The pressure we face, particularly as women, to achieve an unattainable level of wellness is on the rise. In my overzealous pursuit to start the new year with my best foot forward, I couldn’t help but feel that all too familiar overwhelm creeping up at the mere thought of implementing all the things I had set out to do – and I am sure I wouldn’t be alone in this.
I had mistakenly believed that having studied Nutrition at university and being surrounded by a wealth of knowledge at Floralia, that this would somehow dissipate any confusion I had previously felt about the wellness industry...but I am human. It got me thinking, with access to the digital world and social media, it’s impossible at times, not to feel perplexed by the unsolicited and often contrary advice we find ourselves surrounded with and often times influenced by.
Did you know, there are more than 60.8 million hashtags for "wellness on Instagram? Even more concerning is this, 90 percent of social media influencers are sharing inaccurate health information on their platforms. These hard-hitting facts spoke volumes to me about the amount of misinformation we are exposed to day to day.
Australian psychotherapist, Andrea Szász says that the wellness industry often fails us by promoting an idea that everything labelled "wellness" or "non-toxic" as the best choice for everybody - a blanket solution. And I agree with her thought, "It's actually more important to learn what feels right for you and learn to actually connect with your body."
Wellness is not about having the perfect morning routine, eating a “clean” diet, or taking the detox supplement that Gwyneth Paltrow recently recommended. The Oxford Dictionary defines wellness as "a combination of emotional, environmental, mental, physical, social and spiritual health."
Instead of hyper-focusing on just one of these elements, wellness is more about building long lasting habits that will help you find balance and ease - not necessarily perfection.
Health begins with self-love and acceptance, and the knowledge that you are valuable.
Some research published in 2019, showed that the wellness industry is a “highly unregulated space that often relies heavily on personal testimonials, anecdotal evidence, intuition and positive thinking”. Social media influencers now have the ability to influence tens to hundreds of thousands of followers, often showcasing their personal lives and opinions (not necessarily facts) to monetise from their journey of self-discovery and “health transformation”. It becomes dangerous when the line is blurred between curating an online persona on social media and offering information that may be perceived as professional expertise and health advice.
The credibility of the health advice you are listening to is important. In saying that, if you are not already in the industry, how do you know what is credible?
So, here are some things you may like to consider...
1. Seek healthcare from a legitimate healthcare professional with training in the fields they claim to be "experts" in.
This ensures the health advice your following, is from a practitioner who:
One thing I've learned working at Floralia is to appreciate that we all have unique needs and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to our health.
Find a practitioner who treats you as an individual and personalises health care advice specifically to YOU - after all every human's genome is different, and your body is unique to you. Finally, the biggest tip, choose in-person care where practical and possible. In this digital age, the loss of connection and human interface is a real experience for so many of us. While it may seem convenient, simply put, it is a far less personalised healthcare experience.
Chelsea Tidman works across marketing and front of house at Floralia Wellness.