Health & Fitness

5 New Wellness Rituals To Adopt Now

From botanical teas to at-home PTs.

By BTYB Ti Ora
Every year we're inundated with a crop of new wellness trends promising better-than-ever results to our mental and physical wellbeing.
While there's no denying we love to read up about each and every one, in particular the more 'out-there' wellness trends (read: waist trainers and Gorpcore footwear), determining the useful from the not-so-useful can be taxing.
Here, ELLE has rounded up the biggest wellness trends of 2019 that are worth getting on board with.

1. Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol is the new anti-ageing ingredient giving retinol a run for its money.
For years, retinol has been hailed as the gold standard in halting and reversing the effects of ageing. A topical derivative of Vitamin A, retinol boosts collagen production and promotes skin cell turnover. However, the powerful ingredient is also known for its ability to irritate dry and sensitive skin. Now, a natural alternative—bakuchiol—is promising similar anti-ageing benefits, without the harsh side-effects.
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, bakuchiol is an antioxidant derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant (aka the babchi plant) that has been found to "significantly decrease wrinkle surface area and hyperpigmentation," sans skin irritation. Unlike retinol, it's completely safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding, which is a huge win given the hyperpigmentation and melasma skin issues that often present throughout pregnancy.
It's still fairly new-to-market but look out for bakuchiol within the ingredient listings of night creams, face oils and serums.
Serum by Oskia, $140.52 at Net-a-Porter

2. Botanical-infused teas

Forget asking for sugar; in 2019 your tea should come with a healthy helping of wellness.
Crafted in New Zealand, Ti Ora tea has just launched on the Australian market with a new range of botanical blends. Ti Ora's teas are each blended with native New Zealand botanicals such as Manuka and Kawakawa leaves to deliver incredible flavour and the taste of wellbeing.
Manuka leaf (which adds a subtle tang to tea flavours) was originally used by the Maori and later early European Settlers for its herbal remedy function, both alone and in combination with other native plants. Found within the silky pyramid bags of Ti Ora's Forest Fruits and Summer Fruits teas, New Zealand Manuka leaf balances the sweetness with a refreshing bite. If you're more of a herbal tea drinker, you can score your Manuka flavour in Ti Ora's soothing Camomile Tea with Lemon and Honey.
Ti Ora Camomile Tea with Lemon, Honey and New Zealand Manuka Leaf, $6 at Coles or Woolworths
With winter fast approaching, it can be tempting to reach for a sugary hot chocolate or mocha when after a quick pick-me-up or sugar hit. Fruit and herbal teas make a great alternative, with natural fruits and herbs a tasty yet hydrating substitute to refined sugar and caffeine. Now with Kiwi botanicals added to the mix, fruit and herbal blends are upping-the-ante with a new taste of wellbeing. The takeaway? Pour yourself a cup, stat.
Our favourite: if you enjoy a green tea, prepare to become obsessed with Ti Ora's Green Tea with Peach, Passionfruit and Kawakawa. The New Zealand botanical lends the sweetened green-tea blend an invigorating kick, while liquorice root and orange peel add to its incredible aroma. (Thank us later.)

3. Stress-free workouts

In recent years, HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been the class of choice, promising hardcore workouts in minimal time frames (think F45 and circuit training). Now, workout trends are taking a more caring approach, ensuring our physiological state is as prioritised as our physical state.
While HIIT classes release endorphins and boost serotonin levels (giving you that post-workout mood boost), they also cause a significant short-term increase in cortisol, the stress hormone.
Cortisol-conscious workouts aim at monitoring a person's stress levels throughout exercise with classes designed to be less aggressive and not high-intensity from start to finish. State-of-the-art tech products such as OmegaWave—a non-invasive device that monitors the brain and heart—and the Oura Ring—a sleep and activity tracker—will become even more popular, especially among the FitBit crowd.
Virtual fitness will also have a moment in 2019. A company called Mirror has launched a steel-framed mirror than streams live fitness classes from across the world. Whether in your activewear or pyjamas, you'll receive personalised feedback, shoutouts and motivational tips throughout your exercise program from qualified personal trainers. The on-demand classes are great for those with little time (shift workers: take note), as well as those who feel intimidated by the gym scene.
An at-home PT? How Kardashian of us.

4. Tongue scraping

If last year was all about sheet masks and jade rollers, 2019 is about the tongue scraper.
If you find yourself with noticeably bad breath in the morning, it may have nothing to do with your teeth or gums but instead your tongue. When we sleep, undigested toxins are removed by our digestive system and brought to the surface of the tongue. The bacteria, not needing any oxygen to survive, produces various by-products including sulphur compounds. Cue: terrible morning breath.
Use your tongue scraper once or twice a day after brushing your teeth. Start by sticking out your tongue and scrape from the back of your tongue to the tip, gently applying pressure (don't press too hard or you will cut your skin). Rinse it properly after each use and replace it every two to three months as you do your toothbrush. You'll know your tongue is clean when it's a fleshy pink colour.
Tongue cleaner by Black Chicken Remedies, $12 at Adore Beauty
Not convinced? A tongue scraper can also ensure other parts of your body stay healthy with poor oral hygiene and excessive bacteria build-up shown to compromise the immune system. It also means reducing the daily build-up of soft plaque in the mouth, in turn, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
Easy and inexpensive, tongue scraping is at least worth trialling—your tongue (and dentist bills) will thank you.

5. Digital detox

It's hard to admit but going phone-free can be difficult; from work emails to social catch-ups, our phones ensure every aspect of our life is only ever a finger-tap away.
While there's no denying the convenience the smartphone adds to our lives, the constant connectedness could be doing us more harm than good. With many studies showing a link between smartphone addiction and depression and anxiety, it comes as no surprise that many are trying to reduce and limit their daily screen time.
Since its introduction last year, Apple's iOS 12 Screen Time tool has provided an easy way for iPhone users to track their usage. As well as giving activity reports to show how long users have spent on each app, it can momentarily block notifications with its 'Downtime' feature—a win for those with lacking self-control (guilty). Instagram also installed a time-management feature, its time-spent-on-app reminder pings similar to that seen on Moment, a 2014-invented app that has been downloaded more than seven million times.
Despite technology's help in addressing our daily phone usage, a digi-detox only remains relevant if we find useful hobbies to replace our hours of scrolling. Whether it's getting stuck into a book, meditating or upping your fitness focus, ensure your detox comes with a list of new activities to ensure you won't instantly revert back to screen time.
Brought to you by Ti Ora