Sure, it’s still hot and humid, but we can’t help but get excited about fall. Between the cozy nights in, comfy sweaters and pumpkin-flavored everything (ordered unabashedly), it’s a refreshing change of pace from swimming, sipping sangria and sweating. But what does this autumn hold for us, wellness-wise? From the rise of THC drinks to the new (dare we say chic?) fidget spinners, here are six fall wellness trends you can expect to see a whole lot of soon.
6 Fall Wellness Trends You’re About to See Everywhere, from Pickleball to THC Drinks
1. Sober Curious
From losing weight and sleeping better to feeling more upbeat and saving money, the physical and tangible benefits of abstaining from alcohol are well documented. It tracks, then that more and more folks are turning to a sober curious lifestyle in 2022. Maeve O’Neill, EVP, Addiction and Recovery for All Sober, told us that the sober curious movement started around 2012 and was originally an extension of the concept of Dry January (aka abstaining from alcohol for the month of January as a way to reset at the beginning of the year). She explains that it’s meant “to encourage a sober lifestyle without the pressure to give up alcohol completely.” But when it comes who’s leading the sober curious charge, studies like this one from The National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC), signal that it’s Gen Z and millennials who are most interested in reexamining their relationships with alcohol. Per a 2019 Google report, Gen Z in particular is wary of excessive consumption of alcohol because of the importance of image and control (with 49 percent of Gen Z respondents claiming their online image is always at the back of their mind when they go out), prioritizing productivity and success and physical and mental health worries.
2. THC Drinks
At the same time as more and more folks are considering a sober curious lifestyle, the California sober movement continues to thrive. Most commonly, California Sober means abstaining from all substances but cannabis, though the definition sometimes includes psychedelics like LSD, ayahuasca and psilocybin. Widespread legalization of cannabis has meant a boom in THC products—THC drinks, in particular. Brands like Cann, Pabst (yes, the Blue Ribbon people), S*Shots and Wynk are providing the option to have a good time with no threat of a hangover and customers are fully on board.
The sport beloved by middle school P.E. teachers and septuagenarians alike is back, baby. Pickleball has garnered astronomic popularity since the start of the pandemic as a way to stay active while also social distancing (pickleball can be played in singles or doubles). As PureWow Executive Editor Dara Katz wrote back in 2021, “It’s got the fun back and forth volleying of tennis, but because of lighter equipment and smaller courts (which translates to more courts), both non-athletes and fitness aficionados can play better for longer and more often. Plus, the smaller courts mean you can be chattier with your playmates, attracting players who see it as a social activity too.”
The latest in a long line of dating trends (hesidating and slow dating come to mind) is hardballing. Originally coined by Logan Ury, director of relationship science at Hinge, “Hardballing is a new dating term that means someone is being clear about their expectations of a relationship, whether you want a serious long-term partnership or a casual fling.” Unsurprisingly, Gen Z seems to be at the forefront of this trend (the #Hardballing hashtag is quickly gaining traction on TikTok). For some, hardballing means sparing yourself the agony of a situationship and saying, “Hey, I’m looking for something long-term” on the very first date. For others, it can be a warning that you’re “just looking for a good time” before you meet IRL. Basically, it’s about making sure, before you open yourself up to another person, that you’re absolutely clear on what you want from a relationship.
5. Anxiety Rings
Remember when fidget spinners where…just about everywhere? Anxiety rings serve a similar purpose—just in a chicer package—and have been spotted across TikTok in recent months. These pieces are touted by sellers as ways to manage anxiety discreetly and effectively, since they have moving parts that pleasantly turn and twist, enabling the wearer to play with them without attracting attention. According to Dr. Monica Vermani, clinical psychologist and author of A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas, they might actually work. She tells us, “The key to lowering anxiety through any device, be it a piece of jewelry, or a fidget toy is the intention of the user. When we associate an object with positive coping and soothing, it becomes just that. We’ve [likely] heard the phrase, ‘What you focus on expands.’ When we turn to comfort food for comfort, it works. When we focus on using a ring, a bracelet, a gemstone or a fidget spinner… that device calms us,” she says. Shop anxiety rings right here.
6. Tampon Alternatives
Back in June, you likely heard about—or experienced firsthand—the nationwide tampon shortage. At the time, InstaCart revealed that while searches for tampons had risen on their platform, fulfillment on those orders had dropped by 67 percent as the unexpected supply chain problem continues to leave store shelves understocked. Left with no other option, many folks turned to tampon alternatives like disposable pads, period underwear or menstrual cups. Though it seems the shortage has cooled off, we’re predicting many people who switched over out of necessity will stick with these more dependable (as in, you don’t have to count on your store having them every month), more environmentally friendly options moving forward.