Looking forward: the new lifestyle trends to embrace in 2020
From dopamine fasting to using DNA testing kits for health benefits, these rising lifestyle trends will be huge in 2020
Dopamine fasting is the latest trend to come out of Silicon Valley. App developers there say our constant access to sensory stimuli through technology – be it listening to music, watching a comedy or speaking to loved ones – has got us hooked on hits of dopamine, a chemical in the body associated with pleasure. The belief is that by temporarily starving ourselves of dopamine through sensory deprivation (aka doing nothing), we’ll enjoy it more consciously and with greater appreciation in the long run.
Sure, going the full hog and denying yourself your daily pleasures – be they chatting with a friend over Facetime or watching your likes clock up on Instagram – might be extreme, but variations of dopamine fasting are already creeping into how we live. The Dutch trend of niksen, whereby you just do nothing, has become the new hygge for many wellness gurus. Want to give it a try? Just stop what you're doing and enjoy the liberty that comes with doing nothing at all.
Whatever lengths you go to, make 2020 the year to rethink your idea of downtime.
DNA testing for health benefits and personalised supplementation
Once used exclusively as a means to find out about ancestry or check for diseases lying dormant, DNA testing for health benefits is on the rise – and is set to put an end to the one-size-fits-all wellness logic we’ve been subjected to for so many years.
DNA testing can reveal facts about an individual such as their natural genetic weight, their sleep patterns, and the sorts of health and wellbeing activities best suited to their individual makeup.
As Nathan Berkley, CEO of DNA testing company Muhdo Health, told Metro: ‘DNA and epigenetics testing can be used to tell you details about your internal health, show you where you need to make changes to your diet and fitness regime, and then allow you to monitor the impact on your body.’ Berkley predicts that 2020 will see an increase in people incorporating knowledge of their DNA into their everyday training regimes to help them obtain their fitness goals.
A by-product of the DNA testing for health trend is personalised supplementation. Gone are the days of taking the same mix of vitamin capsules as your partner, colleague or personal trainer just because they work wonders for them. Instead, we’ll be looking to brands like Bioniq, which can take a blood sample to suss out our current deficiencies, then create a specifically mixed formula that’s just right for us.
Zero-proof drinks & funky spreads
The last few years have been all about alternative milks, with every café, shop and fridge in town stocking at least one non-dairy option. With this dietary quibble sorted, 2020 is predicted to be the year of alternative spreads. Macadamia butter is set to be the new peanut butter – or almond butter for that matter – and vegan takes on popular spreads such as cream cheese are set to become mainstream. Over in the US, where trends often start, pumpkin butter – formerly confined to the Thanksgiving period – is set to become available all year round, while trendy health food store Whole Foods is pushing ‘watermelon seed butter’ as the next big thing, according to Refinery29.
Beyond the breads and spreads, zero and low ABV alternatives to alcohol are set to see their most popular year yet, with more of us looking for ways to enjoy the tastes of our favourite drinks while consuming fewer units (and calories). Brands like Seedlip are no longer enjoying total domination of the market, either. Instead, they’re being rivalled by a host of new brands: from the world’s first CBD and low ABV beers, courtesy of Hop & Hemp Brewing Co., to a new range of zero-ABV spirits from Stryyk.
If 2019 was the year of immersive fitness studios, 2020 is the year of virtual wellness. Whether in the form of virtual workouts like The Mirror, interactive wellbeing journals, or deeper engagement with astrology, meditation or breathing apps, make this the year to get your wellness fix on demand whenever and wherever you are.
Eco-anxiety lives on…
With visions of 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg sailing to and from New York still fresh in our minds, and Netflix doc The Game Changers still on our ‘recently watched’ list, our anxiety over the environment isn’t going anywhere in 2020. Instead, expect to see more people go vegan for January – with many sticking to a plant-based diet beyond the 31st. More, too, will attempt to go plastic free and commit to doing their food shopping sustainably (think bulk-buying and taking reusable containers as well as shopping bags). In the fashion world, the rise of sustainable fashion brands will continue to grow, while more and more people will look to rent – rather than shop – garments for special occasions.
Your 2020 reading list…
For getting your green space into shape: The Five Minute Garden by Laetitia Maklouf (published 5 March 2020)
For mindful drinking and sobriety: Drink? The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health by Professor David Nutt (published 9 January 2020)
For better understanding your body: In The Flo by Alisa Vitti (published 28 January 2020)
For letting go of envy: The Comparison Cure by Lucy Sheridan (published 26 December 2019)
For a fun take on a plant-based diet: BOSH! Healthy Vegan by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (published 26 December)
For ‘futureproofing’ your sex life: Mind the Gap by Dr Karen Gurney (published 5 March 2020)