The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been stressful for most people. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Social distancing, job loss, the family being together more than usual, increased isolation, financial instability, working remotely, adults and children not being able to socialize as much as usual, fear about your and your loved one’s health, and the potential or actual loss of someone you love are just some of the ways this pandemic has affected people.
This can lead to:
- Fear and worry about your support services and systems, your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Worsening of mental health conditions.
- Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
According to a survey by the American Psychological Association dated March 11th, 2021, “The prolonged stress experienced by adults, especially the high levels of stress reported by Americans directly linked to the pandemic, is seriously affecting mental and physical health, including changes to weight, sleep and alcohol use.” Some of the key findings of the survey include:
- 61% of respondents reported experiencing undesired weight changes since the start of the pandemic.
- 67% said their sleep habits changed, with 35% saying they slept more and 31% less.
- 23% reported drinking more alcohol to cope with stress.
- 47% said they delayed or canceled health care services because of the pandemic.
- 48% said their stress levels had increased.
Even though cases are down and we appear to be slowly returning to pre-pandemic life, the psychological effects of the last year can linger. Re-entry into society will be challenging for many people. If you are suffering from continued stress, anxiety or worry related to COVID-19 and/or related issues, please reach out.