The advent of 2024 has inspired many in the UK to contemplate their New Year’s resolutions, with a significant emphasis on self-care. In light of the current economic landscape, Aqua’s recent survey of 2,000 Brits reveals that mental well-being has emerged as the paramount concern, with spending habits in personal care reflecting the strains of the cost of living crisis.
The survey delineated a clear predilection towards mental health, with 36% of participants deeming it their top self-care priority. This is especially prevalent among women, with 39% focusing on mental well-being. Men, while slightly less inclined towards mental self-care at 32%, are equally invested in physical health, a priority shared by 35% of the general population.
Despite the emphasis on well-being, financial constraints have compelled over one-third of Britons to reduce their spending on self-care. The survey uncovers a notable demographic disparity: while those aged 16–24 are spending an average of £70 monthly on self-care, individuals over 55 are spending about £39, with nearly a third of this group not allocating any budget to wellness.
Self-care spending varies significantly across UK cities, with Glasgow (£67) and London (£62) at the higher end of the spectrum and Plymouth, Leeds, and Cardiff (£40) at the lower end. The activities that attract the most spending include days out with family and partners, averaging £76 and £73 respectively.
The financial pinch seems less restrictive for the younger generation, with 29% of 16-24-year-olds reporting increased spending on self-care, contrasting with just 12% of those over 55. Geographically, residents in Newcastle and Belfast report the greatest cutbacks in wellness spending.
Sharvan Selvam, commercial director at Aqua, advises prioritising affordable personal health and well-being activities. He underscores the significance of financial self-care and warns against the lure of social media and peer spending habits, especially during economically challenging times.