• Angad Chowdhry

How are Singaporeans practicing self-care during the pandemic?

Image from Unsplash by Stephanie Greene

Burnout. Loneliness. Depression and Anxiety. The pandemic has affected everyone.

Women, in particular, have borne the brunt. In Singapore, rising domestic violence cases and unequal caregiving responsibilities are just a few examples.

After a challenging year, we have seen first-hand the toll of the pandemic on women we work with. We are also constantly inspired by how women cope with these challenges and show us the heights of their bravery and resilience.

What have we learned from them? And what keeps us going?

It’s simple - SELF CARE.

In this blog, we look at how important self-care is and share some of our favorite tips. Our team at Quilt.AI set out to analyze 202 keywords and 200,000 unique searches to understand the interest in self-care during COVID-19.

This is what we found:

People are searching for spiritual solace

Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness have tremendous proven benefits on people’s health and well-being.

We found that, in the last year, searches related to spiritual self-care in Singapore grew at 3584%. This category of self-care grew the most compared to searches around mental (e.g. positive thinking) and physical (e.g.exercise) health.

In particular, search keywords that saw the highest growth were:

  • “Headspace guide”

  • “Trust yoga”

  • “Yoga class near me”

  • “Hale yoga”

  • “Jal yoga”

Interestingly, all searches related to different types of yoga saw increases. For example, “aerial yoga” had the highest growth at 51% followed by “freedom yoga” (23%), “iyengar yoga” (11%), and “hatha yoga” (7%).

Have you tried the types of yoga searched for? Have you wondered about the benefits of meditation and yoga?

Get started on your spiritual journey! We have compiled a list of resources based on these search trends and our favorite self-care tips.

  • Headspace is a friendly, animated look at the benefits of meditation. It offers guided meditation videos and articles through books, Netflix series, and an app.

  • The Daily Meditation Podcast is led by coach Marcy Meckley who provides guidance around a weekly mindfulness and meditation theme. She has themes on stress management, overcoming self-doubt, and reducing anxiety that are relevant to beginners and seasoned meditators.

  • Positive Magazine is a YouTube channel that offers daily meditations between 1-10 minutes. Meditation sessions range from anxiety, healing, depression, parenting, general meditation tips, and affirmation playlists.

People want tunes to help with their beauty sleep

Since the pandemic, more people have reported difficulty in sleeping. This phenomenon, also dubbed as coronasomnia, stems from growing anxieties as people adapt to a new normal.

Searches related to mental self-care in Singapore have grown by 41% since last year. The keywords that grew the most were related to getting a good night’s sleep:

  • “Sleep music, deep sleeping music”

  • “Sleep music youtube”

  • “Soothing sleep music”

Along with sleep, people also sought positivity in their lives. Searches related to positive quotes, such as “positive thinking quotes” and “positivity in life quotes” had the highest search volume in the mental self-care category.

Where do we go to get calming tunes and a dose of positivity? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Find out what music helps you sleep. YouTube has playlists to help you sleep with a range of music such as classical, blues + jazz, and indie along with deep relaxation sounds.

  • Learn to make music a part of your sleep hygiene. “What is sleep hygiene?!” you might ask. Learn more about the impact of music on sleep and how to make the best of both.

  • Start with daily steps to build positivity. It can begin from these 10 simple steps that gradually become habits. It can also mean fostering positivity for overcoming specific struggles like anxiety or stress reduction.

From pilates to exercise bikes - people want to stay active at home

Fitness app downloads have grown by 46% since COVID-19. Our findings show that despite an overall decrease in searches related to physical self-care, there are some search keywords that spiked. This means a growing interest in specific types of physical self-care, like workout routines or equipment.

We found that there was upcoming interest in exercising to lose weight which grew at 31%. This could possibly be related to people looking for safer ways to workout at home. People sought specific routines to workout various parts of their bodies. For example, searches for dumbbell chest workout, biceps workout, and back workout grew.

Growing searches for barbell row and leg press also showed that people were looking for certain movements in their workout routine.

We also saw increased interest in fitness for women. Searches grew for girls running, female personal trainer, and women gym. Other searches were about girls skating and cycling.

But not every physical self-care activity has to be intense or technical. It can be fun and free! Here are a few of our suggestions:

Self-care is not a fad, it is a necessity

Through our analysis, we have seen time and again that people are looking to beat the lockdown blues on their own. Limited mobility during the pandemic has left people to seek solace through the Internet to handle their own spiritual, mental, and physical health.

Therefore, brands, influencers, and service providers that promise self-care must use messaging and elements that focus on people seeking peace within themselves and solitude. Tools and resources, such as checklists or playlists, can help foster people’s self-care journey.

American actress, Lucille Ball once said, “Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line.” During such challenging and strange times, it is crucial to take a moment to reflect on your own health and well-being - starting with a simple search on the Internet.

Please reach out to us at [email protected] to learn more about our work on mental health.