Understanding Self-Care

Sleep and stress management

Daily Self-Care Activities

As the pace and cadence of our own living shifted abruptly during the pandemic, we were confronted by insights into our own minds and emotions that we perhaps hadn’t allowed time for previously.

In our Patchology Self-Care Survey respondents revealed that they are currently spending more time on relaxation (36%), mental health (30%), sleep (30%) and exercise (28%).

We also asked respondents about their current state of happiness. Overall, 46% of people rated themselves moderately happy and 35% rated themselves as very happy. 19% were not very happy. Men were more likely to rate themselves as very happy (42%) vs. women (25%) and women were more likely to rate themselves as not very happy (28% vs. 13% for men). Higher rates of happiness were also recorded by people aged 55+ and people with incomes over USD $100,000.


increase in Spotify streams for health-related podcasts

The Foresight Factory (March 22) asked respondents about their interest in a wearable device that monitored stress levels throughout the day. Of the respondents, 66% people in the US, 61% of people in Australia and 63% in Great Britain were very or quite interested.

In a 2022 global study into wellbeing, respondents were asked what issues were holding them back from physical, mental, or social wellbeing. Over half of the respondents (52%) nominated lack of a support network and 50% nominated stress – both ahead of the third factor of COVID- 19 at 48%.

In 2021, Spotify saw a 123% increase for streams of health- related podcasts and more than 44% year-over-year growth in wellness playlist streams. Deep Sleep and Sleep were in the top five playlists in the US, coming in at numbers two and five.

Brands are stepping into this space and are offering their customers some quirky and innovative solutions. During January 2022 the Standard Hotel in London offered guests the option of a digital detox, taking their phone and providing them with a polaroid camera instead as they explored London. Popular anxiety blanket brand Gravity Blanket has now created a soft robe with a removable three pound weight in the collar to help sooth tension in the shoulders and the neck.

Making Time for Self-Care

‘Ask my friends: I’m the number one advocate for
“me” time. That’s why I’m going all-in on self-care and creating a corner in my home that only brings calm vibes. It’ll be my safe space to step away, stretch and recharge.’

- @mybelonging Tommy Lei Instagram Influencer

As science reveals more about the interrelatedness of sleep to mental and physical health, better sleep quality and avoiding sleep deprivation will become more widely adopted self-care driven behaviors.

This also has significant implications for skin care. A study in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology in the UK found that people who slept seven to nine hours a night had skin that was more moisturized and that could protect and heal itself better after being exposed to ultraviolet light compared to those who slept five hours or less.

We will see the emergence of self-care products that are designed to enhance sleep like pillow sprays, carefully formulated overnight masks and therapy balms along with shower and bath products.

Brands outside the home will also tap into this trend. Selfridges in the UK have launched cinema sleep sessions. Customers can book power naps at The Cinema at Selfridges, with guided audio meditations by House of Wellbeing and sleep essential oils by Anatomē.

Our report found that

people who were increasing their efforts in any aspect of self-care were more likely to have positive emotions about it
Mind and Body

Daily Self-Care Activities

There is growing uptick of exercise for the broader purpose of self-care. The role of movement in supporting more holistic health goals like mental health, resilience, boosting immunity and health restoration is more widely adopted.

In 2021 there was an 80% increase in searches for ‘mindful moving’ and a 23% increase for ‘mindful running’ last year.

Mindful movement (such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, qigong and Gyrotonic) is valued at USD $29 billion and expected to grow 12% annually by 2023.

Synkro is a holistic self-care centre that opened in Perth, Australia in March 2022. It offers traditional fitness classes, wellness classes that include reiki, breath work, meditation, sound therapy, hypnotherapy, nutrition, a Shaman mentoring program and goal setting. It seeks to create positive alignment across mind, body and spirit.

The connection between motion and emotion is proven and movement for self-care is becoming more popular. US Yoga Instructor Adriene Mishler with over 11.3 million YouTube subscribers provides routines to create positive or combat negative moods. Yoga for Loneliness was her channel’s most-watched video of 2020-21.

Johns Hopkins Medicine offers self-care through Somatic Movement videos on YouTube designed to reconnect body and mind.

$29 billion

mindful movement is valued at $29 billion and expected to grow 12% this year

In our Patchology Self-Care Survey 29% of respondents claimed to be spending more time exercising compared to 2020. Of the respondents, 31% claimed to be spending less time.

For people increasing the time they spent on exercise, the main reasons were aging, a desire to be their best self, health issues, being more self involved and stress. For those spending less time, aging, stress, health issues and work were the top reasons.

When asked about future intentions, respondents were more optimistic - 46% believed that they would put more effort in.


In future, we will see a redefining of exercise from strenuous activity to a range of activities intended to contribute to wider self-care efforts and ultimately lead to longevity.

The focus will be on building a habit of daily movement, intended to nurture and sustain us. The meditation app, Calm, has launched a series called “Daily Move” – 3-5 minute sessions including a range of activities – described as a “movement that is built on acceptance, gratitude and self-love for your body.“

The concepts of mindful movement and mood-based movement will increasingly see people tapping into exercise as a holistic, personalized approach to self-care.

The London-based gym chain Psycle, which runs fitness classes online, marked World Mental Health Day in October 2021 by introducing a new "filter by feeling feature" on its website. Nine different feelings were offered including fierce, empowered, restored and invigorated. Psycle says it introduced the feature to “help you stay in tune with your emotions and give your mind what it needs.” The workouts are created with mental well-being in mind and are “designed to help build inner strength just as much as outer strength.”

Return to our Self-Care Report