When we think of summer, we think of relaxing by the pool and enjoying a sunny, carefree weekend. However, some research suggests that employees are actually more stressed over the summer than they are over the winter months. Surprising, right?
According to a 2016 study by meQuilbrium, the shift from spring to summer appears to cause an increase in stress levels for most employees. The survey analyzed results from 30,000 working men and women over a period of two years. They found that factors such as eating habits, sleep, time management, and sense of pressure saw a downward shift during the summer months.
So, what could be causing these stress levels to spike? meQuilbrium suggests that it’s not office life that’s causing employees to stress. Outside factors are most likely to play the main role in summertime stress. Let’s take a look at some common summertime stress factors:
Vacations. While vacations should be anything but stressful, the reality is that vacations can trigger both anxiety and stress. Without careful planning, vacations can sometimes be a financial burden, which can increase stress levels. In addition, vacations can contribute to an overwhelming schedule – making you feel like you don’t have much time to get things done.
Missing work. Taking time off work is extremely important to your overall health and wellbeing. However, sometimes it can cause a bit of stress, too. There’s nothing worse than spending your vacation time dreading your overflowing email inbox and sorting through voicemails as soon as you step back into the office.
Family time. Spending time with your loved ones can be beneficial to your mental and emotional health. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite can be true as well. Similar to the holiday season, summertime can be filled to the brim with family obligations and can cause a bit of tension within the family if you’re not careful.
School’s out. On top of social obligations and work responsibilities, working parents might also have a bit more stress added to their plates due to kids being home. Making arrangements for children over the summer can cause financial stress. Plus, juggling kids with work can lead to parental burnout.
Tight schedule. Between vacations, hosting relatives, and social obligations, your calendar might be a bit more full than what you’re comfortable with. Mixing a jam-packed calendar with a full-time work schedule can be a recipe for stress.
Beach body. Many adults stress about achieving and maintaining their perfect “beach body” over the summer. These unrealistic expectations and pressures – mixed with unhealthy dieting – can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression.
As you can see, there are many common summertime factors that can contribute to stress. If you’re not careful, this built-up stress can lead to burnout and make your summer a lot less enjoyable. So, if you’re feeling a bit stressed this summer, here are a few ways to combat summertime stressors:
- Set boundaries. It’s crucial to learn how to set some boundaries during the summer months. Whether it’s your family, friends, or boss, let them know what responsibilities you can and cannot handle. Never be afraid to say “no”. Taking on more than you can handle will leave you stressing all summer long.
- Plan ahead. Planning is key to a healthy, happy, and stress-free summer. Whether it’s finances, vacation plans, or social obligations, always be sure to plan ahead and be prepared for any unexpected changes.
- Use the weekends for stress relief. While the summertime can be stressful, it also offers numerous opportunities for stress relief! Dedicate your summer weekends to reduce some of the stress in your life. Spend more time outdoors, start your own garden, or visit the spa.
- Keep up with healthy habits. One of the best ways to combat stress is by keeping up with your healthy habits and routine. Be sure to get enough quality sleep, keep up with a balanced diet, and stay active.
- Schedule in some alone time. Taking care of yourself should be a priority year-round. Be sure to schedule in some much-needed alone time. And don’t forget to indulge some daily self-care!
There’s no need to spend your summer feeling stressed out! Try out some of the above tips to enjoy a healthy and happy summer.
Do you feel more stressed out during the summer season? What helps you unwind and de-stress over the summer? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!
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