My relationship with wellness is complicated. It could be described as a love-hate relationship, in that I hate that I love everything dubbed #wellness on Instagram and Pinterest. My big issue with the wellness industry is how it promotes wellness hacks that are supposedly ‘essential’ in a (mostly) totally inaccessible, aspirational way. The wellness influencers and bloggers I admittedly follow are almost always white, wealthy and privileged.
But this isn’t a blog post about what I love to hate about the wellness industry.
As much as I loathe myself for it, when it comes to so-called wellness hacks, I’m the biggest sucker around. Whether it’s organic cacao powder or charcoal facemasks, I am the personification of that Futurama meme.
Unsurprisingly, over the last few years, I’ve acquired something of a weakness for wellness. If you’re looking for some hollow, pseudo-science based hacks that will probably (not) revolutionise your daily routine, you’re in the right place.
1. Vegetables in porridge
As depressing as it is to admit, I’ve been adding grated courgette into my porridge every single day (well, almost) for the last for years, because vitamins !!!!!!
Ok, so this wellness hack isn’t the most harmful, even if it is a little bit messy. I’ve been enjoying a hot bowl of zoats (i.e. zucchini + oats, because “corridge” just doesn’t have the same ring to it) every morning to start my day right. And by right, I mean with a hefty dose of Vitamin C in a low-fat, high-volume hug in a bowl.
Disclaimer: if you’re anticipating that figurative hug from just courgette mixed with Ready Brek, then you’re doing it wrong. It’s all about pimping that porridge. Whilst the um, mild – a polite way of saying flavourless – taste of the courgette leaves the wholesome, oaty flavour of your porridge unchanged, that means there’s endless options when it comes to topping your bowl. My toppings of choice? Summer berries (frozen of course), soya yoghurt and peanut butter. Health is wealth.
2. Sleeping with the curtains open
Whilst I don’t advocate this if you live on the ground floor (come on, we’ve all seen You on Netflix), if your bedroom is conveniently located on the top floor like mine, then this wellness hack is one to try.
We all recoil in horror at the sound of the Devil’s personal ringtone – that is, the alarm tone – first thing in the morning, so why not switch up the way you wake up in the morning? This summer, I’ve made a habit of not closing my bedroom blinds before I hit the hay at night, so that I’m woken by the soft caress of the morning sun, rather than the audible equivalent of a slap across the face courtesy of Radar by Apple.
Admittedly, in the record-breaking heatwaves we’ve been enduring this summer in the UK, on more than one occasion my rise and shine has been more of a wake and shake (off the sweat from the sunlight pouring through my window). It’s one to get used to, but I’m definitely not missing my alarm tone.
Though, in terms of reliability, this wellness hack might be one reserved for the summer months. Who’s looking forward to waking up in pitch darkness in a few months?! Not me!!
3. Daily digital detox
Speaking of sleep, if you want to take your bedtime routine to a whole new level of wellness, consider making your bed a do not disturb zone every night by leaving your phone at the door.
I’ve recently started charging my phone downstairs, rather than at my bedside, to guarantee my last hour before bed and my first upon waking are phone- and social media-free. Tying this in with relying on the sunlight to act as a natural alarm, I haven’t got the need to keep my phone within reach 24 hours a day.
Though, that said, I must admit the true incentive to get up and out of bed is to go downstairs and scroll through my notifications might not be the intended ones, I’m all about focusing on the positives. It’s stopped me hitting the snooze button at least?
4. Turmeric. In EVERYTHING.
Not to toot my own horn too loud or anything, but I’ve always fancied myself a bit of a chef. Playing with ingredients and trying out new recipes is a big hobby of mine, and I genuinely find batch-cooking a big chilli or stew one of my favourite ways to relax after a long day at work or uni.
With my fascination with all things food, I’ve always had a pretty well-stocked herb and spice collection. But ever since the wellness movement really got going, if there’s one condiment I go through unlike anything else in my cupboard, it’s turmeric.
Whilst I don’t like, and have never liked, coffee (something I deeply regret, especially around deadline season) I certainly make-up for my daily turmeric latte deficiency by adding it to just about everything I cook. It’s not even just curries and roasted chickpeas that get the full turmeric treatment – I add it to my homemade facemasks too for it’s supposed colour-correcting properties. Just be warned: a little goes a long way (trust me on that one – it comes from experience).
How very Goop of me.
5. Charcoal facials
Whilst I joked about it earlier, I can actually stand by the claim that charcoal does wonders for your skin. However, that said, for arguments’ sake, it could easily be the tea tree oil in my charcoal facial soap bar that is keeping my skin smooth and clear.
I wash my face every morning with a £6 cleansing bar from Carbon Theory, and whilst I’m sure many of you might not class £6 as a price point reserved for only the most privileged wellness influencers, if the mean price of an item in you makeup bag is less than £5, then this fancy black facial wash constitutes a splurge.
Nonetheless, I can vouch for the fact that this little black bar is well worth it’s pounds and pennies, as my skin hasn’t been as clear as it is right now in years – especially when I’m getting all gross and sweaty on the way to work, when I’m at work, when I’m on the way home from work…
What’s more it’s going to last waaaay longer than any £1.50 Superdrug tube.