Covid-19 could encourage more people to practise self-care

A new survey has looked at the health of Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Rawpixel pic)

PARIS: A new US poll has found that as many as 80% of American adults will try to practise self-care more regularly once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

Carried out by The Harris Poll on behalf of Samueli Integrative Health Programmes, the new survey asked 2,051 US adults aged 18 and over about their health during the current pandemic.

Many participants reported that their health had suffered as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, with 47% reporting feeling socially isolated, 30% reporting a lack of energy, 29% reporting that they had difficulty sleeping and 29% reporting that they were exercising less.

Nearly half of the participants (46%) also said that they are struggling to find ways to maintain their whole health, including physical, mental and spiritual health, during the pandemic.

However, the good news is that compared to before the pandemic, around one-third of those surveyed said they are practising more creative activities (35%) and engaging in more meaningful conversations with friends and family (31%).

One in four also reported spending more time outdoors or eating more healthy foods.

Moreover, a majority (64%) said that they are more focused now then ever on looking after their mental health, and a large majority (80%) said that they will be more mindful about practising self-care — which includes following a healthy diet, regular exercise, managing stress and other behaviour changes such as quitting smoking — regularly once the pandemic is over.

However, nearly half also said they wish they had more guidance and support for practising self-care during the pandemic.

“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,” said Wayne Jonas, MD, executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programmes.

“As we adjust to a new normal, we need to foster a robust, patient-centred healthcare system to better promote self-care.”

“The findings from this study show the critical need for a system that empowers individuals to maintain healthy habits they formed and emphasises strategies that support self-care — like good nutrition, exercising, and stress reduction — alongside guidance from physicians.”