It’s been a difficult few years for Americans with enforced lockdowns and now, a cost of living crisis straining budgets and emotional well-being. Even the most resilient might find themselves drained, so what can people do right now to look after their mental and emotional well-being? The answer seems to be to follow the lead of some of their fellow Americans’ self-care activities.
A recent survey by Within Health looked at every state’s most Googled self-care activity. They also surveyed 800 Americans to ask about their self-care habits and how they look after their mental and physical health.
Americans Say Journaling is Critical to Their Well-being
The survey found that, by far, the most common way of balancing career stresses and managing finances was through journaling. Out of 50 states, it was the most popular self-activity in 35.
Zoning in at the city level, the survey found that journaling was the most popular activity for Americans in major U.S cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Boston.
The top self-care activity in Alaska is exercise, which makes sense considering all the outdoor activities available in the mountainous state. Those in New Mexico also turn to exercise as their top form of self-care.
Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, and Maine have yoga as their top self-care activity. The same goes for Miami, Florida. Taking a relaxing bath is the top self-care activity in Delaware and West Virginia, while sleep is the most relaxing activity for those in Idaho and Georgia.
Holidays Can be a Pinchpoint for Stress
If you found the holiday season difficult, you’re not alone. It can be a stressful time of year, financial pressures, especially with the cost of living crisis, spending time with family, traveling, and the general tiredness all come together, causing friction.
From the survey, over half (52%) of Americans say they feel more burned out during the holiday season, and almost 1 in 3 (31%) engage in more self-care activities.
Even though it can be hard to maintain consistent self-care during the holidays, it’s clear that Americans need to make more time to take care of themselves. Half (50%) of Americans find it hard to prioritize self-care during the holidays.
Within Health’s Primary Therapist Katie Piel says, “Mindfulness is one quick way to give your mind and body a break during the whirlwind of the holidays, and it doesn’t have to add extra time in your day. Engaging in mindfulness as self-care is an easy and free way to increase your peace and decrease your stress.”
The Within Health survey results mirror a separate study by Fitness Volt. Their findings reveal the most Googled fitness and well-being class in each state, with yoga taking the top spot, followed by Pilates.
The research analyzed Google Trends data to discover the most Googled fitness classes in each state over the past year to determine which was more widespread across America – Yoga or Pilates.
Yoga Most Popular in California and 15 Other States
Yoga is the most popular class in America by some distance. According to the research, the activity is the most searched-for fitness class in 16 states, including Arkansas, California, and Illinois.
Yoga is especially favored in the Northeast, as states such as New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts all search for yoga more than any other fitness class.
While yoga provides an obvious route toward mental well-being, the survey highlights two other fitness-based activities that can contribute to well-being. The second most Googled fitness class across the country is Pilates.
Pilates has surged in popularity over recent years and currently receives 9,000 average searches a month across the country for the phrase ‘Pilates classes’. Pilates is the most Googled fitness class in 11 states, including Florida, Oklahoma, and Washington.
The research revealed that Zumba ranks closely behind Pilates, the country’s third most popular fitness class.
A total of ten states search for Zumba classes more than any other fitness class, such as Kansas and Alabama, and the popular dancing workout also receives 12,000 average monthly searches for the term ‘Zumba classes.’
Zumba classes also ranked particularly popular across the West, as states such as Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming all search for Zumba the most.
A spokesperson for Fitness Volt commented on the study: “The popularity of fitness classes first became apparent in the 1970s and are still as popular as they have ever been today, with people eager to reap the benefits of a workout in the form of organized group exercise.”
Timeless Activies Remain Most Popular
Both sets of results offer a fascinating insight into how Americans manage to say on top of their mental health. While journaling and yoga are two of the most popular activities, people are using various activities, with Pilates’s popularity as definitely on the rise.
A key concern during these financially difficult times will be the cost associated with these activities. However, it could be reassuring the two most cited activities, yoga and journal are centuries old, proven activities which can be done for free or without significant costs.
As you plan your 2023, whether they be applying for a new job or career change, or simply spending more time with your family, remember to block off time for self-care. Find what works for your schedule and budget, and plan in time to take care of yourself.
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This post was produced and syndicated by Career Step Up.
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