Self care research results

I'm loving the results of the Self Care Research survey, I also love that it's got many of you thinking about the topic.  I thought I'd first share the responses to the question...

What do you do to take care of yourself & how often?

Each dot point is a single response, unedited, anonymous, interesting & some entertaining! Enjoy!

 
NOTE BEFORE READING: If this triggers something in you, like a HOLY CRAP moment, or suddenly you're reminded of the fact that your monthly massages & weekly dinner dates have been replaced with 4 hourly feeds & endless nappy changes - PLEASE, be kind to yourself, particularly if you feel you aren't doing as much as you 'should' or could for yourself and please don't compare your efforts to others.
It will become more clear as you read on, but some of the survey participants don't have children, some have many. All have varying work commitments and the diversity is what I love about the results.
The objective of the survey is to encourage self care & expose you to different ideas and perhaps give you a little inspiration. 

Moving right along...

.................................................

...............................................................................

Here is what you are currently doing....

 
  • Walking everyday, gardening, manicures, sewing
  • Daily walks, healthy eating, spending time with loved ones.
  • ??? Get my hair done intermittently
  • Listen to music, bath, favourite sport , time alone
  • Eat well majority of time, exercise regularly, positive psychology
  • Dancing every week Walking twice a week Reading
  • running, gym, mindfulness, catch up with friends, networking
  • Walks, yoga, art, day spa
  • A massage or hot bath once a month
  • Netball, jogging/walking, chiro, reading
  • Exercise a few times a week, mindful colouring when I need downtime. * Maintain my alternative therapy treatments
  • not much
  • Gym, good diet, vitamins, massage every couple of wks
  • Fitness - Bootcamp 3 days a week and usually 2-3 other gym sessions
  • Exercise: 5x weekly. Reading in the bath at every chance (at least twice per week for at least 10 minutes each time). Most mornings taking the time to do hair & makeup.
  •  Yoga - 2-3 times a week, walking, music composition, visits to art galleries, keeping a journal to be honest with myself.
  • Try to eat healthy but fail most of the time and also try to exercise but fail too lol
  • Read, Exercise, Write, Sing - not often enough at the moment
  • walk every day, swim, meditate/listen to guided visualisations, relax and watch movies, meet up with friends a few times a week for coffee or dinner, eat (fairly) well, get a Lomi Lomi massage every now and then
  • exercise, gym - 2-3 times a week. Massage , float tank - 1 a month
  • Yoga, walking, weight training 4-5 times weekly Massage/chiro monthly Using essential oils for health/moods Eat whole foods meditation daily
  • Yoga once a week; make sure I get out of the house every day; make sure I eat regularly; generally avoid alcohol; try to get enough sleep. Read and listen to music for some me-time.
  • Rest good food yoga walking dancing time with family pets & friends
  • Personal trainer twice a week, social tennis 1 hr a week, run 2-3 times a week
  • Massages, chiro, stretching, jiu jitsu, weights, walks, alone time
  • The gym maybe twice a week and a nightly walk with my husband, does taking a shower without out my toddler following me into the bathroom count as self care?
  • Foot soak with book. Go for a run or walk
  • I walk for at least 45 minutes nearly every day. I turn off the computer most nights so I have time with my family. I love to cook so I entertain my family and friends at least once per week.
  • Meditation, beach walks, healthy diet, himilayan salt baths, kundilini yoga, read
  • Gym
  • Acupuncture, herbs , Meditation, walking, Tai Qi , relaxing with friends, cat and garden
  • Not enough! If I can walk around the block I enjoy that. I would like to meditate and am looking to join a class. I also spend one night a week at a hobby.
  • Regular exercise plus aim for daily meditation.
  • Run, walk, yoga, Pilates
  • walk sometimes
  • Walk regularly read and learn take time out without phone recognize when I'm emotionally filled up I'm better for others . Occasional massage or pedi
  • Drink heaps of water, walk 5 times per week
 
We had some fantastic tips which I'll share too, but I find great value in seeing what others are DOING, rather than saying 🙂
....................................................
...............................................................

Who answered the survey?

Women
.................................................
50% of whom are working part-time in their own business
40% are working full time in their own business
10% are employed and run a business
.................................................
The majority (55%) work from home
followed by renting space such as an office or studio, then mobile.
.................................................
Most (31%) reported they work 30-40 hours a week
the next closest (25%) work 20-30 hours a week
followed by (14%) working 10-20 hours a week
with some (13%) working 60+ hours a week
and some(12%) on 40+
with only a few (5%) working less than 10 hours a week
.................................................
90% work weeknights and/or weekends
10% don't work either of those
.................................................
85% of the self care survey participants have children, but their ages are spread from babies to grown adults so for the purposes of this activity I'll consider 'children' as below the age of 18 years (although adult kids do often require care we'd generally say not to the level that would count as an excuse not to partake in self-care activities!).
Which brings the number of women who have children 17 years or under to 63% - just for interest sake.
.................................................
.................................................
......................................................
 ..................................................

How do we rate our current level of self care? 

1 being terrible and 10 being terrific!

.................................................

4% = 1
4% = 2
14% = 3
11% = 4
15% = 5
11% = 6
23% = 7
18% = 8
Not surprisingly, there were no 9's or 10's!
The fact that 52% rated themselves as 6-8/10 isn't TOO bad, but 48% rated themselves as 5 or less?
.................................................
.................................................
.................................

What's stopping us from looking after ourselves better?

The unanimous response: TIME! followed by money, with a few 'time & money', a little guilt and some tiredness!
.................................................
.................................................
............................................................ 

What do we want to do more of?

  • Take regular weekends to go away as at home I never really stop thinking of business and things needing to be done.
  • Just sit and be
  • Time for me - walks on beach, exercise, spa visits, catching up with friends.
  • being still
  • Hiking in nature.
  • Monthly massage, pre prepare healthy lunches & snacks
  • Yoga and/or guided meditation.
  • More quiet time
  • Massage weekly and meditate daily
  • Weekly massages, meditate, drink more water, more family time
  • exercise
  • I don't know! I don't know what I like anymore as soooooo involved with children's needs and working
  • Being a full time mum limits options and possibilities, i miss most the theatre and opera. I just can't afford it tthe moment.
  • Having a massage
  • Meditate
  • Meditation class and kinesiology and private sea flotation
  • A monthly massage and facial would be heavenly
  • More time in nature. More alone time
  • Sleeeeeeep
  • Fort nightly massage
  • Meditation
  • get a massage once a month at least
  • Massages
  • Massages
  • Take more time out for myself.
  • Go to the beach, walk
  • having regular massage
  • More regular yoga practice & generally being more mindful & present.
  • Facial, massage, more organic food grown at home,
  • gym
  • Yoga
  • More exercise
  • more pampering
  • Relax. Go to the beach and watch the water.
  • Walking & Pilates
  • Exercise more often, get massages, apply all of the Jamberry nails I've purchased but never have time to apply. Sit alone and think, read a book
Clearly there's a lot of tired, sore muscles, cluttered minds and inactive bodies because essentially we want to be massaged, meditate, exercise and enjoy nature more!
.................................................
.................................................
 .............................................

Your tips for other women to improve their level of self-care

  • Saying No more, doing more without guilt
  • Take time to meditate, listen to your body without compare yourself to others Assess your values Say no to things that don't reflect your highest values Find friends that truly love you for who you are Then let go of things that do not reflect your values Check in with a business coach - stay in touch with her/him See a clairvoyant - record it for future direction Keep a journal Lie on the beach and listen to your body Take long walks with a dog or friend Eat well Don't overwork Be aware of crazy makers - keep them at a comfortable distance
  • Don't ask me
  • Say no more often
  • Exercise its such a mood improver and endorphin releaser
  • Find something and make it a priority
  • Start with a morning routine: everyone has time for 20 minutes of self care in the morning whether it's exercising, reading, or washing your hair.
  • Listen to your heart and body. If you want an early night, take it ; if you want a bath, light candles and have one.Leave work at the office and get into nature to reset when you can
  • Book it in the diary
  • If you don't look after your health, everything else suffers
  • set work time limits where possible
  • decide what you really want and need to do... and if you think you don't have time or money for it, think about what it will cost you in the future if you don't do it. Schedule a low cost activity, eg. bath / swim / massage / full body scrub and recondition, into your diary a few weeks ahead where there are blank spaces and then make sure you honour yourself enough to go through with it.
  • First work within. Without identifying problems that prohibit self care levels, and working on motivational factors, no assistance will help.
  • Believe in yourself and not compare yourself to other women or businesses. Also to realize the importance of exercise good sleep and great nutrition are crucial so make time to look after your own needs.
  • Book in time for yourself or activities.
  • Walking everyday is easy and free and you can bring your baby
  • Schedule it in your diary to make sure you don't let it slide.
  • Make time for it. Write it in your diary if need be
  • Take time out for yourself. Include one hour a day in your daily routine to do something calming for yourself.
  • Schedule time for self
  • Massages! Most people have no idea how good the body is designed to feel
  • Make the time to do it. You are your best when you are doing the best for yourself.
  • Get to the gym and workout
  • Make it a priority.
  • I need improvement here...
  • Schedule in self care! Don't wait for 'free time' - won't happen!
  • Let go of the guilt. you deserve time for you or you won't be your best when others need you . Water your garden regularly . Be careful not to drown it though !
  • Get regular massage to keep you feeling great & less stressed, exercise regularly, meditate (changed my life) eat well non processed whole foods
  • Schedule & prioritize it
  • If you don't take a little time to look after yourself you will be in no shape to care for those you love
  • eat well 
  • Come and see me!
  • put themselves first
  • Understand your limitations and be kind to yourself in your words & actions
  • start with something small but do it everyday. Also remember in a day what you have given to yourself whether it be 10min, less or more.
  • Be deliberate and specific about what you want/need and make it happen - I put things in my daily schedule like 'read a book' so it feels like I've given myself permission to go sit in the sun with a book for a while. Stop valuing being busy and stressed and embrace calmness in your day - this makes it much easier to make good choices about how to use the time you have.
 .............................

Summary: Prioritise, plan, schedule & commit - to yourself!

 self care heart

.............

So here's my take:

We're all overworking & undercharging! Sad story, right!!
.................................................
It's clear we don't all have the luxury of a steady income that pays the bills and there's often very little money left for self care activities like massages and gym memberships. When there is disposable income or let's even say time (to do something that's free), it's generally absorbed by family, work and home rather than ourselves - because we feel guilty spending precious resources on ourselves. Or maybe we're so tired we just want to flop in front of the telly, or spend that extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning because we've been up to kids 3 times during the night and had about 5 hours sleep, if we're lucky!
.................................................
While I feel  like I'm being a little dramatic, I'm merely telling it how I see it, based on the answers given. You might be thinking 'self-care' is another one of those buzz words like 'whole foods' or 'eco friendly' but they're all equally as important and have good reason to be used frequently - it's easy to make the connection between the many health issues society faces with poor food, too many chemicals and STRESS!
.................................................
So why do we put everything else first at the risk of our own health? Well my uneducated non-scientific opinion is that we feel like self-care is being selfish! We may even feel like we aren't worthy of a little extra love and attention and we often judge others who do things for themselves. You know, 'those' women who spend hours at the hair or beauty salon! They're labelled as 'high maintenance' when in fact I think they've got the right idea!
.................................................
Most women would rather offer the last biscuit to another family member when in fact we're the ones who need the most energy to keep up with them - and the demands of daily life. But the funny thing is, WE are the one's who place those demands on ourselves, WE put pressure on ourselves to perform, earn, commit, follow through & deliver. What if we asked ourselves honestly.....
...........................................
"What would happen if I took 30 minutes a day for me? Would the world crumble around me? Would everything fall apart? Would I lose my family or business?"
....................................
I think not, I think the opposite would happen, actually!
.................................................
Family, relationships, a beautiful home or a bustling business may all be important, but at what cost? Like one of the survey participants said, if you don't look after you, everything else will eventually fall apart. This is the worst-case-scenario, obviously but think about it, what happens when you have a cold? Imagine if you were too unwell to be creative, too stressed to connect with new people, too tired to spend quality time with your family. So, if you are feeling unfit, unwell, unmotivated, unloved & neglected (by yourself) then, what can you do about it?
 .................................................
The reasons we gave for not giving ourselves the amount of self care we desire were TIME & MONEY! So given there are plenty of free activities we can do, it really just leaves time as the obstacle. We have 24 hours in a day, that we know that. Take away sleeping, working & looking after little people leaves us limited opportunities - so make the most of them!
..................................
These are 3 small things that I can incorporate into my daily life, and if these are the only things I do for myself in a day then I feel grateful & acknowledge that it's the best I could do with the time I've had.
  • I try to encourage myself and my family to use eating as an opportunity to be nourished, not just something you do to avoid hunger.
  • I walk my kids to school as often as possible, especially if I haven't gone for my morning walk or jog.
  • I read while I have my breakfast and coffee in the mornings, then set my intentions for the day.
 ........................................................
There are many beautiful self care suggestions & ideas in the lists above (in the Tips & What you are currently doing) & I'm sure you could incorporate at least one of these into your day. Here are a few little things I would like to add:
.................................................
  • Reach out to an uplifting friend to have a weekly coffee date
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Take time to appreciate the colours of the leaves or smell the flowers in the garden, breathe in the beauty that you might normally be too busy to see
  • Feel good about putting yourself first, if there are people you need to get on board then have a meeting with them (I'm talking about your family) and tell them why it's important. Happy wife, happy life & all that! I'm sure if you're feeling stressed, so are they
  • Make your own space in the house or garden where you can sit and just be, read or meditate, in your space
  • Find someone to help keep you accountable
  • Create a morning ritual to help you start the day on the right track - reading, intention setting, stretching - something that might only take 10-15 minutes and is easy to maintain
  • Get a great app on your phone so you can relax when you need to. Buddify is one I'd recommend
  • Encourage your partner to take time for him/herself too - we all need this!

It's important to note that I'm not an expert in this area and I will be taking on some of the advice myself, but we do have several members in Bloom Networking who can help you in your endeavours to be happier and healthier so check out the Members In Bloom page.

.................................................

.............................................

I hope you've enjoyed the Self Care Research Results, but even more so, I hope it's inspired you to take some action towards loving yourself a little more.

Shares