A new survey reveals that more and more women are looking for ways to find balance in their lives.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the well-being of Americans was on the decline in 2017—a reversal of a three-year upward trend. This drop was a result of several factors including an increase in the uninsured population and reports of elevated daily worry. This decline persisted despite improvements in metrics concerning unemployment and confidence in the economy, two factors that are closely related to well-being.
Interestingly, you likely also noticed a surge in conversations around self-care toward the end of last year, and it looks like that trend isn't going anywhere in 2018. This year, more people are choosing to focus on their emotional well-being as a part of their New Year's resolutions. In fact, according to a survey by wellness tech company, Shine, 72 percent of millennial women are moving away from solely physical and financial goals to make self-care and mental health their priority. (Related: The 3-Second Trick That Helps You Achieve Your Resolutions)
More than 1,500 millennial women between the ages of 20 and 36 were asked how they felt about 2017 as a whole. The top answers? Women used the words "tired" and "sad" to describe their experience. (Sound familiar? Get a mood boost with these 25 things we can all agree on.)
However, surprisingly, when asked how they felt about 2018, on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being "not important at all" and 10 being "extremely important") a majority of women felt optimistic, with an average response of 7.33. But perhaps the most interesting data was that the importance of prioritizing mental health above all else garnered a high 9.14 rating among the women. (P.S. Here are 20 self-care resolutions you should make.)
Shine's survey also dove into specifics, asking women exactly how they planned to achieve this particular goal. Turns out, the majority of women (65 percent) said they planned to improve their mental health by living an overall healthier lifestyle. Other responses included saving money, getting organized, traveling more, reading more, spending more time with friends and family, and finding a new hobby.
While the survey does focus on a small group of women, there's no denying that practicing self-care can do wonders for just about everyone. "Self-care is a multiplier of time," Heather Peterson, CorePower Yoga's chief yoga officer previously told us in How to Make Time for Self-Care When You Have None. "When you take time, whether it's five minutes for a short meditation, 10 minutes to food prep for the next couple days, or a full hour of yoga, you build energy and focus." Seriously, taking little chunks of time for yourself from time to time can lead to long-term results. "Small amounts of effort over a lifetime really do make radical changes," said Peterson.
Shine also asked women what they thought about the whole New Year's resolutions thing in the first place—particularly what makes resolutions so difficult. Eighty-one percent agreed that it's not setting the goal that's so hard. It's sticking to it over a long period of time that makes resolutions so daunting.
That totally makes sense, since other data shows that only 46 percent of resolutions make it past the first six months.
But this shouldn't put you off from setting goals altogether. Accomplishing your goals—whether they're physical or mental—is all about how you set them. This is just what Shape Activewear Trainer Jen Widerstrom is trying to teach you in our Ultimate 40-Day Plan to Crush Any Goal. Write down your goal with a pen and paper and share them with friends, family, and people on social media. This way you have support everywhere you turn rather than excuses to hide behind, says Widerstrom.
If you're looking for a little backup, join our exclusive Goal Crushers Facebook Group. The group is totally private, female-only, and gives you a safe space to share your accomplishments while getting doses of advice from Widerstrom herself. Trust us, it's all the inspo you'll need this year.