Pandemic’s impact on relationships revealed by Benenden Health

THE pandemic has been piling pressure on relationships, with more than a third of couples ‘identifying issues’ and one in ten of these breaking up as a result.

Those are the findings of a new study by York-based not-for-profit healthcare provider, Benenden Health.

It also said that as many as 60 per cent of UK adults struggled with health issues following a relationship breakdown, turning to unhealthy habits including eating badly, drinking more alcohol, smoking, turning up to work late and staying in bed longer.

Many felt tired, grumpy, sad, angry and lacked energy, and more than three in 10 had experienced a loss of appetite and a third had experienced a feeling of ‘emptiness’ as a result of ending a relationship.

Break-ups also affected people’s ability to do their jobs, including being unable to concentrate, feeling less productive or creative and a lack of motivation.

As a result, 57 per cent had had to take time off work, and 45 per cent said they would expect to be offered time off if they were going through a significant break-up.

Benenden matron Cheryl Lythgoe said the past year had put many relationships under the spotlight as people struggled to juggle childcare, working from home and isolation, leading many to question their relationship or even break up.

“With everything else that’s going on it can be easy to forget to look after yourself, but sometimes breakups affect us in ways we don’t even know about – both emotionally and physically – so it’s important to be aware of the triggers that could affect your health and put things in place to help you cope with the situation.

“Whilst it might help in the short-term to over-indulge in junk food and avoid seeing friends and family, it’s important in the long-term to make sure you’re surrounding yourself with a strong support network, take care of your health, both physically and mentally, and be kind to yourself to make sure that a breakup doesn’t make a bad situation even worse.”

A spokesperson said the top things people had done after a break-up were:

1. Eaten badly (such as eating more junk food)

2. Drank more alcohol

3. Ignored calls/text messages from people

4. Stayed in bed for longer than usual

5. Spent more time with friends/family

6. Cared less about their appearance

7. Exercised less

They added that to support those struggling with relationship breakups, Benenden Health had developed a range of helpful articles including advice on managing mental wellbeing and building a healthy diet.For more information go to

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