There’s no doubting the wellness industry’s monstrous growth in 2018. At any given moment, we’re being introduced to a new ingestible, celebrity-approved workout or topical product, all marketed to make us feel like our best selves at a sometimes unattainable price.
Though we agree that self-care, however you choose to define it, is necessary to a more well-balanced life, brands can often make it feel like a trend that isn’t inclusive of the people it’s meant to serve. Hannah Bronfman, founder of HBFit and author of the upcoming Do What Feels Good, can personally attest to the gimmicky shift since her transition to a healthy lifestyle happened long before amassing almost 500K Instagram followers.
“I did go through a point in my life that wasn’t documented on social media where I was partying all the time. I was deejaying nightclubs all the time. I was eating crappy food. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was putting on my skin and how what I put into my stomach relates to everything that happens to my skin,” she tells StyleCaster.
Now, after seven years of being a guinea pig and trying just about everything—all while learning to navigate the influencer world in an authentic way—she’s ready to ignite a necessary shift. With 2019 on the horizon and the world in a perpetual state of anxiety, she wants to see the wellness industry talk less about buzzy products and more about accessibility and self-love.
Besides putting all of her best advice into a book, she’s also walking the walk and ensuring that her self-care routine is done from the inside out. Ahead, she breaks down everything that led to her aha moment and how she continually makes her health a priority.
The Aha Moment
The aha moment for me wanting to live a healthier lifestyle actually came from the fact that I was deejaying nightlife so much in New York City. I literally woke up one day thinking, ‘I’m so burnt out.’ The lifestyle was completely unsustainable. I was probably eating one meal a day, deejaying all night, sleeping all day. And I just forgot about the things that really made me feel good, which was living an active lifestyle, cooking for myself and taking care of myself. And at the time, I also had terrible skin—I just felt burnt out all around.
Wellness doesn’t mean eating organic. Wellness doesn’t mean working out every day.
Gimmick Versus Reality
I will say from a business standpoint, there are so many gimmicks. The way wellness has been marketed over the last five years has made it very confusing for the consumer; almost like a lot of these brands aren’t even catering to the whole demographic of women and men who want to be involved in self-care. I think as individuals, people are going to gravitate more toward self-care and really self-love. If anything, that’s the positive that’s come out of the gimmicks of wellness. But I do find the world of marketing wellness to be kind of polarizing. And a lot of people feel like it’s not attainable when really, it is.
There are small things you could be doing that don’t cost any money. Wellness doesn’t mean eating organic. Wellness doesn’t mean working out everyday. I really think that’s the way the media has marketed it. What I’m really excited about in my book is telling people different things they can do for themselves that cost no money at all. It’s really about shifting your perspective to achieve a better sense of your most positive self. People are going to gravitate more toward it in 2019 because people just want to take better care of themselves.
Sometimes, I need to make sleep my priority over working out and that’s OK.
Getting Over Guilt
A big part of self-love is not feeling guilty when those non-negotiables don’t happen. I have a very hectic lifestyle. I’m traveling all the time and even though I would love to be having my celery juice every morning, there are days when that is just not happening. And that one day could turn into a full week. But I’m not going to feel guilty or upset with myself that I didn’t make it happen. There has to be this level of forgiveness.
I would say that my non-negotiables kind of work on a weekly basis, as opposed to a daily basis. For me, a non-negotiable would be a bath. Bath time for me is really important. I know in New York City, not everyone has access to a bath, but there are steams and the Russian baths. That moment of inward tranquility in water—that for me is a non-negotiable. Whether I’m traveling or not, that’s something I can accomplish. I used to have a bath at my house. I don’t currently, so that’s an adjustment. But I’m the type of girl that I’m literally going over to my friend’s house and using their bath.
I gotta work out at least three times a week. There are weeks where I can get to a workout five times, but then there are weeks when I’m only working out twice. But again, I don’t get down on myself for not making a workout. Sometimes, I need to make sleep my priority over working out and that’s OK.
I plan my own self-care out a little more thoughtfully, rather than it being a random act.
I’m obsessed with face masks. I absolutely love them. There’s this arnica face mask from Eminence. I also love the hydrating mask from Laneige and the brightening mask from Tatcha. I have a bunch of DIY beauty recipes for face and bath because I find that everyone’s marketed products, products, products, but there are things in your own pantry that you’re not even aware of that have amazing antioxidant, brightening and hydrating powers.
Self-Love Within Marriage
I guess I’d have to say that it has changed a little bit. It makes me pre-plan the moments I’m going to have for myself whereas before, I could do something for myself at anytime I wanted. But now that I have someone else that I think and care about, I plan my own self-care out a little more thoughtfully, rather than it being a random act.
I always say, there’s no better time to start something than today.
How to Tackle Goals
I think New Year’s resolutions automatically set us up for failure because we put so much pressure on them. I always say, there’s no better time to start something than today. When it comes to setting goals, it’s really important that if you want to set yourself up for success, to create micro-goals. For instance, it’s really difficult when we say, ‘I want to lose 20 pounds.’ You’re not going to do that overnight. So how can you set a goal for yourself that says, OK, I’m going to work hard to making myself feel really good and eat really clean and maybe the pounds will come off that way?
It’s not being so obsessed with the outcome, but rather looking inward and seeing how you feel. And I would say take it day by day. Let’s say you say, ‘my goal for the New Year is not to eat dessert for the month of January.’ OK, take that day by day. You go out to dinner. You don’t eat dessert on a Wednesday night. You’ve got a little more confidence going into Thursday, saying, ‘well last night I didn’t have a dessert. Maybe tonight I won’t either.’ Let’s say you’ve gone two and a half weeks and you’ve been dying to have that whatever. Well, maybe you do and then you feel so upset that you’ve broken your goal. But it’s like you actually went two and a half weeks where before you didn’t go any days. Plus, at two and a half weeks, chances are you won’t be craving sugar anymore anyway.
In our series “Operation Recharge,” we task celebrities and influencers with sharing what self-care means to them, as well as the activities, products and treatments they indulge in for downtime done right.