Significant percentage of people are suffering from seasonal affective disorder

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Half of Americans are afraid they’ll suffer from seasonal affective disorder this year since the pandemic will keep them at home, according to new research.

Four in five believe they suffered from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a type of depression related to the change in seasons — in the winter of 2019 that ended with the arrival of COVID-19 and lockdown measures.

The study of 2,000 Americans examined how respondents feel about the cooling weather in 2020 and how they expect to handle it amid COVID-19.

In an effort to get as much vitamin D as possible, 47% expect their time spent at home to increase, but 51% want to embrace the outdoors as much as they can this winter.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Heat Holders, revealed one in three plan on taking walks or hikes to get some fresh air (37%), while 21% can’t wait to build a snowman.

One in five have already fantasized about a dramatic snowball fight (19%) and 17% want to make snow angels.

Two in five wished they were able to spend more time outside this winter, but they don’t have the proper clothing to stay warm.

Still, 67% already dread the winter more than any other season and two in three expect this winter to be extremely challenging.

Results found 57% think winter is the season that feels like it lasts the longest.

When it comes to parts of the season that really give respondents the winter blues, the cold temperatures (25%), the arrival of cold and flu season (22%) and the lack of daylight (20%) were the top culprits.

Icy conditions and winter storms (both 17%) rounded out the top five most hated parts of the season.

Three in four feel the cold much more in their extremities than in their body, with some parts feeling the chill more than others.

“We wanted to understand how Americans are going to deal with both COVID-19 and winter,” said a spokesperson for Heat Holders. “It looks like people are looking to be cozy at home and also embrace the outdoors more than ever before for fresh air and social interaction.

“The data clearly points to people looking for effective options to keep extremities warm, this is essential for comfort, both indoors and outdoors.”

Hands came in at the top of the list for coldest body parts with 52% and feet were not far behind, with 50%.

Over a third hate to feel the cold on their face (37%) and a quarter (26%) complained about their ears.

In order to bundle up, respondents have classic tricks like hot baths, sitting back the fire and a stiff drink to help warm up.

Respondents were also looking forward to their cozy necessities like warm socks (54%).

One in two loved to wrap themselves in a blanket and two in five opted for sweatshirts (41%) and sweatpants (40%).

While 38% have got to keep their fingers cold with a pair of gloves.

“Body warmth easily escapes through extremities, feet, hands, head,” added the spokesperson for Heat Holders. “Retaining this body heat is essential to staying warm and comfortable in the cold. This was the very reason why we created the warmest thermal sock.”

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