Friday, February 02, 2020

Britons, feeling poor and more stressed than ever, hit the bars to cope

I just learned that yesterday, February 1st 2007, was “Stress Down Day” in Great Britain, organized by Samaritans, a charity that exists to provide support and help for people contemplating suicide. People were encouraged to go to work wearing bedroom slippers, as a way of reminding them to relax more during the working day. In a survey brought out to mark the occasion, the charity noted that more people are stressed than ever before.

According to Samaritans, more Britons than ever are “turning to the bottle” to relieve stress—and half the nation isn’t sleeping or is grumpy due to stress. In summary:
  • Half of Britons (exactly 50%) say there are more stressed now than they were five years ago.
  • A staggering 17%—almost a fifth of the nation—are stressed out every single day.
  • 27%—one in four—say stress causes them to argue with their partners. 18% find their sex life suffers because of stress.
  • 25-34 year olds drink more often than other age groups to relieve stress—at 41%.
  • The issues which most affected people most were the same as when Samaritans last carried out the survey in 2003—although money is now the top reason people give (51%) and work has dropped to second (38%) and family issues are third (27%). Issues which feature in “world affairs” rate very low as people’s stressors in their day to day life.
  • Many people choose ways to relieve stress which may not work in the long run, as they could be avoiding their problems.
According to Professor Cary Cooper of Lancaster University, an expert in the field of workplace stress:
People need to talk about the stress and anxieties they have, not hide them away. Facing your problems with support is the best first step. The Stressed Out survey clearly shows that too many people are turning to the most inappropriate ways to deal with whatever is stressing them - and that’s if they’re making any attempt to deal with it at all.”
I wonder what the results would be if a similar survey took place in the United States? A recent, large-scale survey has found that almost four out of 10 Americans suffer from fatigue at work, so I guess there is probably little difference between people either side of the pond.
A study of nearly 29,000 employees published in the January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that 38 per cent said they had experienced “low levels of energy, poor sleep, or a feeling of fatigue” during the past two weeks. Fatigue was more common in women than men, in workers less than 50 years old, and in white workers compared with African Americans. Workers with “high-control” jobs relatively well paid jobs with decision-making responsibility also reported higher rates of fatigue, the research found.
Alexander Kjerulf has this picture and comment on his post How to succeed with way less stress — Putting abundance to work today. Maybe more people should think about it.

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