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US adults more concerned about anxiety levels during COVID-19 than paying bills

/ 10:04 PM April 19, 2020
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A new survey has revealed that more Americans are concerned about their levels of anxiety and overall mental health during the current COVID-19 outbreak than they are about not being able to pay their bills or losing their job during the pandemic.

Carried out by Harris Poll on behalf of the University of Phoenix, the new online survey asked 1,055 United States adults aged 18 and older about their feelings and perceptions of the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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Health came out as a major concern, with the survey finding that more than 2 in 3 Americans (68%) feel like everything is out of their control right now, more than half (56%) feel like they are balancing more now than ever before, and two in five (41%) are most concerned about experiencing increased anxiety. Four in ten Americans also reported feeling lonelier than ever, and one fifth said that if confinement and social distancing continues, they believe it will have a major impact on their mental health.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, many Americans are also stressed about their loved ones’ health, not only their own, with the results revealing that this is a top concern for 71% of those surveyed, followed by concerns about their own (61%).

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In fact, more Americans expressed worries about health than about their job and finances, with 33% saying they are worried about not being able to pay their bills, 26% concerned that their salary and/or hours might be reduced, and 22% worried they might lose their job altogether or won’t be able to get a new one.

The good news is that the survey also found that many participants are taking positive action to help boost their mental health, with 60% reporting that they have spoken to a loved one, 35% have upped their exercise levels, 30% have reduced their news consumption and 29% have performed a random act of kindness for someone else.

In addition, many respondents also said that although they do feel concerned and anxious, they are also feeling feeling thankful for their health, family, and friends (65%), while around a third are feeling optimistic and making post-lockdown plans.

“While many people are currently feeling anxiety, there can be several ways to maintain good mental health by making small behavior changes,” said Dr. Dean Aslinia, counseling department chair at University of Phoenix. “Instead of texting or emailing, make a phone call or use video chat to build a more meaningful connection. Build activity in your day by trying something new or setting a goal for yourself to start a new project.”

“Remember, it is okay to seek professional help, if your negative feelings persist,” Aslinia added. “Many mental health practitioners are offering virtual counseling sessions so you can have someone to talk to without leaving the house.” JB

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TOPICS: Adults, anxiety, coronavirus, COVID-19, mental health, Psychology
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