6 stories that changed wellness in 2018


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Let’s just say it: 2018 came with its fair share of garbage-fire headlines. But if we could all kick back to watch a sequence of the highlights of 2018, we’d also find plenty to celebrate: We nominated a record number of women to serve in Congress. Aly Raisman, Christine Blasey Ford, and so many other brave people told their #MeToo stories on an international stage. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry said “I do.” The whole world got to know—and love—Adam Rippon.

The $4.2 trillion wellness industry had a pretty groundbreaking year, too. CBD seeped into, well, every part of your self-care routine—from your moisturizer, to your post-workout recovery, to the honey you add to your afternoon cuppa tea. The idealizing of “me-time” got a reality check. And we officially unsubscribed from the belief that being pro-science and pro-wellness was impossible. In short, this year was mega for all things falling under the category of “living your best life.”

For your 2018 wellness debriefing, just keep scrolling.

CBD Farm Bill
Photo: Getty Images/Nastasic

The 2018 Farm Bill laid the groundwork for CBD to go fully mainstream

To elaborate on the above, the non-psychoactive element of the cannabis plant known as CBD, cannabidiol, has gained traction (read: blown UP) in the wellness world as an anti-inflammatory superstar capable of quelling maladies ranging from insomnia to psoriasis. And even more innovations are on the way to your beauty cabinet and pantry thanks to this year’s Farm Bill—a piece of legislation that, among other things, removes industrial hemp from the illegal Schedule 1 drugs list. At the state level, this doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to stroll into their local grocer and add CBD oil to their carts, though. The bill allows each state to create its own rules and regulations, so how easily you access this “miracle ingredient” will depend on where you call home.

We-time became just as important as “me-time”

In the era of self-care, scheduling your workout, recovery, face-masking, etc. can mean you spend a whole lot of time flying solo. But while there’s something to be said about being your own BFF, health experts agree that you need to balance that independence with plenty of socialization, too. The reasons are many, but suffice it to say that connection—just like food, water, and shelter—is part of the basic equation for human existence.

How to deal with grief when you're not personally affected
Photo: Getty Images/Izusek

Secondhand trauma (and how to live with it) became a part of the wellness conversation.

The aforementioned “garbage fire” that is your morning NPR digest has caused trauma to countless people. But this year, second-hand trauma (and the guilt some feel about experiencing it) has also become part of the conversation. A report from the American Psychological Association even found that 75 percent of Generation Z cites mass shooting as a major source of stress. Unsurprisingly, the best use of the despair you feel about these events is to act: Connect with others to grieve, limit the other anxiety-inducing factors in your life, call your senators, and vote—whenever you have a chance.

In the era of #MeToo, vulnerability became a public superpower

The words “vulnerability” and “strength” have long been considered antonyms. All that changed this year when #MeToo gained an increasing amount of momentum. Notably, Christine Blasey Ford stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee with a testimony that proved, without a doubt, that wearing your heart on your sleeve is an asset, not a weakness.

celebrities with anxiety
Photos: Getty Images/Matt Winkelmeyer/Allen Berezovsky; Collage by Well+Good Creative

Female celebs opened up about their mental health struggles in a *big* way

The poised, put-together woman (or the “cool girl” as Gillian Flynn termed it in Gone Girl) is a bit of a paradox in modern-day culture: She’s the purported ideal gal and yet, she simply doesn’t exist. This year, celebs like Lili Reinhart, Selena Gomez, Serena Williams, and more banded together to challenge the limiting archetype by being extremely public about the status of their mental well-being. And as a result, we’re all finding it a little easier to talk about our own complexities, too. (Being a whole person is way cooler than presenting an elaborate facade to the world, anyway.)

So we agree: Being Pro-science and pro-wellness are *not* mutually exclusive

For far too long, it seemed like you had to choose one camp: wellness or science. But no longer. Now, scientific studies are proving the false dichotomy with research that suggests using holistic elements of wellness—like Reiki, exercise, and an active sex life—can improve a patient’s overall outcome when used in tandem with more standard medical treatments. Even the world’s most renowned medical centers—like the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic—have started to recognize that the two elements go hand-in-hand by treating their patients’ with functional and integrative medicine. In short, you can keep a weekly acupuncture appointment and your yearly check-up without feeling like you have multiple wellness personalities.

Now to look forward to next year! Here’s exactly what to expect from the wellness world

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