Thursday, December 1, 2022

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans Anticipates More Stress Over Holidays This Year

More than 30% of adults said they expect to experience more stress this holiday season compared with the last, with half worried about affording holiday gifts. Yet adults were also less worried about spreading or contracting COVID-19 at a holiday gathering compared with last year. The findings are the latest from APA’s Healthy Minds Monthly Poll.

“This is a busy time of year for many people, and it’s common to put a lot of expectations on ourselves during the holidays,” APA President Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D., said in a news release. “We can all benefit by enjoying moments that bring meaning and belonging, but those times are different for each of us. It’s also okay to opt out of some or all events if they bring more stress or distress than joy. There is no one right way to spend the holiday time of year.”

The Healthy Minds Monthly Poll was conducted by Morning Consult from November 9 to 14 with a sample of 2,209 adults. The margin of error was plus or minus two percentage points, and the interviews were conducted online.

Younger adults and those making less than $50,000 were more likely to express worry about affording gifts and holiday meals over the holidays. Further, parents (39%) were more likely than respondents who were not parents (27%) to say that they anticipated experiencing more stress this holiday season compared with last year.

Respondents were asked to consider what they were most looking forward to during the holidays, including seeing family and friends, eating good food, taking time off, giving and receiving gifts, and more. Most adults (47%) said they were most looking forward to seeing family and friends this holiday season.

Additional findings include the following:

  • The rate of adults who anticipated feeling stressed about this holiday season rose 9% compared with last year (31% vs. 22%).
  • Between October and November, adults have remained consistently anxious about inflation (82%) and the recession (75%).
  • 18% of respondents were worried about spending time with family who have views different from their own about COVID-19, compared with 30% last year.
  • 19% of respondents were worried about discussing politics at a holiday gathering compared with 26% last year.
  • Parents, and moms specifically, reported a decrease in anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic compared with last year.

“While Americans are looking forward to seeing family this year, it’s important to remain vigilant about COVID-19, the flu, and RSV,” APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., said in the release. “We are in a different situation than in 2020 or even 2021, but it’s still important to take precautions and stay home if you are sick.”

For related information, see the Psychiatric News AlertNearly 4 in 10 Americans Experience Declining Mood in Winter, APA Poll Finds.”

(Image: iStock/benimage)

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