The simplest questions you answer every day may feel tougher than normal. That may be because of pandemic stress, a survey says.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about a survey on pandemic stress. I’ve never heard of it called anything so formal, but the survey shows there just might be such a thing.
The article suggests simple decisions like what to wear or what to have for lunch might be tougher these days.
The Harris Poll conducted the survey on behalf of the American Psychological Association. Overall, it found some good news.
For instance, it found 70% believe everything will work out after the coronavirus pandemic ends. The survey also shows 77% consider themselves to be faring well during the pandemic.
But the findings aren’t all good.
The study also found that “day-to-day struggles are overwhelming many.”
“Prolonged effects of stress and unhealthy behavior changes are common,” a news release states. “Daily tasks and decision-making have become more difficult during the pandemic, particularly for younger adults and parents.”
The APA says each day can bring a new set of decisions about safety and how to respond to the pandemic leading to increasing overall uncertainty.
“When the factors influencing a person’s decisions are constantly changing, no decision is routine. And this is proving to be exhausting,” the release states.
The study found that almost a third of adults — 32%, to be exact — sometimes feel so stressed that they struggle to make basic decisions.
The age group people seem to love picking on more than any other, Millennials, seem particularly affected by pandemic stress. For that group, 48%, say they were more likely to struggle. My group, Gen X, was 32%, the overall average.
Baby Boomers came in at 14%. Only 3% of older adults were that stressed. There’s another reason to not fear getting old!
Feeling pandemic stress? What do you do now?
Just in time for people battling pandemic stress, here come the holidays! The holiday season can add significant amounts of stress to our lives even outside a pandemic. We feel those effects in the form of fatigue, anger, sadness, irritability.
Sound familiar? Sure, we can handle some stress just fine. But when the stress becomes long-term, and then we heap more on top of that, the effects can affect all of the body’s systems.
The APA offers three primary suggestions to help manage stress.
The first is to maintain a healthy social support network. Some of us have that. Some of us don’t…at least not close by. You began to feel selfish when you suspect reaching out to your network might be adding stress to them. That can stress you out even more.
The second is to engage in regular physical exercise. Try talking yourself into getting active when the first symptom of stress you feel is fatigue.
The third is to get an adequate amount of sleep. Have you ever got a full night’s sleep only to wake up still feeling tired? It’s not just me, right?
The real answer might be the one no one wants to hear: Talk to your doctor. It’s their job to have answers about your health. The earlier you reach out, the sooner they might be able to keep pandemic stress from causing any more damage than it already has.