The Results Are In! Here Are All the Ways Health and Wellness Look Different in 2020
In January, we were all full of optimism as we rang in a new decade, promising ourselves we’d make our New Year’s resolutions stick this year as we got off to a fresh start.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and it felt like everything fell apart: Jobs were lost, travel was restricted, parents juggled working full-time while trying to help their kids learn, and people who lived alone dealt with a level of isolation they’d never experienced before.
Sadly, none of these factors are a thing of the past just yet. But as we learn to adapt and find a new normal, some interesting changes have happened from a physical and mental health standpoint.
In June 2020, Parade and Cleveland Clinic joined forces to take the pulse of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. How are we dealing with isolation, a rising death count and ongoing fears? Are we developing new health habits and ways to cope? Our national survey of 1,000 adults gave us the answers. Yes, our new normal has been shaped in ways both positive (hand-washing habits may never be the same) and negative (mental health issues are on the rise). Here, we take a look at some of the lessons learned during the pandemic.
Healthy lifestyle changes have never felt more important
While the early days of stay-at-home orders may have been filled with binge-watching shows and staying in our pajamas on all day, that attitude didn’t last. According to our survey, 62% of respondents have adopted some type of healthy lifestyle change since the pandemic began, whether that’s been getting more exercise, making positive dietary changes or trying to get more sleep.
Todd Huston, 59, a Tulsa-based motivational speaker who lost a leg in a boating accident, then set a record for climbing the highest elevation in each of the 50 states in 66 days, admits the pandemic has tested him. He found ways to cope: “I learned to cook, organized the home and office and got myself back into shape while spending more quality time with my family.” The fact that he’d worked on his emotional and spiritual health in the past helped him cope during these challenging times, he says. To help those who are struggling, he co-authored the free Mental Survival Guide e-book alongside his social worker wife, Julie Dunbar Huston, 49.