Tuesday, November 28, 2023

APA Poll Finds U.S. Adults Worried About Costs Associated With Holidays

Nearly one-third of U.S. adults anticipate that this holiday season will be more stressful than last year, with costs associated with holiday gifts and meals possibly contributing to this stress. This was one of several findings of APA’s latest Healthy Minds Poll.

The poll—which was fielded from November 9 through 11—asked 2,210 adults living in the United States to rank their anxiety about current events (for example, international conflict and inflation) as well as holiday activities/obligations. APA has polled about holiday mental health for the past three years.

Of the holiday stressors respondents were asked to assess, 51% expressed at least some worry about their ability to afford holiday gifts, and 23% reported being very worried about affording gifts. Similarly, 40% reported worry about finding and securing gifts, and 39% expressed worry about affording holiday meals.

“Economic burdens have run high in our polling for the past few years as a source of concern, and that makes sense given the challenges we’ve all shared,” said APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., in a news release. “Connecting with supportive family and friends is more meaningful to our mental health than the commercial aspects of the season. The kindness with which you treat yourself and those you love during the holiday season is the very best gift you can give.”

U.S. adults appear to recognize the importance of connection during the holidays. When asked about what they are most looking forward to this holiday season, 44% ranked seeing friends and family at the top of their list.

“Tis the season to keep our mental and physical health in mind as we enjoy the festivities,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “It’s tempting to want to do everything, to travel to see everyone, to shop for that very special gift, and to compare ourselves to that very perfect staged family picture we see on social media. But in January, when the holidays come to an end, what will be most important is that you are feeling well, and that will come when you take the occasional breath and have some perspective.”

As has been the case for much of 2023, anxiety about inflation, a recession, and gun violence dominated the top worries listed by U.S. adults. In contrast, worries about the COVID-19 pandemic remained consistently low in comparison with other current events.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News AlertPracticing Kindness Has Positive Impact on Mental Health, APA Poll Finds.”

(Image: Getty Images/iStock/njgphoto)

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