As anyone with a pulse will likely affirm, 2018 was a long, long year with zero shortage of things to discuss, from politics to pop culture. With the year winding down, all of the “best of” lists and yearly recaps are trickling out — your annual reminder that the new year is almost upon us, and so is the fresh start that it promises. Joining in on the tradition, Pinterest released the company’s Pinterest 100, a roundup of the top trends the platform’s more than 250 million active monthly users are looking into trying in the upcoming year. Naturally, the list highlights some key health and wellness trends for 2019.
The concept of self-care, whether that’s through exercise and sleep habits or healthy eating, shows no signs of slowing down in the new year, with a 140 percent increase in searches, according to the platform's report. Food trends include increased searches for recipes with elderberries, a spike in interest towards incorporating “superfood” powders like matcha and maca in smoothies and juices, and a love of all things with natural ginger in them. Goat soap (for real) also seems to be having a bit of a moment, with searches for DIY goat soap recipes increasing by 231 percent.
On the sustainability front, reusable beeswax wraps are getting some attention as a waste-minimizing alternative to plastic wrap. But among the many trends, two particular lifestyle changes stand out: searches for “sleep optimization” have increased by 116 percent, while searches for “sober living” jumped by a whopping 746 percent. Based on the list, sleep and rethinking drinking seem like they will be big focuses in 2019.
If you consider yourself a wellness person, this probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise. In the case of leading an alcohol-free lifestyle, research from Nielsen Consumer & Media View suggests that millennials are less likely to drink than older groups, with 53 percent of millennials reporting that they drank alcohol in the past month, as opposed to 65 percent of people in the 35 to 54 age group and 72 percent of people aged 55 and up. According to the 2017 report, health played a role in millennial’s drinking preferences, with the group placing high importance on vitamin-enhanced, organic, and low-carb options.
The trend of millennials leaving liquor behind was also documented as early as 2016, in a piece published in The Guardian. Categorizing the young attendees of a juice crawl (versus a traditional pub crawl) as “people who value mindfulness, spandex, and green juice,” the article credited alcohol “mak[ing] interactions less meaningful” as one of the reasons behind the shift towards people abstaining from drinking. According to Forbes, reasons like wanting to be more productive, trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, and becoming more comfortable in social situations without relying on drinking are other commonly cited explanations for the trend. Bustle recently reported on the term, too.
When it comes to sleep, practically every new article is saying the same thing: people aren't getting enough. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of U.S. adults aren't sleeping enough hours regularly. And as The New York Times reported in a sweeping report on sleep, getting a poor night's rest can contribute to, among other things, depression, a weakened immune system, learning and memory impairment, or health risk factors for diseases like diabetes or cancer. Meanwhile, the business of helping people sleep, from luxury mattresses to prestige PJs, is booming. Considering all these factors, it makes sense that people are now more than ever interested in discovering ways to optimize their sleeping habits.
Many people use the new year as an opportunity to reset their habits and incorporate mindful changes into their lifestyle. Looking at the reasons behind why people may be interested in sleeping better and why they may want to opt out of drinking culture, it makes total sense why the two wellness changes are looking extremely popular for 2019.