CoronavirusCovid-19Health

U.S. Stress Levels at Pandemic-Era Highs: Poll

Americans’ stress levels amid the coronavirus pandemic are even worse now than at the pandemic early stages, according to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association.

The “Stress in America” survey found that the average reported stress level last month was 5.6, on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 means “little to no stress” and 10 indicates “a great deal of stress.” By comparison, the level recorded at the outset of the pandemic in April-May 2020 was 5.4.

The poll also found that 84 percent of U.S. adults surveyed have experienced at least one emotion associated with stress, including anxiety, sadness and anger. Additionally, two in three adults said they are overwhelmed by the issues America currently faces.

Dr. Amy Bowers, an Arlington, Va.-based clinical psychologist, said the pandemic has become a staple of people’s lives.

“The pandemic is so familiar, it’s easy to forget we’re in a pandemic because we’ve gotten used to it but it’s extraordinarily stressful in a variety of ways every single day,” Bowers said, WJLA-TV (Channel 7) reported.

The APA’s tips on managing stress include:

– Giving yourself permission to take a break from the news, social media or certain friends.
– Reflect daily on three good things that happened at the end of the day, whether large or small events and activities.
– Practice self-care incrementally throughout the day, whether taking a short walk, calling a friend or watching a funny show.
– Stay connected with family and friends.
– Keep things in perspective and reframe your thinking to reduce negative interpretations of daily experiences.

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