63% of people in the UK are feeling anxious about the coronavirus crisis, but over half of them say talking to their loved ones on a daily basis and being kind to themselves helps to calm their worries

In line with Mental Health Awareness Week (18th 24th May) VitaMinds, a free NHS mental health psychological talking therapy service provided by Vita Health Group, has released new consumer research looking at people’s anxiety around Covid-19 and how they are dealing with the increased stress bought on by the pandemic.

Whilst the research found that nearly two thirds (63%) of people in the UK are feeling anxious about the Coronavirus pandemic, two of the key methods people are using to alleviate stress and calm their nerves include talking to loved ones on a daily basis (57%) and being kind to themselves (52%)

The results from the VitaMinds research tie into the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 which has been changed from sleep to kindness in line with the current pandemic. The VitaMinds results clearly highlight the value people in the UK place on being kind to others and keeping in contact with loved ones daily during this difficult time. The data also highlights the importance of being kind to oneself too (52%), with those who cited participating in a hobby, having a bath, practicing yoga or mindfulness or doing some exercise as the key ways that they are kind to themselves right now.

Other noteworthy results from the VitaMinds survey found:

  • More women than men report to be anxious about Covid-19 (68% of women, as opposed to 57% men);
  • The most anxious regions of the UK are reported to be East Anglia, North East and Wales;
  • The most anxious age group is reported to be 18-24, whilst those who are 55+ are feeling less anxious overall;
  • Other key techniques used by UK consumers for reducing stress included; the kindness of people in the community (26%), listening to news updates 25% and talking to neighbours (14%).
  • 32% of men found listening to news updates helped reduce anxiety, in contrast to 20% of women.
  • Respondents in the 18-24 category prioritised being kind to themselves over and above anything else (64%) even over talking to loved ones daily. Whilst those in the 55+ age category placed being kind to themselves lower down their priority list (with only 47% saying this calmed their anxiety).

Upon evaluating the research results, Jane Muston, Clinical Director at Vita Health Group, explained,

“whilst it is sincerely worrying that more and more people are suffering with Covid-19 related anxiety, it is pleasing to see that many of them are recognising this and making sure that they spend more time being kind to themselves or talking to their loved ones daily to reduce this stress. Often just taking note of increased stress levels and actively trying to reduce them is an integral part of the journey to good mental health. It’s ever so important to make time to look after yourself and spend some time checking in on others and being kind to them. One thing is for certain when it comes to this crisis and that’s the undisputable kindness of people and how willing they are to help others. It’s wonderful to see.”

VitaMinds launches this new research in parallel with the launch of its free NHS mental health psychological talking therapy service in three new locations across the UK; Kent and Medway, Calderdale and Derbyshire. This bolsters the already burgeoning service VitaMinds provides in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, as well as Basildon and Brentwood. The free service allows anyone who is feeling anxious, depressed, those who are lacking in motivation, or those with low mood to contact a support team online or over the phone for a virtual therapy session. From there, a VitaMinds therapist will talk to that individual and offer suggestions on next steps and provide them with the appropriate help they need.

Muston went on to say, “even though many people may be managing their anxiety themselves, for those who need that extra layer of support, it’s ever so important that they do indeed reach out to their GP, or other available support quickly. Certainly, if people have any fears around the current situation or if they feel their anxiety is getting out of control they should ask for help. There are plenty of experts who can offer support both virtually and totally confidentially no matter how big or small that concern might be.”