THE COST OF SELF CARE

We reveal the UK’s favourite self care habits and how much time and money we’re willing to dedicate to caring for ourselves.

Sometimes you don’t need to go to a spa or have dinner at a luxury restaurant to reap the benefits of self care. A weekly face mask or an evening spent reading a good book can be just what your mind and body needs.We know that individual circumstances determine how possible it is to prioritise yourself. But our research shows that, as a nation, we invest £3 billion a month on our self care. That’s £49.20 on average per person spent over an indulgent period of 7 hours and 25 minutes a month.

£3 billion is the uk average monthly spend on self care Woman scrubbing her shoulder
7 hours and 25 mins time spent on self care per person

Ooft sounds dreamy. How will you be spending yours? Keep reading for some no-nonsense self care inspiration.

The cost of self care statistics in the UK

The £49.20 we spend each per month on self care includes activities like gardening, baking, yoga, meditation and indulging in a luxurious bath.

Of the seven and a half hours we spend monthly on self care, on average we allocate three and a half hours to our recreational hobbies, three hours to fitness and mindfulness and one hour to beauty.

THE MOST POPULAR SELF CARE ACTIVITIES

9/10 of us rely on TV and films to destress and switch off, with 7/10 of us also turning to music, podcasts, baking and reading.Running, hiking and walking are the most common fitness-related ways of winding down, while getting creative through photography and writing also made the top 10.

Top 10 most popular self care activities
How the UK's Self Care Habits Change After Lockdown

SELF CARE IN LOCKDOWN

As we navigate through the uncertain times of 2020, the monthly cost of self care in the UK increased £161 million from February to July.Socialising online and online workout classes saw the biggest rise in popularity as we adapted to a life at home.

Home cooking, baking, watching TV and gardening replaced the time we’d typically spend on activities that relied on us being in a public space, this included dining out, playing team sports and swimming.

As the nation became banana bread crazy, binged the most talked-about TV shows and reaped the benefits of feeling well-rested, each UK city was busy making their own self care adaptations.

Regional map of the East Woman in the bath
£161 million UK's extra spend post lockdown

Manchester, Birmingham and London treated themselves to at-home beauty treatments, including at-home facials, eyebrow treatments and massages.

70% of us indulge in a luxurious bath or shower

BEAUTY FOR SELF CARE

On some days, you may find your happy place is an hour spent having a pedicure and on other days you may find it’s a head-to-toe beauty ritual.If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. 70% of the UK opt to indulge in a luxury bath or shower, with 25-34 year olds spending the most amount of time in the tub per month.

Top beauty activities

Taking a trip to a hair salon is another favoured way to treat ourselves, where we spend 1 hour and 15 pampered minutes on our hair every month.

Over 55% of the UK also splash out on professional massages, professional face treatments or spa days each month.

Be right back, off to book a weekend trip to a spa!

Top Recreational Activities

HOBBIES AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

When you think of self care you may immediately think of having a candle lit bath, but self care covers anything that you take time out of your day to do, just for you.

Looking beyond the bathtub, 89% of the UK treat themselves to a night in front of the TV watching the latest shows and films, while 71% spend time in their kitchens baking or cooking.

Woman smiling

18-24 year olds turn to creative outlets like drawing, colouring and knitting more than any other age group.This age group, along with those aged 25-34 are 24% more likely to listen to music and podcasts to wind down than people aged 55+.People aged 55+ prefer to read a book and are 16% more likely to tend to their garden as a part of their self care routine, compared to those aged 18-24.

80% of the UK relies on support networks to stay grounded

MINDFULNESS FOR SELF CARE

Keeping in touch with our loved ones is a crucial part of the nation’s self care rituals. Whether online or in person, over 80% of the UK spend time with their support networks to stay grounded and connected.People aged 18-25 spend 4 hours on average socialising online per month, compared to people aged 55+ who spend just over two and a half hours per month.

Top Mindfulness Activities

The results show that London is the most digital savvy when it comes to staying connected online, however Norwich spends the most time socialising in person.When it comes to staying connected with yourself, 60% of the nation use self-guided meditation or mindfulness apps.Generation Z and Millennials spend 2 hours on average per month practicing meditation or mindfulness, which is 1 hour and 50 minutes more than any other age group. Namaste

Top fitness activities

FITNESS FOR SELF CARE

It’s no surprise that going for a walk or a hike tops the list of fitness-based self care activities since it is one of the easiest ways to get moving and get some fresh air.Residents from Southampton, Norwich and Newcastle are the keenest walkers, walking for at least an hour extra per month than other UK cities.

Our research shows that cycling is the nation’s second favourite fitness activity, with 1 hour and 40 minutes spent riding a bike on average every month. Men prefer to cycle more than women, spending 2 hours cycling on average per month.London, Newcastle and Norwich are the keenest runners, dedicating over 1 hour 40 minutes a month to running.Newcastle and Norwich also appeared in the top three cities for walking and hiking, making them the keenest cities for indulging in self care by getting outside in nature.

Woman rubbing cream on her leg Woman lying down
Woman in the shower

Whether it is 10 minutes per month or 10 hours per month, it’s important to check in on what your mind and body need to wind down and reset regularly.To explore more ways to practise self care, visit our self care hub