NEW YORK — As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t giving Americans enough anxiety already, you may have heard there’s a presidential election this November. With political divisions reaching historical highs, a survey finds a majority of the country believe their most stressful day of 2020 hasn’t even arrived yet. The poll examining mental health reveals 55 percent of Americans think Election Day 2020 will be the most stress-filled day of their lives.
The OnePoll survey examined the current mental health of 2,000 adults, focusing on the stress caused by COVID-19 and the presidential race. Nearly six in 10 people can’t imagine being more stressed than they already are this year, while 67 percent want the year to be over now.
The study, commissioned by Feelmore Labs and Cove, reveals Millennials (61%) and members of Generation X (58%) are feeling the Election Day strain more than anyone else. Only one-third of Baby Boomers feel the same way about the upcoming vote.
Coronavirus, Election Day top U.S. stressors in 2020
While political tensions are running high, 63 percent still say the pandemic is their top stress point of 2020. Just under half (49%) believe the election is the most stressful aspect of the year.
Even more concerning, a staggering 95 percent believe 2020 stressors are negatively impacting their health. The biggest issues are trouble sleeping (45%), lack of focus (44%), and weight control issues (41%). More than four in 10 Americans say COVID-19 has directly affected their sleep patterns.
Half the poll say their stress this year is so overwhelming they can’t find the time to manage it properly. Nearly seven in 10 say the only way they ease some of their tension is by getting a good night’s sleep.
While eight hours of sleep may sound like the perfect number to get, respondents believe 6.27 hours is enough to qualify as “good.” Anything less than 4.2 hours of sleep was considered a bad night for the average American.
“While we all experience stress in a multitude of ways, one thing is certain – sustained elevated levels of stress negatively affect our quality of sleep, while better sleep quality has the power to positively impact those same stress levels,” says Francois Kress, Co-Founder & CEO of Feelmore Labs in a statement. “By reducing stress and unlocking the key to better sleep, we can improve our overall health and wellness.”
What else are people doing to bring peace of mind?
If extra rest isn’t an option leading up to Election Day, Americans say they’re spending 25 minutes a day trying other techniques to ease their stress. The most popular options include going for walks (43%), exercising (38%), and meditating or practicing breathing exercises (30%).
Thirty-five percent are picking up some hobbies and 27 percent are taking their mind off their troubles by baking.