The sweet spot is Generation X. As digital natives who have watched and experienced over time their Baby Boomer predecessors create and decimate health, wealth and relationships – at a personal, community and global level – this connected bunch seem the most aware of what’s been happening and want to do something about it.
Many have suffered themselves – from strained relationships, job insecurity, financial pressures and the resulting stress this places on health and wellbeing of body, mind and spirit. That’s where the desire for work/life balance comes from in the first place.
If not themselves, it’s the people around them – the rise in illness from obesity, cancer and mental health evidence that what we’ve been doing isn’t working. Not determined solely by age, we are seeing high rates of cancer amongst Gen Ys, obesity amongst youth and mental health amongst teens.
And from the suffering health of the people to that of the environment, Gen Xers are aware they are bringing up children in this world with an attitude of Now versus a view on the Future. That has to change.
The irony is that to compensate for the lack of time we have, we’ve created time savers that, in the long run, actually reduce our time on this planet and – medical advancements prolonging life not withstanding – ultimately reducing our time to enjoy this planet.
Gen Xers want to do something about it for their children – and they want to be able to enjoy it for themselves.
They have children of an impressionable age, are involved in the local community and are in management and leadership roles at work. Beyond a desire to do things differently, Gen Xers have a responsibility and the wherewithal to be role models.
From a personal perspective, this period of Gen Xers lives’, from late 30s to early 40s, is the time for consolidation, preparation for the next 40 and making changes where things are not working. Mid life crisis historically has happened around 40 for a reason and no amount of plastic surgery or elixir of youth will stop that from happening. In astrology, this time of your life has significance of Saturn Returns, when new realities and responsibilities are faced. In popular culture, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy cites 42 as the answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. (There’s hope yet!)
Gen Xers are champing at the bit to lead the new way. So whilst there’s no method yet of turning back time, we’re turning back to what’s natural – the way nature intended.
To some, this means looking back at our grandparents and exploring a simpler and more real lifestyle, when cooking, gardening and sewing were part of enjoying life and playing outdoors, communal gatherings and storytelling were as much a joy to parents and grandparents as they were to children and youth.
To others, this means going right back to primal – hunter and gatherer-style. Full body movement, resistance work and short spurts of cardio that reflect climbing trees and jumping brooks, eating Paleo representing the food that was caught, gathered and eaten together, periods of fasting when food wasn’t available, plenty of sleep and a whole lot of play in between.
This is not saying that Gen Xers are the only ones leading the way.
In the media spotlight, we have Gerard Butler and Cameron Diaz and, a little closer to home, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Bridges in the Gen X sweet spot with others either side – Nicole Kidman and Elle MacPherson; Miranda Kerr and Jess Ainscough ‘The Wellness Warrior’.
Amongst Gen Xers, it’s more about looking after yourself and your children – longevity, youthfulness and prevention of disease via natural means that also have sustainability benefits. For Gen Ys, being a ‘Grandma’ is cool and sustainability is part of living A Natural Lifestyle – repurposing items to create something else, growing and cooking your own food, community giving and sharing.
It seems that we have some great role models for aspiring to live A Natural Lifestyle now. And the children of Gen Xers and Gen Ys are in good company to continue in the future.
Over the next weeks, we’ll talk a bit more about the ‘real and simple’ shifts people are making towards living A Natural Lifestyle, and the businesses and brands that are leading the way.
Written by Rachel Bevans in consultation with Brett Henderson PT.
Rachel is a healthy brand champion and owner of The Healthy Brand Company (ref:
Brett is a trained and practicing Personal Trainer and Holistic Lifestyle Coach, with a Degree in Physical Education and Management experience. Working from an holistic health & fitness platform, Brett inspires individuals’ goals to gain visible results by combining resistance training and cardiovascular exercise with nutrition and a positive mindset – considering all areas of individuals’ lives.
Feel free to share with acknowledgements to The Healthy Brand Company, Brett Henderson PT and supporting references.
© The Healthy Brand Company, 2013