COVID Anxiety & Money Worries?
Chris Broome – Chartered Financial Planner
There’s no denying we’re living during unusual and perhaps life defining moments. COVID is impacting everyone, and everything, on this planet.
It’d be very natural then for many of us to be suffering from increased pressures and personal anxiety.
Our article today explores recent data produced from the Office of National Statistics – data which will no doubt rise the longer this pandemic continues.
Money worries are driving people towards a feeling of “high anxiety” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), nearly half of Brits expressed this feeling of worry since the start of the lockdown.
It was those whose income fell as a result of the pandemic, an estimated 8.6 million people, who experienced the highest levels of anxiety.
In this group of people, anxiety levels were on average 16% higher.
Renters hit hardest
The estimated 2.6 million people who are struggling to pay bills are suffering the greatest level of anxiety.
The survey, which looked at the impact of coronavirus, found those renting their homes and the self-employed were hardest hit.
The ONS also found that measures of wellbeing were at their lowest levels since records began in 2011.
According to the survey, more than 25 million of us are experiencing high levels of anxiety. That’s equivalent to 49.6% of over-16s.
When compared with the end of 2019, before the onset of coronavirus, high anxiety levels have more than doubled.
Women versus Men
The ONS measures wellbeing through a weekly opinion and lifestyle survey, speaking to approximately 1,500 people to gain their views on the impact of coronavirus.
Average levels of anxiety rose from a score of 2.97 out of 10 at the end of last year to 5.18 out of 10 at the end of March, as the lockdown was introduced.
When the survey took place between 9th and 20th April, average anxiety levels fell to 4.2 out of 10.
The latest survey found that women are experiencing greater levels of anxiety than men, nearly a quarter higher.
The numbers say it all
The ONS believes this difference is the result of a larger proportion of women than men being economically inactive, in lower-paid employment, or working part-time.
Money worries troubled an estimated 5.3 million people, according to the latest survey.
6.2 million people are most worried about their work, and 8.5 million people are worried about their wellbeing.
All measures of personal well-being, which include anxiety and happiness, are at their worst levels since the ONS started collecting data on it since 2011.
The most recent data showed a slight improvement in anxiety compared to previous weeks, but remained much higher than before the pandemic.
The team at Longhurst are here if you’d like to talk anything through; from feelings and worry; to reviewing your current financial situation.
We’re also offering all clients, professional connections, and friends of Longhurst, a complementary Headspace membership. Check out the video below for more information.