COVID-19 sparks a new focus on self-care

Recent events have caused us all to take better care of ourselves

According to new research, many of us are placing a greater emphasis on self-care in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chaos, stress and health fears created by the COVID-19 crisis have reminded us all just how important it is to take care of yourself and those around you.

We’re going to take a closer look at this research, and explore the importance of one of, if not the most vital form of self-care: getting a good night’s sleep.

The research

The research, which was shared by GSK Consumer Healthcare and IPSOS last year, surveyed more than 4,000 participants aged between 16 and 75 years in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. The results show just how much our attitudes and behaviours towards self-care have changed because of this virus.

Many Europeans have adopted new everyday health habits over the last year. 65% of people across all four countries are now more likely to consider their health in day-to-day decision-making. We now pay closer attention to our health and any symptoms of illness. Many people have also adopted new behaviours to minimise the risk of transmission, such as regular handwashing.

This kind of behaviour is particularly prevalent in those aged between 16 and 24, of whom 70% now consider their health in daily activities.

In the UK, 68% of people are now taking extra precautions to avoid illness, and 77% of people now feel it is important to take their health into their own hands in order to relieve pressure on healthcare systems. When we invest in healthcare products, 82% say these products must come from trusted brands which are grounded in science. UK over-the-counter medicine sales are up 34%.

And it’s not just our own health that we’re considering. Three quarters of respondents say they now care more about the health of their loved ones. This is particularly prevalent among women (80%) and young people aged 16 to 24 (75%).

What does this tell us?

It’s no surprise that a global health crisis has made us all more aware of our own health and wellbeing, but it’s promising to see that self-care is once again in the spotlight as a vital aspect of our everyday lives.

Regional Head of EMEA GSK Consumer Healthcare, Filippo Lanzi, commented on the results of the study, saying:

“Our research shows the extent to which the pandemic has impacted attitudes towards personal wellbeing and self-care, and it’s encouraging to see the increased importance that many people are now placing on looking after their own and others’ health.”

Sleep is the ultimate self-care

It’s impossible to focus on self-care without highlighting the important role that sleep has to play. Taking steps to encourage a good night’s sleep every night is one of the most powerful ways to support your health and ingrain self-care into your routine.

Sleep is important for both our physical and mental wellbeing. It’s a chance for our bodies to rest, repair and grow, and helps to keep your heart healthy, your metabolism intact, and your immune system strong. Sleep can also help to reduce your stress levels and improve your attention and concentration. It has also been linked to helping you learn and make memories.

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