Yes, it’s still January. And if the likes of Danish hygge, Swedish lagom and Scottish còsagach aren’t enough to get you through the dregs of it, it might be time to turn to the Far East. The latest wellbeing buzzword is wabi-sabi – a Japanese philosophy about appreciating beauty in the 'naturally imperfect world’.
The movement is rooted in Zen Buddhism and linked to Japan's famous tea ceremonies. It was created by joining two separate words ‘wabi’ and ‘sabi’ – wabi means simplicity, humility, and understated elegance, while sabi is translated as taking pleasure in the imperfect; referring to the passage of time and the beauty of age.
Today, the wabi-sabi movement spans everything from beauty to interiors – in fact, it’s predicted to be one of 2018’s biggest home trends – and has some high-profile converts. Billionaire Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, musician will.i.am and actress Jessica Alba are all fans; Alba even told US Weekly she “lives by” the Japanese philosophy.
Essentially, wabi-sabi is about accepting life is imperfect and being satisfied with what we have – from learning to see the beauty in our wrinkles to appreciating a chipped vase in our homes rather than throwing it away. It’s the perfect antidote to our fast-paced, mass-produced world; its obsession with Instagram perfection and our constant quest to own new things.
Not only could wabi-sabi help encourage mindfulness and stop you comparing yourself to others (hands up if you’ve broken at least two New Year’s resolutions already), it could also reduce our consumption, cut our budgets and help save the world from waste.
Want to know more? Shop our favourite guides to wabi-sabi below…