 1 gallon of water. The pedicure sink still has heated water, instead of piped in jets, the sink we use has ultrasonic vibration- which in my opinion feels better than water jets. I have the added benefit of disposable liners with this system, keeping it much more sanitary. The Balinese Foot Flower Bath is not only one of Avalon’s favorite treatments, it’s also part of that sustainability movement I love to embrace here.

In addition to having a waterless foot scrub service, all of my body treatments are waterless. Clients choose between the Deep Sea Hiwa Kai Salt Scrub & Black Baltic Mud Ritual, the Indonesian Healing Scrub & Balinese Herbal Wrap, the Jasmine Rice Buff with Oriental Spice Wrap or Lira Clinical’s Restorative Spa Treatment. All four of these treatments use hot towels. Hot steamed towels help open pores in the skin for a deeper clean. The heat from hot towels can also help soothe muscles and dilate blood vessels.

By having waterless services, I am able to make my carbon footprint smaller while still providing exceptional services to my clients. We can look forward for trends that continue to focus on sustainability and lowering carbon footprints in the future.

Infrared Therapy & Muscle Recovery

According to Yelp, “Infrared Sauna Therapy” had an increase of 40% in searches compared to last year. (2) This type of therapy promotes increased blood circulation, helps recovery of muscles after hard workouts or massage sessions, and can improve skin health.

Overall though, “Muscle Recovery” has become a buzz word with infrared sauna therapy only being a small part of this. With an increase of health with fitness which is evolving it only makes sense that recovery using innovative strategies and tools would be part of that. Cold Plunge Therapy had an increase of 521% and has science backed results including assisting with lowering inflammation for those who suffer from chronic autoimmune inflammation. (3) Other methods for muscle recovery may include red light therapy (LED), IV therapy, advanced stretching, massage, recovery nutrition and more.

Journaling & Mental Health

The idea of journaling is not new, however, the idea has become a significant trend in 2023, with around 4.3 billion views on Tik Tok alone. Wellness writing can include bullet journals, gratitude journals or guided journals. There is an increased variety of journals designed for guidance.

And why not? Studies show that journaling helps strengthen the mind as well as the immune system. (5 ) Let me be clear, it is my belief that reliving and revisiting personal trauma would not be beneficial for journaling, but instead journaling for meaning, awareness and finding the positive. It is with this line of thinking that I persuaded a dear colleague of mine in the therapy field, Sherry Barron, who agreed to have a journaling workshop at the spa.

The Spa will hold it’s Self Improvement Through Journaling: Exceptional Practices To Get The Most Benefits ($56) on January 28th, 2024. Taught by Licensed Therapist

Studies have shown that journaling can be extremely beneficial. Many however, after purchasing a journal may be unsure what to journal, or how to get the most benefit from them. Avalon’s class includes educational printed material you can take home, a deluxe journal of choice (Confidence Edition, Self Awareness Addition or Purpose Edition) and a pencil with inspirational quote. This is just a perfect example of the community coming together to learn about improved wellness.

2024’s Theme Is “Community Connection

Hobby Based Movement & Community Fitness

More and more we are seeing cozy classes with curated workout routines that are working with different styles and trends. Alternatives are fantastic when the results are the same and the workouts motivate you to participate consistently.

2022 saw the birth of new newness like Cozy Cardio, which may not be much in the way of strengthening your body, but will be helpful in things such as increasing heart rate and increasing serotonin and dopamine levels. Because it’s done in home, it would be beneficial for those who have trouble going out in crowds or populated gyms.

We can see more out-of-the-box thinking going forward with smaller, cozy classes that focus on things like stretching and pilates. Yelp reported that there has been a 35% search increase for stretching and flexibility training, an alternative to yoga. Yelp also reported that searches increased by 71% compared to last year for pilates and 54% for step aerobics. (1)

Community based fitness will have us seeing wellness spaces with social events for interaction. Those in this class may be connected on fitness apps or have chat groups to help motivate and keep track. The trend “Gym Friends” on Tik Tok is popular with around 87.4 million views which is a telling trend.

Working out alone during the pandemic fueled the desire to be part of something and have meaningful social connections. Having a community that cares about you in your corner can also help with accountability and result in more consistent workout routines.

Community Connections

Let’s face it. The COVID pandemic changed things on a social scale dramatically. Touch is no longer what it used to be, social hugs or the shaking of hands when we meet are far and few now. Social gatherings stopped and this effected how we interact with each other. We struggled over the two years with virtual groups and social media to remain connected. But it wasn’t the same as the intimate connection we get in group settings. There was an extreme dynamic shift in social connection when isolated that left many with negative outcomes such as depression, anxiety and decline in overall wellbeing. (6) For 2024, I believe we are going to see more and more where the post pandemic needs are going to all be united under the theme of community connections. According to Mindbody’s 2024 Predictions Report, “More than a third of consumers are likely to choose wellness businesses that are well known for their community-building activities, and over 60% have attended or would like to attend an event at a salon, spa, med spa or wellness center.” (7)

I believe that going into 2024 spas and wellness centers will especially start offering small intimate classes for community support. When I started classes in my spa this year it was for that exact reason. A small intimate setting where people in the community could come and learn, grow and socialize. The classes I offer vary by month, and are taught by myself or professionals in the community that have expertise in that classes subject.

What do I have planned for 2024? Classes that will help enrich our lives, help us in areas of nutrition, mental health, fitness, mindfulness and more. My spa is perfect for quiet, peaceful socializing and it’s a great way to give back to a community that has been so supportive of my business.

Wellness Retreats & Burnout Sabbaticals

More and more we see those who travel start to prioritize health when traveling. I expect to see those in 2024 who are traveling looking for experiences in quality rest and sleep, finding comfort while experiencing small ways to change at home habits that will lead to a bigger impact, and more.

Most of us are also struggling financially or at least being more frugal with money. The cost of gas to travel, the cost of food, and the cost of housing have gone up resulting in a change of spending habits. I think going into 2024 we will still be traveling and wellness retreats will still be popular, but they will not be like they were in the past. Two week retreats may have been popular years and years ago, but are not feasible in today’s time.

Weekend retreats will be extremely popular because you can take a long weekend, and take those three days to focus on nutrition, mental health, fitness, physical health and healing.

Burnout Sabbaticals will also be popular. Sabbaticals are not the same as leave of absence. They are different in the fact that leave of absence is designed for a medical related leave. Certain circumstances are protected by federal, state and local laws requiring an employer to give way for an employee to have leave of absence. However, a sabbatical is not regulated by any laws. Socially, we are still rebuilding from the pandemic and this has lead to burnout which has affected Americans to the point of giving up their jobs to prioritize their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Because of this, we saw burnout in the working sector lead to what is referred to as “The Great Resignation” in May 2023 with 4 million workers quitting their jobs. (8)

More and more employers in the working sector recognizes this, including myself. I would rather give my employee time off if they are under emotional stress than continue to be tone deaf to their needs. I am not alone in this, and see many employers make changes to the employee benefits package they offer. The sabbatical I offer is a two week paid sabbatical for tenure employees of 5 years or more. If they wish to extend this, they can use their unpaid 5 day vacation time to extend this out.

As we go into 2024, I look forward to seeing what we can do to improve our health and wellness. Personally, I will continue my gym membership and continue to hire the personal trainer I found to help me with health goals. I think I can take a page from the millennial’s book and work on finding ways to eat healthier and add more nutrition into my diet. They certainly have inspired me to do better.

Need Inspiration? Here are some local and international classes to enrich your life….

Sur La Table Cooking Classes

I will say over and over, find a Sur La Table with a good instructor and just go and have fun! These classes are $89-$99 and if you use Afterpay, you can break your class cost down into 4 payments. Sur La Table has classes from everything to decadent French Farmhouse Food to Italian Romantic Favorites to baking Artesian Breads.

Drop In Yoga, Pilates, Stretching Classes

Call around, and they should not be hard to find. Most centers will have a “drop in class” special pricing, so you can come experience the activity and decide to continue to not.

In the City of Woodhaven Michigan, Dr. Ellen M. Lazar (a chiropractor) conducts a yoga class. Who better to teach than a physician who specializes in strengthening and alignment of the body and a healthy body neuromusculoskeletal system? Learn more HERE.

Research And References: