Rise in stress and insomnia as Belgians scrap holidays amid pandemic: survey
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    Rise in stress and insomnia as Belgians scrap holidays amid pandemic: survey

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    The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on residents’ holiday plans has taken a toll on Belgians’ health, with a new survey showing residents are more stressed, tired and suffering from sleep-related ailments.

    A survey of 1,000 Belgian residents carried by polling agency iVox showed that two in three respondents saw their summer break plans impacted by the pandemic, with half saying they were able to relax a lot less than in previous years.

    Further, seven out of ten respondents scrapped their summer travel plans altogether and two in ten did not take any leave from work at all, according to reports of the survey by De Morgen.

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    Four out of ten polled residents said they were now experiencing more headaches as well as battling insomnia, with respondents also reporting that their sex and social lives had been impacted.

    One in four survey respondents said that the coronavirus pandemic had had a negative effect on their sex lives and 7% of men reported struggling with impotence.

    The poll also showed that respondents had a difficult time adjusting back to a new wave of restrictions imposed as the virus threatened to flare back up in July, after measures had begun to be slightly relaxed in May and June.

    17% of respondents said they had struggled with the lack of social contact during the second viral flare-up, when authorities rowed-back on widespread relaxations on social contact rules, shrinking each household’s social bubble to five people, down from the previous 15.

    In this period, 16% of respondents further said that they were struggling with a lack of energy while 15% said they had trouble sleeping.

    Only one in five survey respondents reported they still went on a trip abroad, while a significant 45% said they had gained weight in recent months.

    Half of the survey’s respondents said that they were not feeling good about themselves as the summer months came to a close, with the survey showing that women and respondents under 34 had a harder time this summer men and the elderly.

    Stress, fatigue and headaches peaked among the survey’s female respondents while young people reported in particular higher levels of stress.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times