A recent report by the Census Bureau finds members of U.S. households are suffering increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The series of surveys began as a way to track a range of effects on households, including financial, educational, physical, and mental impacts. Last week’s survey found that a third of respondents are beginning to show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, agency officials said.
The Census Bureau survey showed young adults appear to be most affected. Within households, a second survey shows mothers appear to be bearing the brunt of the stress.
The survey conducted by Malt-O-Meal, a brand of ready-to-eat cereals, found that 95 percent of moms said they are multitasking for an average of almost eight hours a day. That may be because workloads have increased for most women with children living at home. More than half -- 55 percent -- say they are working longer hours, and 89 percent of those moms say it’s taking a toll on their well-being.
More than three in five report feeling increased stress levels. Forty-eight percent describe themselves as more anxious; 46 percent say they spend more time worrying; 27 percent are increasingly sad; and 26 percent say they more easily lose their temper.
With stay-at-home orders keeping kids out of schools and parents out of stores and offices, the household is populated 24/7. Women responding to the survey say they are spending time on their children’s education and keeping them entertained. In the meantime, they are trying to fulfill their own full-time work responsibilities.
Not much ‘me time’
Nearly a third of respondents said they only have one hour a day for self-care, while more than 1 in 8 moms say that they have no “me time” at all. When stress levels reach the breaking point, moms say they have a range of ways they decompress:
60 percent binge-watch TV and movies
43 percent eat
38 percent exercise
35 percent sleep
35 percent bake
24 percent drink
24 percent work on crafts
"It's clear that moms are burnt out and in need of a much-deserved break," said Jessica Wobschall, Senior Brand Manager of Malt-O-Meal and mother of two with another on the way.
"As a brand that has been there for moms for over 100 years, we wanted our survey to draw attention to the job of being a mom, which for many has expanded significantly right now, and find some way to provide a little relief."
In the last few weeks, ConsumerAffairs has compiled a series of ideas for diversions and stress-relievers while stuck at home. They include 5 ways to disconnect and unplug; 5 live feed websites; 4 art projects to try at home; and ways to brew better coffee at home.