Self-Care in a Post-Pandemic World
Learn what patients and providers can do to improve treatment in isolation.
Posted July 7, 2020
It has been just over a month since our new survey was conducted and published by The Harris Poll on behalf of the Samueli Integrative Health Programs. Its findings have offered a unique insight into the state of self-care in the present and eventual post-pandemic world.
The new survey we published asked 2,051 US adults aged 18 and over about their health during the current pandemic. A few of the major results included:
- The vast majority of U.S. adults (80%) say they will be more mindful about practicing self-care regularly once the pandemic is over.
- More than one in four Americans report a lack of energy (30%), difficulty sleeping (29%), or exercising less (29%) during the pandemic.
- A majority (64%) say they are focused on their mental health now more than ever.
- Nearly half of Americans (44%) say they wish they had more guidance and support for practicing self-care during the pandemic.
Compared to before the pandemic, roughly one-third say they are practicing more creative activities (35%), praying more (31%), or engaging in more meaningful conversations with friends and family (31%). Most U.S. adults (83%) report that technology has been essential in helping them to stay connected with others. One in four also report that they are spending more time outdoors or eating healthy foods more.
However, a majority also cite disruptions in obtaining regular and preventative health care services: 55 percent say they are scared to get health care during the pandemic. This is felt most acutely by people who have had a household income reduction during the pandemic (64% vs. 46% of those whose household income has not decreased due to the pandemic). Nearly half (45%) of all U.S. adults say they have failed to get preventive health care (e.g., wellness visits, standard vaccinations, screenings, etc.) during the pandemic.
At a time when health care is needed the most, a majority of people are scared to seek it out. This not only leaves them without critical immediate care, but it also halts necessary preventative care that is vital to chronic disease prevention and management.
Luckily, our most recent posts are aimed at understanding the new normal of health care and what both patients and providers can do to better treatment and healing during this time of isolation. Take a look.
- Researchers say there is no single factor that causes loneliness. But social isolation—being away from routine daily interactions with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors—is a likely cause for many of us. Here are some tips to help you deal with social isolation and loneliness.
- Social distancing is essential in helping flatten the COVID-19 curve but it’s also having a devastating effect on our patients’ physical, mental, and spiritual health. Be aware of the dangers of loneliness and social isolation, so you can be part of the solution.
- A nationally recognized expert and educator on functional and integrative medicine, Dr. Saxena is a pioneer in lifestyle-based group visits. She works with her patients to identify the source of disease symptoms and develop a personalized care plan that addresses the underlying root causes of the disease. The plan includes all appropriate therapies—conventional, complementary, and lifestyle—based on current evidence.
As the country begins our recovery, it will inevitably create questions about the future of the health care system. The findings from this study show the critical need for a system that empowers individuals to maintain healthy habits they formed and emphasizes strategies that support self-care—like good nutrition, exercising, and stress reduction—alongside guidance from physicians.
Survey Findings and Method
The survey findings can be found online here.
The Social Isolation Survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Samueli Integrative Health Programs among 2,051 U.S. adults ages 18+ surveyed from May 5 to 7, 2020. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete research method, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Stacy Skelly at sskelly@TheReisGroup.com.
Download the full one-page infographic here.