If you'd made "de-stressing my life in 2020" one of your new year's resolutions in late 2019, chances are you made it up until about March of last year before realizing that you picked the wrong year for that kind of thinking.

2020 was, for many of us, the single most stressful year that we can remember. I think the key to that phrase are the words "that we can remember." People old enough to remember the Great Depression and World War II might have a different take on what a truly stressful year is, but as in many things, it's all relative.

It would appear that some states (more specifically, the residents of some states) have handled 2020 going into 2021 a lot better than other states. A study conducted by OnePoll and published by StudyFinds.org took a look at the mindset of 12,500 Americans to determine which states were the most/least stressed out in 2020.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you that when Joe Dredge and I discussed this topic on the WROK Morning Show, we couldn't have been more wrong when we tried to guess the most stressed and least stressed states.

It turns out that both the most and least are states that border Illinois.

A poll of 12,500 Americans from every state in the union reveals residents in Missouri are more stressed out than people in any other state. On average, Missourians spend three hours and 18 minutes per day worrying due to stress.

The study goes on to say that Missouri barely tops 2nd place finisher Mississippi, which is barely ahead of the 3rd place West Virginia.

It's not hard to guess what the stress-causers of 2020 were, if you think about it. It's the same stuff that we worried about here in the Rockford area. Things like your finances, the COVID-19 pandemic, politics, and the things you heard and saw on the news. Seriously, if you take out the pandemic, these are things we always worry about, aren't they?

As for the least-stressed state, our western neighbor Iowa takes the number one spot. StudyFinds.org's study doesn't say why Iowans seem to be handling things better than the rest of the country, just that they are.

Survey participants also told OnePoll that they figure it will take half a year to bring their stress levels back to a tolerable level, while some think that their stress and anxiety levels will never return to previous levels.


Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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