Digital Wellness Initiative
TREND 1: This Year Social Media Users Want Real Life Connection
It’s no secret that the lives we see documented on social media are not really the lives that people are living. More often than not, whether it is a picture posted on Instagram, or a status update on Facebook, all we are seeing is a snapshot of a person’s experience, and usually an extremely carefully curated one. We may not always notice the effect that this online culture has on our day-to-day lives, but that does not mean they are any less real or significant.
We can be the leaders of change! It’s time to humanize our time on social media and let people see the real, authentic aspects of our experience in a safe yet sincere manner. It’s time to show our very human emotions, humor, sympathy, excitement, and even our mistakes!
The urge to feel like we belong, and that we are dealing with real people cannot be denied. People don’t want to see only the perfect Instagram life anymore. People want to learn, to better themselves, and above all else, to understand. By showing our true histories, behind-the-scenes footage, real reactions to whatever may be floating in the zeitgeist of late, or even that video you filmed once and thought nobody would want to see, you can help yourself not only live a more open life in today’s technological society, but you can also blaze the trail for others to do the same.
The new bloggers, and the people with more engagement, will be those who succeed in building real relationships with their followers or audiences. We have already been seeing evidence this last year, so in 2022 there is little doubt that social media will (almost ironically) make us even more human than we were before!
It is also going to be the year where we allow ourselves to have the best experience outside of our smartphones, whether that means spending less time on social media, using the silence button, or unfollowing those who don’t encourage our best feelings, we will go for it either way!
However, social media addiction can be difficult to overcome. Several digital applications will help us in this process, through what are called utility markers. These apps help us schedule focus time and decrease our social media distractions. In that way, we will be able to manage our time wisely and enjoy real life the best way possible.
i: Social Media Trends Taking Off in 2022 (And How To Leverage Them). Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/01/25/social-media-trends-taking-off-in–2022-and-how-to-leverage-them/?sh=5678337d6f5d
ii: Social Media Use and Its Connection to Mental Health: A Systematic Review. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7364393/
iii: Shift in Social Media App Usage During COVID-19 Lockdown and Clinical Anxiety Symptoms: Machine Learning–Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Study. Available at: https://mental.jmir.org/2021/9/e30833
TREND 2: The Adoption of Telemedicine on The Rise
Even though they will never completely replace face-to-face health visits, remote care and digital consultations have the power to improve and democratize access to health care. By incorporating a mix of both face-to-face and digital consultations, health practitioners of all kinds will be able to provide the best patient outcomes for their clients efficiently in a manner that promises them as much comfort as possible. With that in mind, 2022 will no doubt witness further developments in relation to hybrid access to healthcare.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly proved to be a significant ingredient in overcoming barriers to the adoption of telemedicine and virtual physician and general health visits. According to a McKinsey report, telehealth use has increased 38 times from the pre-COVID-19 baseline. Both patients and physicians now understand the need for the digital world and digital health tools in an ever-changing society. With two years of several lockdowns behind us, none of us need reminding of the importance of digital connection. 2022 will be the year we consolidate the significance of telemedicine, nurture its growth in societies all around the world, and build a healthier future together!
In 2020 alone, more than 90,000 digital health apps were added to top app stores worldwide—an average of more than 250 new apps per day! As a natural result of this phenomenon, in 2022 we will see increased investment in digital solutions, focusing on innovation, digitalization, and access to health care. The coming years are bound to see increased momentum for the proliferation of digital health apps. Let’s get on track and continue to support this exciting development in modern healthcare!
i: Optimizing Health Care Sustainability in Japan. Available at: https://www.iqvia.com/-/media/iqvia/pdfs/institute-reports/optimizing-healthcare-sustainability-in-japan/iqvia-institute-healthcare-sustainability_final.pdf
ii: Digital Health Trends 2021. Available at: https://www.iqvia.com/-/media/iqvia/pdfs/institute-reports/digital-health-trends-2021/iqvia-institute-digital-health-trends-2021.pdf?&&_=1648739106663
iii: Telehealth: A Quarter Trillion Dollar Post COVID-19 Reality. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-COVID-19-reality
TREND 3: It Is Time to Talk About Mental Health
It is impossible to go through a pandemic for two years and not think about our mental wellbeing completely differently. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all that mental health is both very real, and very much subject to the conditions of our environment. Some mental and psychological conditions such as depression can arise due to the fear and anxiety because of the COVID-19 infection or the lockdown and other restriction measures.
The realities of living with trauma truly deserve more space in public conversations, which are occurring on digital forums around the world. Consumers, especially the younger generations, are now understanding the importance of a well-rounded approach to health and mental wellness, with demand soaring for online mental health teleconsultations. From the importance of downtime to the benefits of better sleep quality, mindfulness practice, and therapy sessions, there are so many avenues to help us deal with the pressures of everyday life, and let’s be honest, the human condition! There’s no more space for stigma, taboos, or whispers—it is time to talk clearly, honestly, and loudly. We all deserve to be heard, so why not throw caution to the wind and just go for it!
In 2022, people won’t be as afraid to seek out assistance, show their weakness, and get educated about mental health. Quite the contrary, telehealth solutions, mental health apps, and alternative treatments promise to be in the spotlight.
In the fight against burnout, it’s imperative that we all recognize the tools we have at our disposal, be it the act of pausing for 30 seconds before jumping into our next Zoom meeting, practicing yoga during your lunchtime, or making use of digital apps to meditate will be both a normal thing to do, as well as a healthy thing to do.
The maintenance of mental health is not only a personal priority for individuals, but also a significant focus of modern businesses. A huge part of our lives happens in our work environment. After all, it is where we spend most of our days, deposit a lot of energy, and even make friends and socialize. CEOs now understand that productivity and engagement at work are directly related to wellbeing. Digital health subscriptions, meditation rooms, minimalist and biophilic designed environments, will be but a few of the changes we will experience in our workspace in 2022. So, let’s get talking about them!
i: Transformation – Discovering Wholeness Healing Trauma. Available at :https://www.amazon.com/Transformation-Discovering-Wholeness-Healing-Trauma/dp/0062870726/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?tag=mind0a3-20
ii: How to Support Mental Health at Work. Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-support-mental-health-work
iii: Reimagining the Office and Work Life After COVID-19. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/reimagining-the-office-and-work-life-after-COVID-19
iv: Assessing the Global Burden of Post COVID-19 Conditions. Available at: https://www.iqvia.com/-/media/iqvia/pdfs/institute-reports/assessing-the-global-burden-of-post-COVID-19-conditions/assessing-the-global-burden-of-post-COVID-19-conditions-12-21-forweb.pdf
TREND 4: Employers Prioritize Digital Wellness to Increase Health and Engagement
As Maya Angelou once said, “if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change something, change your attitude.”
Many of us go through life being told there is a certain path we must follow and usually, we believe what we are told. After two years of living through a global pandemic, various lockdowns, and the phenomenon of working digitally from home, it has taken the novelty of their new working situations for many people to realize the importance of purpose and belonging. After experiencing so many lifestyle changes and a wide range of uncertainties, now, more than ever, most people will not settle in an environment where they don’t feel comfortable, engaged and healthy. Who could blame them?
Now, we are truly beginning to understand the importance of purpose and belonging in relation to our professional lives, how they can not only help us achieve our full potential and excel in whatever we set our mind to, but also help us develop as well-rounded individuals. This might mean changing jobs, switching positions, or understanding what kind of professional environment suits us best, whether it is on-site, remote, or a hybrid of the two.
To create wellness within the digital workplace world, several areas of friction are being addressed by employers, such as application overload, information overload, and digital noise pollution. Likewise, employers are focusing on tools that increase concentration and overall wellbeing, from meditation apps and task management software to fitness and sleep apps.
To achieve our full potential, companies are adapting their tools and technologies to enable workers to effectively perform their functions and increase their engagement at work. People want to feel supported. This will vary from the way that companies will help keep us healthy, to securing our digital data and supporting our work-life balance.
i: Reimagining the Office and Work Life After COVID-19. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/reimagining-the-office-and-work-life-after-COVID-19
ii: Optimizing the Digital Workplace for Employees. Available at: https://www.workgrid.com/blog/2022/02/11/2022-digital-workplace-trends?utm_campaign=2022-q1-digital-workplace-trends&utm_medium=ppc&utm_source=google&utm_content=dwx-trends-blog&utm_term=digital%20workplace%20trends&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjJCRj6Tz9gIVEQ_nCh17WwGAEAAYASAAEgK7lfD_BwE
iii: Corporate Purpose and Financial Performance. Available at: https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/30903237/17-023.pdf
iv: Achieving Effective Remote Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Work Design Perspective. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675760/
v: Exploring the Challenges of Remote Work on Twitter Users’ Sentiments: From Digital Technology Development to a Post-pandemic Era. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296321009668
TREND 5: Technology is Enabling us to Prioritize Our Environment
The COVID-19 pandemic has made every single one of us realize how important it is to care for each other. Be it through the mass implementation of public health guidelines, witnessing the amazing advances in science and technology that it has inspired, or showing appreciation for those who worked on the front lines, we all have gained a greater appreciation of what it means to be part of something bigger than ourselves. The time has long since passed that we brought the same energy to something else of an even greater size—that is, Planet Earth. From transportation-generated pollution to extreme weather conditions which continually point to climate change, it is time to become active agents and make a change.
2022 will no doubt bring several challenges with it, but it might bring several solutions as well. Wildfires, climate change, biodiversity loss, and waste will be countered by the development of smart and green cities, remote working, proactive climate events, and focused political dialogue, with digital wellness as a front runner to connect a decentralized world.
Our own personal decisions will also be influenced by the changing circumstances of 2022. The climate-health connection is very real and expressed on digital platforms around the world. The more we all work towards improving the stability of the Earth’s climate, the more we all can benefit in the long term. From avoiding travel pollution by connecting online to cycling to work, now is the time to make everyday choices that will not only save our planet, but also save ourselves and future generations.
i: Climate Change and Health. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health#:~:text=Climate%20change%20is%20already%20impacting,diseases%2C%20and%20mental%20health%20issues
ii: 2022 Emergency Mode for the Environment. Available at: https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/2022-emergency-mode-environment
iii: Health Effects of Changing the Environment. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7123724/