Millennials have started to claim their definition of wellness, what it means to be happy, healthy and balanced in an increasingly intense world. For this generation, the idea of wellness is manifesting as self-care.
Some may have a hard time discerning the difference between self-care and its older aunt: pampering. Millennials are a generation of self-realizers; they grew up being told about the vastness of their individual potential from parents who placed great importance on their kids’ happiness. So while pampering is on the indulgent side, Millennials see self-care as a responsible – or even necessary – component of, as Oprah put it, living their best life.
In the recently published third edition of our THINK report, our research (conducted in partnership with Mintel) found that Millennials are a demographic that’s particularly interested the practice of mindfulness. They are also more stressed-out than older generations, according to the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America report (APA.org, 15 February 2017).
Activities that relate to mindfulness, like yoga, meditation, clean eating, exercise and stress reduction, are part of modern wellness’s brand of self-care. NPR has noted that they outspend Boomers on elements of a self-care support system, like “workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy and [mental health] apps,” (NPR.org, 4 June 2017).
It’s important that brands and marketers see those activities for what they are and not ascribe them to superfluous or vain reasons. For 20- and 30-somethings, self-care is a real way to cope with an overwhelming world that leaves many feeling worn out, often for no apparent reason. As Dr. Robin Berzin puts it: “‘Wired and tired’ is the way many people describe feeling to me,” (TheCut.com, 27 June 2017). “Millennials are more interested in quality of life. They expect to feel better.”
Understanding what motivates Millennials’ self-care mindset will help brands connect with a very important aspect of this young generation’s lifestyle. As they continue to define what wellness means to them, spiritual guides and health instructors aren’t the only coaches they’ll be open to. Brands have an opportunity to step in with self-care assistance and solutions, too.
For more data points around mindfulness and marketing examples, download a copy of our THINK report.