The pre-Christmas season. A time for letting your hair down with friends and family and enjoying some festive cheer? That’s one way of looking at it. Alternatively, for some, it’s a struggle to manage the additional Christmas commitments alongside the usual balancing act of sustaining work and family life.
Many people put themselves under increased stress at this time of year with the pressures of shopping, time, financial concerns and social demands, as well as fatigue, general overindulgence and lack of physical exercise. It can be stressful even for those who are lucky enough to enjoy a stable home life, sufficient finances and a job they are happy in. But the Christmas season does have a habit of making those who are less than content with their lives acutely aware of the elements they are unhappy with.
So, bearing all of this in mind, it’s perhaps no great surprise that the Christmas period is one of the most stressful times of the year for many. According to the Money Advice Service’s 2014 Christmas spending survey:
- 30% of respondents said they thought they would find Christmas harder to afford than the previous year.
- More than a quarter (26%) said they generally spend more than they can afford
- Almost half of people in Britain were expected to turn to credit cards, store cards and overdrafts to cover the cost of Christmas in 2014.
Add to these financial pressures the potential added strains in the workplace over the winter months such as travel disruption due to bad weather, winter colds and flu, increased stress in the workplace due to workloads and the effects of ongoing Christmas festivities, and the workplace has the potential to become a boiling pot for mental and physical health issues.
If you’re an employer who is concerned about the health of your staff, or a worker who is having work-related health issues, why not take a look at the resources on the Fit for Work website or call the free advice line on 0800 032 6235?