We all know the pandemic has upended life as we knew it, but in the midst of all the challenging things about the past 18 months many people have discovered silver linings and new habits they’re making a part of their new normal. We asked the Nurx community how the pandemic has changed how they approach healthcare and self-care. Here’s what we learned:
You tried new ways to take care of yourself.
Staying home more lead our community to try new modes of healthcare and self-care. 62% of respondents used telehealth services for the first time or more than they had in the past, and 23% used teletherapy or other online mental health services during the pandemic. 37% exercised with online workouts and 31% engaged in online learning other than fitness.
Some of you commented that you switched to online care only because the pandemic required it, while others noticed additional benefits. One respondent pointed out, “People don’t usually go to the doctor because they’re feeling great. Limiting in person visits also limits exposure to other illnesses.” And many of you said you appreciate the convenience and time savings of online care. “It’s much more convenient to meet my therapist online and not have to worry about a commute.”
You’ll (mostly) stick with these new habits.
61% said they will continue to use telemedicine going forward and 20% said they plan to use telemedicine even more in the future. 65% will stick with online mental health services going forward. 77% said the same for online exercise classes and 73% for online learning.
Why will so many of you stick with virtual healthcare and self-care? Here’s a sampling of what you had to say: “It’s so convenient. I can easily schedule and appointment with my doctor during my lunch break or immediately after with without worrying about drive time.” “I find it so helpful to find care virtually and be able to do things on my own time, at my own pace, in a space where I’m comfortable and safe.” “I can’t really afford to run to the doctor any time I need an antibiotic. Like it’s just so expensive.” “It’s much easier to talk (to a therapist) online than in person.”
The Delta variant is driving some of you back indoors.
80% of survey respondents report being vaccinated, but nonetheless 59% said they are limiting activity right now because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Some of your reasons for caution include to protect elderly or immune-compromised loved ones (12%), having children too young to be vaccinated (10%) and concerns about the Delta variant (31%). But the other 41% are mostly unbothered. “I had the virus and am not worried about catching it again. I want to get back to normal life,” said one respondent.
You’ve discovered a lot of silver linings.
When asked about silver linings to pandemic life, 64% said they appreciated “less time spent on driving and transportation,” 61% cited “saving money,” and 54% appreciated “more time for sleep.” Here is a sampling of what you had to say about positive aspects of the past 18 months:
“(I learned to) stay focused on my mental health and only say ‘yes’ to people and activities that are in support of my mental wellbeing.”
“I was able to stick to a healthy eating plan much more easily.”
“Not only did we realize we loved cooking again, we saved almost $500 a month not eating out.”
“I discovered joy in hobbies and home routines that I find fulfilling – things I either skipped or did out of obligation before.”
“Sleeping more and caring for myself!”
“Getting enough sleep and paying attention to my mental health.”
“The time that I got to myself was really beneficial for me. I liked having less pressure to be social, and more alone time for relaxation or hobbies.”
“Less driving, more time at home, more time with family -online learning, working from home – working on personal hobbies.”
“Reading books and partaking in hobbies that I enjoy, regular virtual workouts and just enjoying my down time.”
“Spending more time with family and less time stressing over work.”
We Want to Hear from You
Do you have thoughts on healthcare or self-care in the time of COVID — or in general? We would always love to hear them. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org