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New year, same you? Why many may struggle to find normalcy in 2022

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New year, new variant. More than half of Americans say the stress and resulting physical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still very much present, citing that events and gatherings continue to stress them out due to health concerns.

A survey of 2,000 general population Americans found 59% are hesitant about social interactions in general in the post-pandemic world because of stress.

However, even before the pandemic, people were prone to break off social engagements due to things like social anxiety (41%), catching a sickness (34%), back or joint pain (33%) and potential heartburn (32%).

Commissioned by Nexium 24HR and conducted by OnePoll, the study found 61% said their stress has been pushed to the highest level yet. 

Nearly three in five (58%) said their stress-management skills have worsened since the onset of the pandemic, and 60% of those who turn to comfort food when stressed recognize the negative impact from poor dietary choices.

Sixty-three percent are also worried about the world’s progression to normalcy, citing COVID health concerns (61%) and new variants (60%) as top stress factors.

Results also found that health concerns have prevented 54% from participating in activities or attending events and eating a meal at a social event (which is a staple at practically every gathering) causes anxiety for 56%.

“The cyclical relationship between stress, food intake and heartburn can wreak havoc on many areas of overall wellbeing,” explains internal medicine expert and Nexium 24HR spokesperson, Dr. Clenton Coleman MD. “With the increased strain caused by the pandemic, it’s extra important to be proactive in addressing health issues, getting good nutrition and managing stress levels so that you’re not held back from living your life to the fullest.”

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