By Craig Erwin, Ph.D.
A friend is traveling to Europe and she is very stressed out about the trip, in part due to Covid-19, but mostly because of the war in Ukraine. She is not the only one experiencing stress these days. In a recent survey, two-thirds of Americans said they fear Covid-19 will never end, as we fight variant after variant. But it’s not just the pandemic that has us feeling stressed; 65% of survey respondents said they are stressed about money and the economy. How do they cope? Too often in the wrong ways. Nearly a quarter of respondents reported drinking more alcohol. Stress takes a toll on relationships as well as individuals; 58% of respondents reported that the pandemic either ended relationships or strained them.
The past two years have been nightmarish, thanks to the pandemic. Not only has Covid made many of us poorer, 8 of 10 Americans have reported that it causes them stress. And even for those with salaries of $100,000 or more, 48% of those surveyed reported feeling stressed. What’s really shocking though is that 31% of those earning $100,000 or more said they lived paycheck to paycheck. If that’s true, how much harder is it for people earning minimum wage, who may have no choice but to live paycheck to paycheck? Plus, their stress levels must be off the charts.
Thanks to the war in Ukraine and sharp increases in prices for many things like gas and rent, our stress levels may be high for some time. What can you do to better cope with stress? Find what works for you, but here are some things to try: exercising, meditating, cultivating good friendships, seeing or talking to friends and relatives regularly, pampering yourself with a massage or bath, splurging on a nice meal, keeping a journal, reading a good book or watching a good movie, taking a trip, and getting outside in the sunshine.
How have you weathered the pandemic? Have you experienced a great deal of stress? If so, what are your biggest sources of stress and how have you coped with stress?
For more information on Covid-19, Ukraine, inflation, and stress, click on the following links: