Self-care shortage: Americans feel relaxed for just 40 minutes a day

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NEW YORK — Americans only feel relaxed for about 40 minutes a day. A new poll asked 2,000 Americans about their self-care habits and shows that while the average respondent only feels relaxed for less than an hour, 47 percent feel even less relaxed than that.

More than half of respondents say self-care is a priority for them and 72 percent report that, over the last two years, they’ve taken a greater interest in their self-care routines. In fact, respondents are devoting over 200 hours a year to self-care. While the average respondent spends 38 minutes on themselves every day, 15 percent spend more than an hour on self-care.

Learning to chill out

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sensodyne, the survey finds that regardless of how much time respondents spend on self-care routines, everyone defines self-care as something different. The survey revealed that respondents’ top self-care routines include treating themselves to workouts (36%), listening to music (35%), and going for walks (33%).

Additionally, 32 percent like to take a long shower and embark on a skincare routine or sink into the couch to watch their favorite TV show or movie. Meanwhile, three in 10 respondents enjoy indulging in a hot bath or picking up a good book. Others prefer meditating (28%), listening to a podcast (27%), or journaling (23%).

The survey also shows that there are some barriers to respondents’ self-care journeys such as lack of money (52%) and motivation (42%).

In addition to these barriers, 44 percent of respondents also shared that they struggle to find environmentally-friendly or sustainable products to incorporate into their routines – which is key for the 24 percent that “always” consider whether or not their self-care habits are eco-friendly.

Mixing self-care with planet care

With these barriers in mind, it’s no wonder that three in five think they’re more wasteful than they would like to be when it comes to their self-care habits – which can weigh on them as 70 percent are worried about the current state of the environment.

“It’s important to make real, positive impacts on the environment, when possible,” says Stephanie Hernandez, Senior Brand Manager, Sensodyne GSK Consumer Healthcare, in a statement. “Especially when it comes to products that are being used on a daily basis.”

Two in three respondents consider themselves to be an environmentally-conscious person – and three-quarters consider this to be part of their overall self-care. Respondents’ top environmentally-friendly habits include turning off the faucet when brushing their teeth (42%), not letting the water run while washing their dishes (39%), and purchasing recycled and recyclable products (36%).

For the sake of Mother Earth, respondents shared they’d be willing to change as many as five of their self-care habits if it meant it would be better for the environment. Another 59 percent would likely stop using a product after finding out it isn’t eco-friendly.

The top products respondents would switch out for an environmentally-friendly version include toothpaste, shampoo or conditioner, and hair products.

“According to the survey, 64 percent of Americans said that sometimes their self-care habits make it hard to be environmentally friendly,” Hernandez adds. “Making small swaps to a routine like using a recyclable tube and recyclable carton can help maintain a healthy balance of being environmentally conscious while having an effective self-care regime.”