From yoga to brushing your teeth — Americans learned to go with the flow through self-care routines

·3-min read

If we've learned one thing during the course of the pandemic, it's how to roll with the punches. 

According to new research of 2,000 Millennial and Gen Z Americans, 70% found that the top lesson they learned in 2020 was to not sweat the small stuff and to just go with the flow. 

Nearly three out of four respondents agreed that they're finally prioritizing themselves and their own needs for the first time in a long time - which makes it clear that Americans putting themselves first and foremost is much overdue. 

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Pronamel, the survey analyzed the ins and outs of the self-care routines for people under 40 and found that nine in 10 respondents have a set routine that takes about an hour every day. 

On average, those polled have a six-step self-care routine which focuses primarily on activities that boost endorphins, such as yoga, meditation and exercise. Other feel-good moments respondents pursue include classics like face masks, curling up with a good book, bubble baths and a glass of wine.

Regardless of what respondents' self-care routine includes, nearly seven out of ten respondents agreed that spending time on themselves is an investment in their future health and wellness. 

In fact, the survey found that most people aren't performing their daily routines just for a moment of peace, they're actually doing it for their future selves. The top reasons respondents complete their daily rituals include maintaining their overall health (49%) and boosting their self-esteem (45%). 

Seven in 10 respondents also shared they feel like they've had a self-awakening over the past year to really take the time to care for their own health above everything else. In fact, more than half (64%) of respondents stated that their oral health is an important part of their self-care routine and, 66% agree that visiting the dentist for a cleaning/checkup is part of their self-care.

"It's important to find an oral care routine that works best for you and your overall health. Bacteria that forms in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and the rest of your body. This could lead to larger medical complications, like a stroke, cancer or premature delivery (for pregnant women)," shared GSK Oral Care expert, Monica Biga, Charlotte Business Manager. 

But despite their feel-good routines, respondents admitted there are some blind spots. Nearly half (48%) of those polled said they often overlook their heart health and healthy sleep patterns (46%). Twenty-six percent of respondents also shared they want to eat a more balanced diet.

Another blind spot respondents share is their oral health - thirty-four percent of respondents said this area of their health could use some additional TLC. In fact, more than half (64%) of respondents stated that their oral health is an important part of their self-care routine and, 66% agree that visiting the dentist for a cleaning/checkup is part of their self-care.

With all of these blind spots in mind, it's no wonder more than half (63%) of those polled feel their self-care routine is surface level and does not impact their actual health. 

According to the American Dental Association¹, at-home oral care is an important contributor to oral health and spending the right amount of time in appropriate home oral care is undoubtedly essential to helping minimize the risk of oral health disease. 

"It's essential to brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes to maintain good oral hygiene," shares Biga. "You should also be flossing at least once a day, ideally at night. You don't want food/drinks sitting between your teeth when you go to bed, which can cause more damage."