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Lower stress with the lowdown on self-care

Making time to tend to our self-care should be considered a necessity and not a luxury

Self-care appears to be a double-edged sword for many people. A recent study offers insights into self-care habits, finding that four in five of us wish we had more time for self-care.

According to the study of 2,000 Americans commissioned by Massage Envy, the most common activities identified as self-care include exercising, napping or sleeping in, taking a bath and getting a massage. Over half of survey respondents said time was the biggest impediment to self-care, with a quarter of people only squeezing in time for self-care less than once a week.

"We live in a world that makes finding time for self-care difficult, while normal everyday activities like sitting for prolonged periods of time or commuting wreak havoc on our bodies," said Kathy Collins, Massage Envy's Chief Marketing Officer. "Self-care is not a luxury, it's a necessity that can ease stress and provide a welcome break from the rigours of daily life.”  

The life factors that most frequently trigger the need for a self-care break are stress, followed by a need for the following a mental break, time alone and a physical break.

The results found that women are more likely to participate in self-care in order to give themselves a ‘mental break’, whereas men were more likely to feel they needed a ‘physical break.’ All of that stress and tension can have tangible negative effects. Eighty-two percent of people said stress affects their physical health.

With stress having such a major impact on people's bodies, many people search for solutions to their aches, pains, and muscle tension. Results found that a doctor consultation, stretching session or massage were the most frequent ways people tried to deal with their pain.

Self-care in numbers... 

Most popular self-care activities
  • Exercising - 56 per cent
  • Napping or sleeping in - 40 per cent
  • Taking a bath - 38 per cent
  • Getting a massage - 36 per cent

Most frequent ways people deal with pain 
  • Doctor consultation - 52 per cent
  • Stretching session - 37 per cent
  • Massage - 34 per cent