NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the pandemic continues to change how Americans live daily life, the holidays are proving to be no different. Almost 1 in 4 Americans won't see family or friends for any of the upcoming holidays, which could help explain why more than 1 in 10 are experiencing severe loneliness.
We surveyed more than 2,000 people about their loneliness to gauge what effects the resurgent coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming holiday season will have on people's mental health.
- Nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) won't see family and friends for either of the upcoming holidays. That number jumps to 35% for baby boomers and 31% for members of the silent generation.
- More than 1 in 10 (11%) consumers report feeling "extremely lonely" heading into the winter holidays. Interestingly, younger Americans are more likely to report feeling extreme loneliness than older generations.
- 24% of Americans are "very worried" about their family and friends feeling lonely during the holidays this year. Another 46% are somewhat concerned.
- Some consumers' holiday loneliness may be related to the season: 13% said they have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year. Another 29% haven't been diagnosed but experience those symptoms.
- To manage stress and loneliness, many consumers are practicing forms of self-care, including watching TV or movies (60%), exercise (40%) and reading (39%), but only 7% said they're talking to a therapist or counselor. Additionally, 19% of those age 75 and older said they don't do anything to manage stress/loneliness.
- Of those who reported they won't see loved ones for at least one of the upcoming holidays, the majority (49%) said they made the decision themselves to minimize coronavirus risk. On the other hand, 14% said the loved one made the decision due to the pandemic.
- For those who feel lonely, their reasons include: isolation due to the pandemic (51%), always feel lonely during this time of the year (28%), loss of a loved one (25%), the weather (24%), the election (21%), disagreements with family members (21%) and job loss (21%).
View full report: Loneliness, Coronavirus, and the Holidays
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Nadia Gonzalez (Mrs.)
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