How well you are coping with the lockdown may well depend on your circumstances – for those who are with family in a house with garden it will be easier to cope than single people in a flat with no outdoor spaces. We are all less happy since lockdown began – but exercise and keeping busy can really help people feel better.
Our survey of 1,000 UK adults [Source: Emotional Logic] reveals that on average* people are 37% less happy, 44% more anxious and 39% more sad than before the lockdown. The impact of the lockdown on mental health has also been documented by other surveys.
There are also some differences between age groups. We are all less happy and more anxious, but it is the younger age groups that are feeling most isolated. 18-24 years olds are feeling 52% more isolated than before the lockdown, while the increase for the Over 65 age group is only 38%, possibly due to the fact that many of them are already used to less social contact.
Compared to older age groups younger people are also more likely to feel stressed since the lockdown started. There has been a 32% increase in stress for the 18-24 year olds vs only 8% for those aged over 65.
We can clearly see the link between mental health and exercise. Those who are taking the same or more exercise than before the lockdown are reporting lower increases in sadness, anxiety, anger and stress and have experienced a lower drop in happiness. So do go out and make the most of your one hour – walking, running or cycling.
Finally we have evidence that keeping busy has a positive effect on mental health. It does not even matter whether they are entertaining activities or just housework – as long as you are enjoying the activity. Those who are keeping busy are happier, less angry, sad, anxious or stressed than the average. So maybe it is finally time to bake that banana bread (if you can find flour) or do that job you have been putting off.
Help and further information
If you feel your mental is affected by the current situation you can find more help here: NHS Every Mind Matters
For further updates and information, including how COVID-19 lockdown is shaping future consumption habits subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye out for future blogs.
Emotional Logic is a research agency specialising in behavioural insights and works with brands, charities and public sector organisations to understand motivations and shape future behaviour.
*Some people are feeling less of an emotion / others more since the lockdown – so for all emotions we are looking at the Net Change in feelings.