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NEW YORK — If we’ve learned one thing during the course of the pandemic, it’s how to roll with the punches. According to new research of 2,000 Millennial and Gen Z Americans, 70 percent said that the top lesson they learned in 2020 was to not sweat the small stuff and to just go with the flow.

Nearly three out of four respondents agreed that they’re finally prioritizing themselves and their own needs for the first time in a long time; which makes it clear that Americans putting themselves first and foremost is long overdue.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Pronamel, the survey analyzed the ins and outs of the self-care routines for people under 40 and discovered that nine in 10 respondents have a set routine that takes about an hour every day.

Taking care of number one

On average, those polled have a six-step self-care routine that focuses primarily on activities that boost endorphins, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. Other feel-good moments respondents pursue include classics like face masks, curling up with a good book, bubble baths, and a glass of wine.

Regardless of what respondents’ self-care routines include, nearly seven out of 10 respondents agree that spending time on themselves is an investment in their future health and wellness. The survey finds that most people aren’t performing their daily routines just for a moment of peace, they’re actually doing it for their future selves. The top reasons respondents give for wanting to complete their daily rituals include maintaining their overall health (49%) and boosting their self-esteem (45%).

Seven in 10 respondents also feel like they’ve had a self-awakening over the past year to really take the time to care for their own health above everything else. In fact, more than half the poll (64%) stated that their oral health is an important part of their self-care routine and 66 percent agree that visiting the dentist for a cleaning is part of their self-care.

“It’s important to find an oral care routine that works best for you and your overall health. Bacteria that forms in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and the rest of your body. This could lead to larger medical complications, like a stroke, cancer or premature delivery (for pregnant women),” says GSK Oral Care expert, Monica Biga, Charlotte Business Manager, in a statement.

Common health blind spots

Impact on Self-CareDespite their feel-good routines, respondents admit there are still some self-care blind spots. Nearly half the survey say they often overlook their heart health (48%) and healthy sleep patterns (46%). Twenty-six percent of respondents also want to eat a more balanced diet.

Another blind spot that concerns respondents is their oral health. One in three (34%) believe this area of their health could use some additional TLC. With all of these blind spots in mind, it’s no wonder more than half of young adults (63%) feel their self-care routine is surface level and does not impact their actual health.

According to the American Dental Association, at-home oral care is an important contributor to oral health and spending the right amount of time on appropriate home oral care is undoubtedly essential to helping minimize the risk of oral health disease.

“It’s essential to brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes to maintain good oral hygiene,” shares Biga. “You should also be flossing at least once a day, ideally at night. You don’t want food/drinks sitting between your teeth when you go to bed, which can cause more damage.”

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