Finances cause the most stress for Canadians, but personal health is becoming more worrisome during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an FP Canada survey conducted by Leger in May, 49 per cent of Canadians have lost sleep over financial stress. Such worries are slightly more prominent among younger Canadians and women. But these figures are in line with similar surveys conducted in 2018 (48 per cent) and 2014 (53 per cent).
Despite the economic impacts of COVID-19, which brought the unemployment rate to an all-time high in May, more or less the same amount of people are losing sleep over bills and job instability.
Personal health is a growing concern
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected what some Canadians say cause the most stress: 38 per cent say money is the primary factor, less people than in 2018 (42 per cent) and 2014 (41 per cent).
At the same time, 25 per cent say that personal health is what causes them the most stress, more than the 22 per cent and 19 per cent who gave the same response in 2018 and 2014, respectively. Respondents who stressed about personal health skewed older.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and research company Delvinia have been conducting regular surveys checking in on mental health during the pandemic. The most recent found that 19.5 per cent among Canadians experience moderate-to-severe anxiety; 26.6 per cent have engaged in binge drinking; and 21 per cent feel lonely. Another 18.4 per cent have felt depressed.
Meanwhile, 46.1 per cent of Canadians suffering from anxiety are very worried about finances, with an additional 16.1 per cent being somewhat worried. Meanwhile, 37.3 per cent of those respondents were very worried about themselves or somewhat close to them getting infected with COVID-19, with another 17.5 per cent remaining somewhat worried.
The government of Canada has a page dedicated to taking care of physical and mental health while coping with COVID-19-related stress. On top of providing links to emergency and support resources, the site recommends mindfulness activities like stretching, meditating and taking deep breaths, as well as eating healthy, regular exercise and trying to get plenty of sleep.