Whilst juggling a global pandemic, it turns out that more than one in 10 Australians are working more than 50 hours a week, and Aussie women spend an extra five to 14 hours a week on unpaid domestic work.
Unsurprisingly, stress levels are at an all time high, and our mental health has deteriorated by 8 percent compared to where it was before the pandemic. But according to a new report, women are finding some surprising ways to reduce their stress.
Whilst some stress is an inevitable part of life, living with prolonged high-level stress is challenging for our minds and bodies to manage.
New research from Oz Hair & Beauty, found that nearly half of Australian women have difficulty de-stressing, with the main causes of stress being money (57 percent), physical health (49 percent) and mental health (39 percent).
How Aussie women are finding relief from stress
According to the report, three in four Australian women find balance in their lives through their self-care routine, including skincare and sex.
With exercise, skincare and haircare ranked high in self-care routines, Anthony Nappa at Oz Hair & Beauty explained that: “Australian women use their daily skincare and haircare routines as a moment of mindfulness, and enjoy sexual pleasure to alleviate stress. It’s an incredibly positive trend, where self-care is not just about looking good on the outside, it’s about feeling good on the inside.”
This shift to a more holistic approach to managing stress was especially seen within younger women.
Sex and skincare as self-care
In the report, 27 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 34 said that their skincare routine was a source of relaxation and stress relief, while a quarter of younger women found sex was a helpful way to de-stress.
These trends were also reflected in our spending, with Australian women spending an average of $106 a month on their wellbeing (including exercise, skincare and haircare). Women between 18 to 34 were found to spend their money on meditation, sexual pleasure and therapy.
Counsellor at Running Minds and women’s self-esteem specialist, Dr Jillian Stansfield explained how beauty rituals can help reduce stress and anxiety.
“When you put effort into looking good, it boosts confidence and makes you feel good. But more importantly, a beauty ritual is a form of mindfulness that can help you clear your mind,” she said.
“Focusing on the moment, taking in the senses and feeling the textures, it’s a great way to de-stress.”