The pandemic has forced us to expand our understanding of the deep meaning of taking care of ourselves. Here are three key trends that will shape the self-care industry this year.
Following 2020, in which we were completely immersed in the pandemic threatening our existence, with news reports often filling our TV screens and social struggles against racism conjuring spirits of both hatred and hope, it is obvious to us all how important it is for people to take care of their physical as well as mental health. Self-care is a term that mostly describes purchasing products that make you feel better and self-indulgent, but as there is an overgrowing increase in the number of people suffering from lockdowns, loneliness and other mental issues, the pandemic had forced us to expand our understanding of the deep meaning of taking care of ourselves.
Here are a couple of examples at the forefront of the conversation that would drive many marketing processes and commercial collaborations between community leaders and individuals looking to make 2021 stress-free, as much as possible.
Effectively and deeply taking care of ourselves is much more than just pouring ourselves a glass of wine and having a bubble-bath. Studies show that efficient self-care is mostly done by treating ourselves with the support of a community – connecting with people interested in supporting you and being supported by you. People are social creatures and in need of meaningful relationships with others in order to feel good. In the past year, we have isolated ourselves in our houses, but most of us did right to take advantage of the domestic pandemic routine in order to cultivate new social habits. These habits, made possible by the multitude of virtual communities based on geographic location, hobbies or ethnic background, allowed people to open up to strangers through virtual discussions, while sitting in the comfort of their own home. While virtual social experiences will not take the place of meeting face-to-face, they will remain a tool for people to use when trying to find people with similar needs and with which they can develop meaningful relationships for their own personal welfare. These are a far-more significant source of support than we were made to think.
The community surrounding us, and the sense of community must be the core of every marketing move or commercial collaboration in the upcoming year. People want to consume what similar people to them have recommended, purchased and experienced. They would prefer a product or service that was recommended or given by a member of the community similar to theirs (no matter how many followers they have on social medias) rather than a recommendation from a known influencer that is far from their identity, and therefore doesn’t understand the entirety of their needs, beliefs and agendas.
A moment off, for a generation that is always on
How hard is it really to relax? - Very! When there is a pandemic raging outside and we are trying to balance between work, life and general uncertainty at home, it seems almost impossible to get ourselves relaxed and get into a state of real rest. Many consumers are already starting to draw conclusions from the previous year and are planning on starting a new routine in 2021. You can learn a lot about our clients’ new routine from the move made by Tricia Hersey, an activist and founder of The NapMinistry movement, an organization that believes in total rest as an act of the white capitalistic grind culture. Hersey claims that time to think and contemplate is the center of community-building, maintaining our soul that keeps our family and ourselves strong:
“In order to imagine [a new world], you have to be able to dig into a place that’s outside of grind culture and that place is the dream space. We won’t be able to imagine, invent, restore, and rebuild this new liberated world without resting.”
This sentence and mindset will follow many young people on their journey back to their post-pandemic life, and it seems that small communities that are accustomed to fighting for their life on a daily basis are also starting to allow themselves to take more time to rest and dream. The trend of slowing down from life’s rat race in order to be able to construct a better reality (whether political, gender or community) has already led to a boom of movements and community organizations sanctifying rest, and with them great commercial collaborations.
One of the more successful examples of the economy of this trend is the collaboration between writer and activist Rachel Cargle and the short vacation website Getaway in the 100 Nights of Rest Project. Last June, the website offered a free stay to African American people who took part in the 2020 civil rights struggle in the US. Nearly 8,000 people registered for the plan and the company announced it will expand the program from 100 days to a whole year as well as donate 365 days of rest vacations to African American activists. Getaway attracted Rachel’s entire following and is now situated as one of the companies with the highest social awareness among American youth.
Longing for the Outdoors After a Year Inside
During the first lockdown in Britain, there was a 147% increase in time spent gardening, and South Korea registered a 51% increase in outdoor activities, including public gardens. In addition to that, many consumers are focusing on consuming products and experiences that deal with the healing power of plants, since after a year of people spending time mostly between the four walls of their house, they realize they miss that connection with nature and every encounter with it does well for their mental welfare and has a supporting role in cultivating self-care. One of the most prominent examples of this trend’s economy is the Nue Co brand that understands the meaning of that need consumers have, and encourages them to connect to nature in a different way – launching a unisex fragrance helping to cope with stress by bringing scents and minerals from nature to our bodies. The fragrance contains natural ingredients collected around the world from sustainable sources. A mixture of cedarwood, pine, patchouli, bergamot and Vetiver work together to produce a scent of woody and clear resin, simulating the atmosphere of nature. It contains Phytoncides (an organic compound derived from plants) which reduces stress and anxiety while increasing the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for the body’s rest and digestion. According to the brand’s clinical trials, 96% of people who used it, felt less stressed within 30 minutes of use. The product seems light and effortless, however also seems like the construction of its compounds was well thought-out. After the year we’ve had, I feel like we are ready to try just about anything, as long as we feel a bit freer and more liberated.
If you are interested in an overview of some of 2021-2022 consumer trends,