Last reviewed 9 October 2020

Ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2020, the Mental Health Foundation has shared new research showing how adults in the UK have successfully been managing stress during the pandemic — strategies which may be of interest for managers to share with workers.

The research, conducted in partnership with collaborating universities including the universities of Cambridge, Swansea, Strathclyde, Queen’s Belfast and De Montfort, showed that more than 80% of adults have experienced stress because of the pandemic and going out for a walk emerged as most people’s favourite coping strategy, followed by visiting parks and other green spaces.

  • Nearly 60% of of UK adults who had experienced stress because of the pandemic said walking helped them cope.

  • Half (50%) of UK adults who had felt stressed said visiting green spaces, such as parks, helped.

  • Almost half (47%) of UK adults who had experienced stress said contacting family, whether by phone or video chat, etc had been useful.

  • Almost half (46%) of adults said contacting friends (again by phone, video chat or other means) had helped.

Commenting on the report, Dr Antonis Kousoulis, the Foundation’s Director for England and Wales, said: “The good news here is that at a very difficult time for many of us, millions of people across the UK are using effective ways to improve their wellbeing”.

Professor Tine Van Bortel, from the University of Cambridge and De Montfort University Leicester, added, “There’s a growing body of strong research evidence about the determinants of our health and wellbeing. That is replicated by our findings. Access to nature and safe green spaces, positive social contacts, healthy lifestyles and meaningful activities are all crucial, for us to function well”.