Ladies, it’s time to put your feet up and start looking after yourself

A shockingly low percentage of British women regularly allow themselves the time to unwind and de-stress each week – however the events of 2020 mean many women are finding a new appreciation for the value of self-care, a new study reveals.

A study of 1,000 British women, carried out by the UK’s largest independent online flower retailer, Serenata Flowers, has revealed that more than one-in-three (35%) British women allow themselves no more than two hours of ‘me time’ per week.

Key findings of the survey were:

  • More than one-in-three (35%) women only allow themselves up to two hours of ‘me time’ per week;
  • A  similar number of women claim the events of 2020 have made them more aware of the importance of time for themselves;
  • The top three ways women unwind are, clothes shopping (92%), eating chocolate (92%) and buying shoes (89%).

The findings also reveal that family and work commitments can make it difficult for some women to find ‘me time’, with 15% saying it’s a struggle to squeeze it in around looking after a family and 13% claiming they struggle to find time for self-care around their busy work schedule.

However, almost two-in-three women (65%) simply do not believe that ‘me time’ activities, such as shopping for clothing, getting their hair done or watching TV, is an important part of relaxing and recharging.

Attitudes toward the importance of ‘me time’ may well be beginning to shift however, as nearly one-in-three (30%) of women say the events of 2020 so far have made them more aware of the need to take more time for themselves. Close to a quarter (23%) say they would like to be kinder to themselves this year in the light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Buying new shoes is third on the list of the most popular ‘me time’ activities for women. Photo by Alexandra Maria from Pexels

Time- and finances-permitting, the most popular ways that women do like to take time to themselves include shopping for new clothes and indulging in chocolate, both of which 92% of women claim they like to do to unwind.

Other popular self-care activities include buying themselves flowers each month (59%), treating themselves to an alcohol tipple such as prosecco (71%) and subscribing to a monthly beauty subscription box, which more than half of British women (51%) claim they treat themselves to.

Lucia Polla, marketing manager at Serenata Flowers, says: “Taking time to pamper and look after ourselves is a valuable and effective aspect of self-care, which it seems many busy women are overlooking. Often when finances are tight and work commitments are high it is possible that women may feel reluctant to treat themselves – particularly when they have a family to take care of.

“We’ve found that 2020’s events have helped some women to realise that ‘me time’ is an important part of wellbeing. It can take many forms – from sitting down with a good book and a glass of wine, to treating yourself to monthly subscriptions, whether that is a regular bouquet of flowers, a streaming service, or a monthly beauty box. All are valid and effective ways to recharge and ensure you have something to look forward to in your downtime.”

The top 10 ways women spend their ‘me time’:

  1. Buying clothes (92%)
  2. Buying food-based treats such as sweets and chocolates (92%)
  3. Buying new shoes (89%)
  4. Going to the hairdresser (85%)
  5. Buying skincare products (85%)
  6. Buying make-up (84%)
  7. Buying new books (81%)
  8. Buying hair products (80%)
  9. Buying new accessories such as handbags (81%)
  10. Splurging on drinks such as prosecco (77%)
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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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