Wellness Fatigue: Yes, It’s a Thing
- Written By:Mia Rigden
As a nutritionist, I meet daily with clients looking to improve their wellbeing and everyone seems to be confused. What’s “good” and what’s “bad”? Should I be putting reishi in my coffee, or not be drinking coffee at all? Is quinoa bad? What about hummus? Do I need to do cardio? If this dialogue sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
Our obsession with wellness has manifested itself into a multi-billion dollar industry of gurus, tonics, tinctures, powders, workouts and more. Products, classes, influencers and innovations promising an easier path to looking and feeling good can be initially exciting, but the sheer multitude of “things” and how quickly they come in and out of fashion is just straight up overwhelming and confusing. To further complicate matters, nutrition information promoted over the past few decades is contradictory and heavily influenced by special interest groups and big business. As a consumer it’s hard not to be totally perplexed! Maybe we should all just throw in our yoga mats and eat a Twinkie.
Not so fast! We need wellness. Our lives are increasingly polluted; not just the air we breathe, but our inboxes, social media feeds, news outlets and food quality all add stress to our bodies and have led to an increased demand for tricks, tips and tools that will help us to look and feel well.
Cue the quick fix: We all wish there was a magical latte that could make us wake up feeling energized, with glowing skin, shiny hair and a tiny waist, but unfortunately that doesn’t exist! We buy these products, attend these classes, or subscribe to a certain lifestyle, and when it doesn’t yield the desired result, we’re left feeling disappointed and defeated.
From collagen to cryotherapy, how do we sift through these options and find what works for us? It’s actually not that complicated. Learning more about your body will help you to determine which trends you want to try and put less pressure on them being some sort of miracle. Here are a few tips:
Find your groove!
Remember, you are a unique and magical being, and what works for someone in your office or on Instagram may not work for you. We all have our own sweet spot—a place where we feel healthy, satisfied and fulfilled. How do you find yours? Take the time to understand your body, your cravings and your eating patterns. Keeping a food diary for a period of time (one to two weeks) is a great start. Make sure to include any cravings, emotions and other sensations along with details of your meals. You may be surprised at what patterns you find.
Focus on the basics.
Eat real, whole, quality foods, including lots of plants, drink plenty of water and schedule some time to move. There you have it! The secret is out.
What you cut out is more important than what you add.
Cutting out sugar and processed foods will make a much bigger difference in your general wellbeing than anything you add into your diet. Trendy supplements, adaptogens and anti-inflammatory foods can be great, but they’re not a Band-Aid. Reevaluate and reassess your daily routines instead of looking towards a product for a quick fix.
You have to like it.
Food is meant to be delicious, not some sort of cruel punishment. If you don’t like something, don’t eat it. Same goes for your wellness practices—if you absolutely hate boxing or Pilates, find another workout. The more you enjoy your healthy foods and routines, the more likely you are to stick with them long term.
The worst thing you can swallow is guilt. You are not a horrible person for wanting pizza and ice cream. Most people would agree that these are super tasty foods. Quit the shame game and allow for some flexibility in your wellness routine. Quiet that voice in your head that keeps tell you that you are not healthy enough, skinny enough or blah blah blah. It’s useless and often times just becomes an excuse to quit.
Change takes time. Do your research before trying something and, when you do, commit to it. Whether it’s a new workout, an adaptogen, acupuncture or deciding to eat less grains, give the trend a chance! Trying something once will rarely make a difference. That said, if you try something and hate it, it’s ok to give it a pass.
The bottom line: when it comes to wellness trends, you probably don’t need any of them, but there are certainly some that might help you along your journey. If you’re curious, experimenting with the latest fads can be fun, but don’t count on them to be the answer to your wellness prayers. They’re extra. With so many interesting and innovative options, you’re bound to find products, foods and routines that support your body and lifestyle if you approach it with the right attitude.
Mia Rigden is a licensed Holistic Health Coach from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition, and holds diplomas in Classic Culinary Arts from The French Culinary Institute, and English Literature from UC Santa Barbara. She is the founder of RASA which offers personalized nutrition and encourages healthy lifestyle habits through holistic wellness coaching, delicious recipes and meal plans.