Self-Care Discovery

In the wider social narrative

Defining Self-Care

Self-care and wellness are often used as interchanged terms. Wellness is defined by Oxford Languages as the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal and is often seen as the attainment of an ideal state. Self-care, however, is defined as the act of caring for yourself. Importantly, self-care is very personal and is not about longer term goals. It can simply be practicing care for yourself, or advocating for yourself in the moment.


of respondents increased their self-care efforts in the past three years


of those people believe that they will increase those efforts even more in the future

In 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on self-care interventions for health and well-being defined‘self-care' as the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.

In 2020, self-care took on a new level of significance and urgency for the average individual. Google searches for ‘self- care routine’ have increased by 250% since March 2020 and on TikTok, ‘#self-care’ has 12.2 billion views (TikTok, 2022).

Our vulnerabilities were heightened physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. We were forced to re-examine our attitudes to health (physical and mental), fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and social connections – all at once.

For some, self-care during the pandemic became a way to cope with the overwhelming change they were facing in their lifestyles. For others, it was a vital response to a decline in their own health or self-care standards. Self-care rituals became important as imposed restrictions disrupted our normal routines and activities that ease stress and help us find joy.

Our Consumer Connection Study (CCS) in September 2021 showed that people aged 15-64 across the US (46%), Australia (44%), and Great Britain (39%) were spending more time on personal activities at home than they had previously.

The emergence of the lockdown years of 2020 and 2021 meant that some people re-evaluated their way of living and the importance of different aspects of their lives. In 2022, 46% of people between the ages 16-64 in the US and 44% in both Australia and Great Britain agreed that they craved a slower pace of life. Our survey revealed that people were placing more importance on aspects of life that were critical to their well-being. Results from women told the story of the difficulties they had faced during the pandemic. This has now led women to place more importance on these aspects of life.

Personal space has become more important to women 35-44. These women are more likely to have younger families and to have juggled work, schooling, and housework during the pandemic. The aspects of family and friends and physical well-being are now more important to women 55 years and over. Older women, of course, were more vulnerable to isolation and health threats during COVID. Physical health was been particularly prioritized by women 65 and over.

Environment/sustainability and mental health have become more of a priority for women 18-34 years. The environment is now an even higher priority for women 18-24 compared to prior to the pandemic.

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