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A different Christmas

A mentally healthy and aware Australia

The challenges of lockdown and social isolation are shifting Australians priorities with almost nine in ten Australians (89%) agreeing, the events of 2020 have highlighted the importance of having a good support system. Positively, Australians are working towards their best selves, with despite 2020 being a tough year, four in five Australians (80%) have made sure to prioritise their mental health.

Australians more likely to be thriving than surviving 2020

Although 2020 has been a challenging year with unprecedented events, half of Australians (50%) are thriving through their experience. Not only has their mental health (anxiety, stress, relational wellbeing) been positive overall, but so has their experience of their circumstances (finances, employment, family). One in ten (9%) are optimists, experiencing positive mental health despite negative circumstances.

Three in ten Australians (28%), however, are just surviving through 2020 and COVID-19, experiencing both negative mental health and negative circumstances overall.

Older generations, leading Australians through 2020

Australia’s older generations, those aged 56+ are leading the country through the events of 2020. Despite being the most susceptible to the health risks of 2020, older Australians are more likely than their younger counterparts to strongly/somewhat agree they feel optimistic as they come out of the pandemic (92% Builders, 82% Baby Boomers, 81% Gen X cf. 81% Gen Y, 71% Gen Z).
Older Australians are also learning the importance of a good support system and experiencing positive mental health. More than one in two Builders (57%), Baby Boomers (50%) and Gen X’s (58%) strongly/somewhat agree the events of 2020 have highlighted the importance of having a good support system and they are feeling hopeful for the new year (53% Builders, 52% Baby Boomers, 53% Gen X).

Border restrictions may increase loneliness this Christmas

The usual Christmas festivities have the potential to be overshadowed by loneliness. Instead of receiving the gift of family, many will be spending Christmas alone. Half of Australians (50%) will be spending Christmas without their family this year if travel restrictions do not lift. A similar proportion are worried they will be unable to do their Christmas family traditions this year due to COVID-19 restrictions (52%).

Younger Australians are the most likely to be affected these holidays, with three in five Gen Zs (63%) and Gen Ys (64%) expecting they will be without their families if restrictions don’t lift (cf. 47% Gen X, 33% Baby Boomers, 46% Builders).

Media contact

For media commentary on the research please contact Dr Lindsay McMillan on 0409 186 322 or McCrindle on (02) 8824 3422 or

About Mainstreet Insights

Mainstreet Insights, initiative of Reventure and McCrindle, exists to provide insights to build flourishing communities. It seeks to understand Australians as people not just consumers or employees. It explores the big issues of life that are impacting main street Australia. From family and relationships to education, faith, wellbeing and work, it is a collection of timely insights that speaks into important community conversations to enable leaders to make informed decisions.

About this study

This research conducted for Mainstreet Insights endeavours to provide insights into the concerns, behaviours, beliefs and habits of Australians as they emerge out of 2020 and begin the new year. It is based on an online survey deployed to a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Australians. Data was collected between the 1st to the 6th of October 2020. The birth years of the generations referred to in this research are: Builders born before 1946; Baby Boomers born 1946-1964; Generation X born 1965-1979; Generation Y born 1980-1994 and Generation Z born 1995-2009.

Study demographics