We’ve put the mince pies down and the cheese boards aside (for now) and we’re focusing on the year ahead. With so many unique and alternative ways to maintain our wellbeing now, here’s a look at a few options for 2019 and what else may be in store… Words by Crystal Rose

With the new year come new goals and resolutions – and you’ve probably heard quite enough of that already, right? Personally, long gone are our days of resolution making only to fail miserably within the month and feel worse for it. This year we want to focus on different ways to improve and maintain our wellbeing and have been discussing all the upcoming trends and predictions for the year ahead. There are alternative retreats (aside from your usual bootcamp malarky), new skills to consider and a few subscription services available for you or those around you. Plus, there has been a whole load of new openings just in time for 2019 – including Bristol’s first-ever immersive spin class, a new spa on the scene and yoga in a toasty, inflatable pod.

Pain moons

Focusing on helping people through rough chapters of their lives and often considered as a latent need, ‘pain moons’ are a new one on us – designed to provide a more creative roster of emotional healing approaches. Acknowledging that divorce, break-ups, grief, loss, anger and fear are all very real aspects of life for many, pain moons offer the time away to restore happiness and normality and give you the switch off that’s sometimes needed. “Clients return home recovered and rejuvenated with lasting learnings to manage life’s difficulties,” says Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel (healthandfitnesstravel.com) who tailor-make healthy holidays around the world. We like the sound of the service; a great idea for restoring a healthy and happy state of mind and body.

Mental health in the workplace

Following the 2018 success of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek we noticed a marked increase in the conversation around mental health in the workplace. With the rise in acknowledgement, can we hope for more to come around this vital topic? Sleeves rolled up, we’ve done a bit of digging to see what we can find. There are hints that the This Is Me campaign, led by the Lord Mayor’s Appeal in the City of London, will be expanding nationwide. This year, we hope that more employers will build an understanding and awareness in their organsiations by providing a platform for employees who have experienced mental health problems to share their stories with others. More people are aiming to end the stigma attached to mental health in the workplace, and we’re all for it! With the likes of Barclays, Mind and many others in partnership with the programme, there’s no stopping all the amazing progress that has been made.

Dog walking

Quality time with man’s best friend is also a great way to clear your mind and breathe in the glorious fresh air. Never forget how valuable getting away from your phone/laptop/other brightly-lit screen and going outside is; that outdoor encounter can change your whole mindset. Establishments such as Bristol Animal Rescue Centre (bristolarc.org.uk) and Dogsfriends (dogsfriends.me.uk) are always looking for dog-walking volunteers to amble across the fields with their pups. An early-morning stroll, quick lunchtime skip or evening gander; any time is a good time. Help out those four-legged friends in need and get some exercise in too.

Veggie heaven

If you’re vegan-curious, transitioning in your diet, wanting to cleanse or just looking to be surrounded by vegan food options then heading to the Queen of Retreats (queenofretreats.com) could be exactly what’s in order. Expect organic and nutrient-rich foods and prepare for your palate to be opened up to a world of new flavours. Not to mention, you’ll likely return feeling super-fresh, having picked up a more sustainable diet and tips on reducing your daily environmental impact.

Running away to the circus

It’s genuinely a great idea – and you’ve not got far to go! Whether you’re looking to trapeze your way through the circus world or acquire another interesting new physical skill, Bristol’s own Circomedia (circomedia.com) offers a range of classes available for those as young as four. Why not try your hand at aerial hoop or improve your strength and body control with acrobatics? And, with plans to convert the Tankhouse 4 Bottleyard Studios into the UK’s largest circus centre (due to open September 2020), now is as good a time as ever to learn an impressive new talent and join the circus, P.T. Barnum-style.

Get fresh

Eating healthily has never been so easy. Lots more of our shops and suppliers realise it’s what (many of) the people want now so it’s high on their list of priorities too. Bespoke meal delivery service Fresh Fitness Food (freshfitnessfood.com) has also arrived in the city, designed to help fitness enthusiasts, athletes and busy professionals achieve their health goals and offering different packages; from plant-based to the office package (containing 60-70% of your daily calorie intake). So now you can enjoy fresh, quality ingredients as part of dishes tailored to your specific goals.

Real good reads

With an ever-increasing choice of subscription services available, there’s almost no limit to what you can have delivered on a monthly basis to your front door. Give yourself the gift of the written word and all its wisdom with A Year of Books from Foyles (foyles.co.uk); the ultimate self-love treat for those who devour pages like they’re hors d’oeuvres. It’s available from £140 for the paperback package; expect page-turners that you just won’t be able to put down. What a sweet, simple idea in a world that makes it harder and harder to switch off from technology.

Mummy retreats

For those that need to get away, without getting away from, ‘mumcations’ could be just the solution. Suitable for mothers across all parenting journeys, the Mummy Tribe fitness and wellness retreat (themummytribe.co.uk) is all about nourishing minds, replenishing bodies and acquiring skills and knowledge needed to navigate motherhood. All the while your little one is being cared for by a qualified team of professional nannies. Each retreat lasts three days and brings together a group of strong, calm and powerful mamas and their mini tribes too!

Featured image: Escape into the world of fiction with Foyles’ book subscription service