New Year, Fresh Start? The Vocabulary of Wellbeing

It goes without saying that the last couple of years have been challenging for many. With a New Year comes optimism and renewed vigour, making it a great time to commit to new goals. We’ve all made resolutions to find a new job, quit smoking, commit to that fancy new exercise regime everybody’s been posting about on Insta. But what if your resolution for 2022 was simply to take better care of yourself?

Wellbeing – the condition of being contented, healthy or successful – is increasingly becoming a priority, and involves taking a holistic approach to looking after your mental, physical, spiritual and even financial health. What’s interesting about wellbeing is it can mean different things to different people, depending on your goal and personality.

How is it different from the much-touted self-care? While drinking water, lighting a candle and getting into a 6-step skincare routine can help some people unwind, wellbeing takes a wider view. Its exact definition has been debated for a long time: Aristotle wrote of eudemonia, which has origins in a Greek word meaning blessed and fortunate. Generally, it’s a state of happiness or wellbeing, associated with Aristotle’s philosophy of living a good life.

Other popular wellbeing practices that have popped up in recent years include hygge, the Danish practice of creating cosy environments that promote emotional wellbeing, and also one of the Collins Dictionary words of the year back in 2016. Mindfulness, a way of training your mind to focus on the present to promote a feeling of calm, has also become widely practised, with apps like Headspace helping people feel more grounded.

What wellbeing words and trends should you be watching out for in 2022? Manifestation, which encourages positive thinking to attract the things you desire and rewire your thoughts and habits accordingly, is seeing a resurgence. While it might feel a little fanciful, successful manifestation involves setting clear goals, practising affirmations and embracing challenges as opportunities, so it’s likely to be more impactful than a wing and a prayer.

Spirituality is also on the rise as a wellbeing practice. A recent article claimed that TikTok has become the home of modern witchcraft, with Gen Z reigniting interest in astrology, horoscopes and crystal healing. Regarded as an alternative therapy, crystals are believed to hold the power to affect the human energy field and help people manifest happiness, wealth, and focus, and even rid themselves of emotional blockages…sometimes in the most chaotic manner imaginable (we’re looking at you, moldavite). If #witchtok and crystals aren’t for you, journaling, meditation, sleep hygiene and retinol are all on the menu for improving wellbeing in the year ahead. Whatever works to help you manage stress, take care of your physical and mental health, and have a happy new year sounds good to us.

By Rachel Quin
Rachel Quin is a freelance marketer and copywriter with a love of language, books and cats.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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