Majority of U.S. Adults Looking to Practice More Self-Care, Survey Finds

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Washington, D.C.—80% of U.S. adults say they will be more mindful about practicing self-care regularly once the pandemic is over, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Samueli Integrative Health Programs.

46% of those surveyed report that they are struggling to find ways to maintain their whole health during the pandemic.

The survey was conducted online from May 5-7, 2020. 2,051 U.S. adults responded. They were asked questions about how life has changed during the pandemic—i.e., are they feeling more negative emotions, are they suffering from lack of motivation, are they having difficulty accessing needed medications or medical treatments. They were also asked if their healthy habits have changed during the pandemic—are they eating more or fewer healthy foods? Are they meditating more or less often? Are they engaging in creative activities more or less often? They were also asked to agree or disagree with various general statements regarding life during the pandemic, such as whether or not technology has been essential to them, whether or not they are scared to get health care, and whether or not they want more guidance/support for practicing self-care.

The numbers:

  • 30% lack energy
  • 29% report difficulty sleeping
  • 29% have been exercising less
  • 47% report feeling socially isolated
  • 64% are more focused on their mental health now than ever
  • 44% wish they had more guidance and support for practicing self-care during the pandemic, including with regards to healthy diet, stress management, and regular exercise
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Wayne Jonas, M.D., Executive Director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs, said in a press release: “The pandemic threatens the mental and physical well-being of every American. People are seeking ways to manage their stress, but it isn’t enough. As we adjust to a new normal, we need to foster a robust, patient-centered healthcare system to better promote self-care.

“As the country begins our recovery, it will inevitably create questions about the future of the healthcare system,” Dr. Jonas continued. “The findings from this study show the critical need for a system that empowers individuals to maintain healthy habits they formed and emphasizes strategies that support self-care—like good nutrition, exercising, and stress reduction—alongside guidance from physicians.”

The full survey can be found here.

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