Community//

Holidays Have You Dazed and Confused? You’re Not Alone.

You might assume everyone went offline for the 2019 holiday season. It turns out our stressed-out, workaholic culture stands strong even when Santa comes to town.

The holidays are known for gathering with loved ones and celebrating the end of the year together.

The 2019 holiday season came and went in the blink of an eye, and we’re somehow already halfway through the first month of the year.

Although the holidays are marketed as a cozy and peaceful season, in reality it usually feels far from being a time where life slows down. Between prepping appetizers for big family reunions, shopping for last minute presents and striving to keep up with the daily routine, things tend to get a bit chaotic.

You also have to consider where you physically spend the holiday season. With kids off from school and billable holidays marked on the calendar, nearly half of Americans have travel plans during the holiday season, as reported by CNBC.

It’s no wonder why many of us still feel a little dazed and confused halfway through January. Travel itineraries, to-do lists and the many bills to finance it all pile up and end up taking a toll on our wellbeing. To add context, a survey ran by the American Psychological Association found that 38% of respondents shared their stress levels increase during the holidays with 53% feeling the pressure of finances particularly.

With so much to do and pay for, it’s not a surprise to learn a recent study by Reservations.com found that 27% of Americans take zero days off of work during the holiday season. Considering the stress that comes with holiday spending, it seems reasonable to assume many opt to continue working in order to keep up with the increase of purchases and card swiping.

For those that do make room in their schedules for PTO, it is rare for their time-off to exceed a week. Only 8% of those surveyed plan to take eight or more days off from work during the holidays. Perhaps this is due to financial constraints, or simply because many find themselves running out of vacation time towards the end of the year.

Speaking of employee benefits, it might feel like our society is advocating for more work-life balance and stressing the important of time away from work. Yet, many Americans are surprisingly quite okay with the vacation time they’re given. About 64% of survey respondents shared they are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the vacation time their employers provide.

You might be thinking those that choose to work during the holidays don’t actually get anything done. It turns out, more than a third of those who stay online during the holiday season share they experience no change in their levels of productivity. Regardless of whether that is due to end-of-year deadlines or the pressure to finance their holiday spending, we have to give props to those unphased by the frenzy around them.

It doesn’t matter whether you think it is wise to take time away from work for your wellbeing or you believe grinding through the holidays is the key to getting ahead in your career. The facts show many not only feel an increase in their stress during the holiday season, but they also choose to continue working through it regardless.

Sharing this data isn’t so much about establishing what is best for you personally or professionally, but rather, it serves as a reminder to be sensitive to those around you. The holiday season can be a stressful, overwhelming time of year, and transitioning out of it is not much easier of a task.

As we cruise into the second half of January, remember to show compassion to those who seem off to a slow start for 2020. The holiday spirit shouldn’t disappear as soon as we kickoff the New Year. The same rules apply: lend a helping hand, check-in on your loved ones and never underestimate the power of presence.

The holidays are known for gathering with loved ones and celebrating the end of the year together.

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