8 in 10 adults are worried, bored, stressed, lonely or sad in COVID-19 pandemic

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In a new survey from the University of British Columbia, researchers found the pandemic continues to take an emotional toll on people, with 77% of adults reporting negative emotions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The five most common emotional responses to the pandemic were “worried or anxious,” “bored,” “stressed,” “lonely or isolated” and “sad”.

The researchers say there has been significant loss—of loved ones, of connection, of feelings of security. This can contribute to very challenging emotions and it is important to acknowledge and process.

While it’s discouraging to think that so many Canadians are feeling upset, difficult emotions may actually be an appropriate response to a major event like a global pandemic.

In the study, the data was compiled in late January 2021 using a representative sample of 3,037 people ages 18 and older living in Canada.

The survey found that those experiencing the most challenging emotions related to the pandemic are also the most likely to report a decline in their mental health as well as suicidal thoughts.

Overall, a large number of Canadians (41%) report their mental health has declined since the onset of the pandemic.

Also, consistent with the first and second rounds of data, the decline is more pronounced in those who are unemployed due to COVID-19 (61%), younger aged 18-24 (50%), students (48%), those who identify as LGBTQ2+ (46%) those with a pre-existing mental health condition (54%) and those with a disability (47%).

People also report they have increased their screen time (57%), are consuming more food (28%), are doing more online shopping for things they don’t need (18%), and are using more substances like drugs and alcohol due to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic (13%).

The good news is most Canadians (79%) say they are coping at least fairly well with the stress of the pandemic, using approaches such as: walking or exercising outside (51%), connecting with family and friends virtually (43%), maintaining a healthy lifestyle (40%), keeping up to date with relevant information (38%) and doing a hobby (37%).

The researchers emphasize that good mental health is not about being happy all the time, but having appropriate emotional and behavioral responses to stressors and life events.

If you care about mental health, please read studies about this mental health drug may actually harm your brain health and findings of this mental drug may lead to compulsions and obsessions.

For more information about mental disease, please see recent studies about this mental health problem can be an early warning sign of dementia and results showing that this common mental problem linked to faster development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study is published here. One author of the study is  Dr. Emily Jenkins.

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