Analysing a range of indicators including happiness, life satisfaction and anxiety, researchers recorded “substantially worse” levels of wellbeing when compared with the results of March/April 2019 survey.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
“This pattern is consistent across all regions in the UK, between men and women, across all age groups and across different ethnic groups,” the report’s authors state.
Avoid Bright Lights Before Sleep. When we're exposed to bright lights in the evening, this disrupts production of the sleep hormone melatonin. An interesting "hack" is to use a pair of amber-tinted glasses that block blue light from entering your eyes in the evening. This allows melatonin to be produced as if it were completely dark, helping you sleep better.
“Levels of all measures of wellbeing are at the lowest they have ever been since records began in the UK [in 2011].”
The survey, which recorded responses from 1,982 adults across the UK between 9-19 April, also found that the nation as a whole is “just under the threshold for psychiatric morbidity”.Psychiatric morbidity refers to the impact mental health conditions have on quality of life.
Psychological distress is particularly high for women, ethnic minority groups and key workers, the report adds.
Don't Eat a Lot of Refined Carbohydrates. Not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful. Studies show that refined carbohydrates are linked to overeating and numerous metabolic diseases.
Researchers also looked at the economic impact of reduced levels of wellbeing, estimating that the total wellbeing cost to adults in the UK to be around £2.25 billion per day – or around £43 per adult per day.
The total wellbeing cost refers to the amount of money that may need to be spent on patients presenting with additional mental health issues as a result of the pandemic.Paul Dolan, professor of psychological and behavioural science at LSE and one of the report’s authors, says it’s vital that the government devises mental health policies aimed at helping those most affected by the pandemic.
He added: “The difference between reported levels of wellbeing in April 2020 compared to April 2019 is enormous, however, not surprising given the huge toll that COVID-19 and the policy responses are taking on us,” he said
Breathe deeply on purpose. Oxygen is a vital source of life. You may know how to breathe, but are you breathing properly? Most of us don’t breathe properly — we take only shallow breaths and breathe to 1/3 of our lung capacity. A full breath is one where your lungs are completely filled, your abdomen expands, and there’s minimum movement in your shoulders. There are many benefits of deep breathingwhich include a reduction in stress and blood pressure, strengthening of abdominal and intestinal muscles and relief of general body aches and pains. Deep breathing also helps with better blood flow, releasing toxins from the body, and aids in getting a better night’s sleep.
“We calculate that the social distancing measures make up about two-thirds of the wellbeing impact and this highlights the importance of government policies to address the mental health needs of those whose lives are being most adversely affected by the current measures.”