2017 Wellness Report Reveals Women's Ultimate Wellness Allies, Among Other Findings

Emotional support goes a long way.

2017 was a pretty stressful year, especially for women. Now known as "The Year of the Woman," 2017 did have a lot of inspiring moments where feminism and female empowerment took the spotlight, but the state of women's wellness was arguably one of the most vulnerable and discussed in recent years. With attacks on reproductive rights, and the rise of the Me Too campaign, bringing Hollywood sexual abuse scandals to light, the topic of women's physical and emotional wellness sparked movements of activism and change. It also brought great focus to self-care through community support and safe on and offline forums for women to help each other heal and persevere. 

To find out more about the state of women's wellness in the past year, an October 2017 report by Everyday Health surveyed a diverse group of 3,000 American women, ages 25 to 65. The findings were then checked with experts in the field to surface valuable insights into the factors that contributed to women's health and happiness in 2017.

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Photo by Hưng Nguyễn on Unsplash

Among the findings were the top five factors that helped define a woman's well-being. In order of importance, they were: stress, sleep, exercise, eating healthy, and anxiety. The survey also found that the "top eight women's wellness bummers of 2017 were, from greatest to least: stress and anxiety, weight/BMI/waist size, body- and self-image, financial security, emotional and mental state, work-life balance, medical challenges, and fitness."

One finding that stood out in particular was that women viewed friends and family as their ultimate wellness allies in 2017. 

Forty six percent of the women surveyed reported feeling "loved, cherished, supported, or special to someone else. And "one-third of women reported being more afraid of loneliness than a cancer diagnosis. This says a lot about the impact of simple things like laughter, friendships, and love. In fact, the survey showed that the main wellness priorities among women include things that make them feel happy, like vacationing, cooking, spending time with friends and family, education, and self-reflection.

Among millennials especially, work-life balance was found to be a big concern and was primarily affected by stress and anxiety. This group also indicated that they manage their wellness by seeking advice and comfort from their family or friends. With millennials being a top consumer of all things social media, it's no surprise that they also sought support from online resources. 

"We can gain inspiration and become part of that tribe, and that's the power of social media," said Ann Shoket, the New York City-based former editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine and the author of The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be, in the report. "We are so connected all the time, we're all liking the same stories and sharing the same stories. [...] You need a tribe of women around you who are endlessly devoted to helping you succeed. There's power in that."

The road to wellness is an ongoing journey and there are many paths to take. Making regular doctor visits, seeing a therapist, keeping your body active, and eating foods that help keep you strong are awesome ways to manage your health. But it's obvious there is something even more meaningful that can also help you be the best version of yourself. It's so important to surround yourself with people who love and support you unconditionally. Life can get difficult sometimes, and because you're human, you may not always be on your A-game. The folks who stick around to comfort and uplift you even in the darkest times are life's best medicine. 

Cover image via  Hưng Nguyễn on Unsplash

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