Seven in 10 Americans are bracing themselves for the most challenging winter yet this year, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 Americans showed how they're gearing up more than ever to ensure mental and physical wellbeing this winter after a tough 2020.
Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic topped the list of the most frequent anxieties respondents have encountered during their time in quarantine, closely followed by their family's health and their own wellbeing.
A further 36% cited political instability and the upcoming presidential election (33%) as frequent contributors to their stress levels.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of HomeServe, the survey found that three-quarters of respondents shared that they're worried about a surge in COVID-19 cases and seven in 10 are worried about another shelter-in-place order within their state this winter.
With all of these trials and tribulations, 67% of respondents are worried the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will take a toll on their holiday cheer.
It's no surprise then that nearly three-quarters of respondents shared they're planning to take better care of their mental health this winter.
The top items respondents shared they're responsibly stocking up on for the winter months included masks and protective facial coverings (45%) and toilet paper, tissues and paper towels (44%).
Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed are making sure their pantries and medicine cabinets are well stocked before winter hits.
A quarter of respondents are also stocking up on comfort items like fuzzy socks and new blankets to make this winter a bit more bearable.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents also shared they're using their time in quarantine to better prepare their homes for this winter alongside their emotional well-being.
In fact, 63% of those polled said their time in lockdown has allowed them the much-needed time to fix things around their homes to prepare for winter.
Topping respondents' quarantine winter preparedness was checking the batteries in their smoke detectors (39%), checking for drafty windows and doors (32%) and making sure their vents are clear of blockages (30%).
"While the survey shows that many Americans have made good use of their time while in quarantine to complete home improvement projects, all too often, the routine maintenance items like checking your home's major systems and winterizing your home can slip through the cracks," said Tom Rusin, Global CEO of HomeServe Membership. "These important tasks can have just as much of an impact on your home's livability as the more obvious home upgrades. While it's a lot of fun to redecorate a room in your house, you're not going to get nearly as much joy out of it if, for example, your home's heating system isn't working properly come wintertime."
On top of the everyday stresses of this "new normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic, half of respondents shared they wouldn't be financially able to repair their home's heating system if it should break down this winter.
It's no surprise then, that 58% of those surveyed shared they plan on checking their home's heating system this year, but over 76% of those surveyed would prefer to have a professional do the tune-up than themselves.
"Problems with a home's heating and air conditioning systems are one of the most common home emergencies seen by homeowners. And these repairs can, unfortunately, be quite costly," explained HomeServe's Tom Rusin. "Getting in the habit of hiring a professional to do a full system tune-up before cold weather hits is one easy and affordable way to give you peace-of-mind that, when the inevitable bad winter weather arrives, your home will be ready."