Wellness is in style

It seems, there is a constant barrage of dos and don’ts about healthy living, wellness and such. The truth is these concerns preoccupy one’s mind as one grows older. I remember always hearing the expression ‘age gracefully’ and it all makes complete sense. It is so overwhelming, this anti-ageing absorption, but moreover, it is simply about living well – Living intentionally well and shying away from encumbrances, be they emotional, social, physical or even environmental. Wellness is not just being free from illness. The World Health Organisation confirms that it is “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It’s a more holistic prospect that has now mushroomed into a wellness economy. Wellness is now a way of life. It is indeed in style!

Now, it is not to be assumed that it is merely a fad, for usually what is deemed as ‘trending’ phenomena appear only as transient aspects of contemporary living. Wellness has now been inculcated, all inclusively, to promote sustainability and foster diversification strategies for living well, in the present, in addition to ensuring the wellbeing of future generations. Just as “style is eternal”, espoused by the inimitable Yves St Laurent, living well is almost the entire world’s dream.

Wellness is the cornerstone of how we define the quality of our lives. In order to appreciate fulfilment, we must develop an integrationist approach, quite akin to multitasking, so as to be better equipped to face our realities and grapple with its challenges. I recognise that this new understanding has become a vocation, an active pursuit. According to The Global Wellness Institute, “We must actively pursue activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” Wellness is now a look! Many a model, as well as persons involved in other aspects of the fashion and beauty business, have been drawn to calisthenics, following in the footsteps of the iconic Naomi Campbell. The model keeps her 49-year-old frame in excellent form, maintaining her relevance and hence her competitiveness in what might otherwise be deemed a cold and commodified career. Local model, Athaliah Samuel, proclaims “at first, you may be staying in shape to keep being marketable but then it becomes a lifestyle choice!” She emphasizes that her talking the talk and walking the walk, in terms of staying fit mentally and physically is her way of staying centred. She quips, “That’s how I keep sane!”

With Mental Health Day just passed on October 10th, we are quickly recognising and becoming keenly aware of how significant mental health is to our sense of well being and that alternative therapies now fit into our quest for wellness as part of our overall lifestyle choice. To be stylish, one needs to live well. The wellness industry is growing by leaps and bounds, with the wellness economy expanding faster than global economic growth, for it is accommodating a wider spectrum of interests to arrive at a holistic and balanced life for all, fuelled by self-responsibility and positive/proactive values.

There have been several modifications in recent wellness trends. Yoga has become mainstream and sleep is more so seen as a priority. Wellness in the workplace increases productivity and the beauty and spa industries have seen skyrocketed proportions. It seems everyone is into meditation or some form of ayurvedic practice. Nutrition and fitness are always on the tip of the tongue, with fluctuating ways to enhance one’s look. It’s almost manic! Wellness tourism and transformational travel seem the order of the day, all designed within a wellness lifestyle real estate. Wellness has been incorporated into living in style kudos. Anti-ageing is still at the forefront, and as a result,  personal care, preventive medicine, weight loss regimes and a vibrant return to traditional medicines all dominate our consciousness to crave wellness style, sometimes uncannily wrapped up in how best to look young, but nonetheless invigorating our sense of self-worth and redefining ourselves through a dynamic process of change and growth. Virgil’s prognostication still pertains, “the greatest wealth is health.” Wellness is always in style!

Richard Young

Fashion Consultant / Creative Director

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