How much is a stress-free day worth? 1 in 4 would give up their paycheck or sex

NEW YORK — Three in four Americans would do “nearly anything” to have a single stress-free day.

A new poll of 2,000 people revealed that one in 10 can’t even remember the last time they had a stress-free day. When people feel stressed out, they avoid necessary tasks like doing laundry (20%), vacuuming (15%), and cleaning their homes (15%).

Many would pass on a week’s worth of productivity (30%), an entire paycheck (28%), and even sex (26%) if it meant having a stressless day.

The study, commissioned by Noom and conducted by OnePoll to shine a light on these topics ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10, found that 83 percent believe everyone would benefit from taking their mental wellness more seriously.

While nearly as many (81%) say they’re satisfied with their current mental well-being, 65 percent have only given more thought to their personal well-being over the past two years.

Since the start of 2020, respondents were more likely to experience stress (47%), separation from loved ones (39%), move to a new community (38%), or experience a breakup (33%), burnout (32%), weight gain (29%), anxiety (29%), depression (25%), and the loss of a loved one (22%).

stress free day

Is self-care more about other people?

After seeing more people in their lives sharing and talking about their mental health journeys, 66 percent have been inspired to take better care of their own mental well-being. The survey revealed that mental health action often takes place because of its impact on others, not internal reflection.

Of those who have made an effort to prioritize their mental health, the biggest motivating factors are considering how their mental health affects others (53%), seeing friends benefit from taking care of their mental well-being (51%), and speaking with close family members (46%).

Meanwhile, 24 percent of respondents feel no inspiration to take care of themselves.

For those people, however, there are still a few things that would make them more seriously consider taking care of their mental health, such as experiencing a lack of functioning throughout the day (30%), having more digestible and reliable information about mental wellness (30%), and having a close family member or friend urge them to seek care (30%).


“Each of these motivators fall on a spectrum from intrinsic (guided by inherent satisfaction) to extrinsic (guided by an external reward),” says Andreas Michaelides, PhD., chief of psychology at Noom, in a statement. “It takes a combination of different kinds of motivators in order to accomplish one’s goals, especially when it comes to changing health behaviors. It’s important to remember that motivation doesn’t need to come from just one source.”

4 in 5 check in on themselves routinely

When it comes to work benefits and making the decision to accept a new position, many prioritize an employer that offers health insurance (42%) and mental health benefits (33%).

More than half of Americans (58%) find it easier to recognize the status of their own mental state than they could with other people. Four in five (81%) regularly check in with themselves regarding their mental status. In fact, 64 percent have had a moment of reflection on their mental well-being that made them feel compelled to start a mental wellness routine.

For 78 percent, it’s important to talk to someone they can trust when it comes to mental health. In this setting, nearly as many (71%) feel comfortable sharing their feelings on mental wellness.

“And this makes sense,” Michaelides continues. “It’s easier to maintain healthy habits you want if you can create an environment that supports them, surrounding yourself with people who have shared goals or who have normalized the kind of lifestyle you’re trying to maintain.”

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