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Norfolk and Suffolk say Not Enough Time is their number one Christmas stress
19/12/2014

Time pressure is the number one stress factor at Christmas for people living in Norfolk and Suffolk, according to a new survey.

Residents of the two counties agree that fitting in all that planning, shopping, present wrapping, and visiting relatives is sometimes... just too much.

Though Christmas is often considered the happiest and even most relaxing time of year, a survey by Norfolk and Suffolk's NHS Wellbeing Services has revealed that despite living in a semi-rural area, people still feel they have 'no time' for Christmas.

The 12 Stresses of Christmas survey was conducted over 12 days between December 5 and 17 and asked people in both Norfolk and Suffolk what stressed them most about Christmas.

More than 250 people took part across both counties and the results show that 'time pressure' in both, is the number one seasonal stress factor.

Nesta Reeve, clinical lead for Wellbeing Services at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: "In the run up to Christmas we have seen a definite spike in the number of self referrals to Wellbeing, across both Norfolk and Suffolk.

"The Wellbeing Services help people cope with a range of issues including low mood, anxiety depressions and stress, and referrals have risen by nearly 20% between 1 November and 16 December this year, compared with this time last year.

"Our survey was designed to look a little deeper into the possible causes of stress and we can see clearly that it's time pressure that is the number one stressor across both counties at this time of year.

"Whether that is people's jobs, family lives or simply a symptom of the modern world, it seems that many people have no time for Christmas these days and something we will take on board when running our workshops."

The Wellbeing Services provide a range of psychological interventions to help and support people with common mental health problems and negative emotions.

The service includes telephone based treatments, workshops, group sessions, online or computer-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and individual appointments. There are stress workshops, mindfulness taster sessions and people can also book sessions for their workplace.

"The results have helped given us a real insight into what is causing people stress at Christmas, with factors such as money worries for younger people, also coming into play," added Nesta. 

"Christmas shopping also seems to be a major stress despite the online shopping boom supposedly having made things easier, which may be again be a symptom of people feeling short of time.

"Thanks to all those who took part in the survey and in the meantime, may we wish everyone a very happy and hopefully stress-free Christmas, and a prosperous and more relaxed New Year."

For more information about local NHS Wellbeing services, visit www.readytochange.org.uk  or call 0300 123 1503 for Norfolk services and 0300 123 1781 for Suffolk services.

Survey result details:

The '12 Stresses of Christmas': listed in order of those causing people in Norfolk and Suffolk the most stress: 

Norfolk
Suffolk
Top Christmas Stress factors

1. Time pressure -
35.88% agree, 25.95% strongly agree

2. Christmas shopping -
42.52% agree, 20.47% strongly agree

3. Financial worries -
31.30% agree, 27.48% strongly agree

4. Family tensions -
34.85% agree, 18.94% strongly agree
 
5. Unrealistic expectations -
34.65% agree, 17.32% strongly agree

6. Fatigue -
43.51% agree, 9.92% strongly agree

7. Weight gain -
35.61% agree, 11.36% strongly agree

8. Cooking Christmas dinner -
26.72% agree, 8.40% strongly agree

9. Office parties -
20.16% agree, 4.65% strongly agree

10. Pressure to have fun -
17.56% agree, 8.40% strongly agree

11. Loneliness -
15.38% agree, 6.92% strongly agree
 
12. Fighting over the TV remote - 6.87% agree, 0.76% strongly agree

Top Christmas Stress factors

1. Time pressure -
50% agree, 22.81% strongly agree
 
2. Christmas shopping -
42.98% agree, 28.95% strongly agree

3. Financial worries -
33.04% agree, 27.83% strongly agree

4. Fatigue -
39.13% agree, 17.39% strongly agree

5. Unrealistic expectation -
35.65% agree, 16.52% strongly agree

6. Family tensions -
37.07% agree, 15.52% strongly agree

7. Weight gain -
28.45% agree, 13.79% strongly agree

8. Cooking Christmas Dinner -
25.66% agree, 7.08% strongly agree

9. Pressure to have fun -
22.81% agree, 10.53% strongly agree

10. Office parties -
19.64% agree, 6.25% strongly agree

11. Loneliness -
12.28% agree, 7.89% strongly agree(30.70% strongly disagree, 33.33 disagree)

12. Fighting over the TV remote -
4.35% agree, 0 strongly agree
Top Five Stress Factors: Norfolk Men

1. Christmas Shopping -
44.83% agree, 27.5 % strongly agree

2. Time Pressure -
24.14 % agree, 27.59% strongly agree

3. Unreal Expectations -
37.93% agree, 13.79% strongly agree

4. Family Tensions -
31.03% agree, 17.24 strongly agree

5. Financial Worries -
20.69% agree, 24.14% strongly agree

Top Five Stress Factors: Suffolk Men

1. Christmas Shopping -
33.33% agree, 37.04 % strongly agree

2. Financial worries -
34.62% agree, 30.77% strongly agree
 
3. Time pressures -
55.56% agree, 11.11% strongly agree

4. Fatigue -
44.44% agree, 14.81% strongly agree

5. Unrealistic expectations -
40.47% agree 11.11% strongly agree
Top Five Stress Factors: Norfolk Women

1. Time pressure -
39% agree, 26% strongly agree

2. Financial worries -
33% agree, 29% strongly agree

3. Christmas shopping -
41.67% agree, 18.75% strongly agree
 
4. Unreal expectations -
34.38% agree, 17.71% strongly agree

5. Fatigue -
48% agree, 10% strongly agree

Top Five Stress Factors: Suffolk Women

1. Time pressure -
47.67% agree, 26.74% strongly agree

2. Christmas shopping -
45.35% agree, 26.74% strongly agree
 
3. Financial worries -
31.82% agree, 27.27% strongly agree
 
4. Unrealistic expectations -
34.48% agree, 18.39% strongly agree

5. Fatigue -
36.78% agree, 18.39% strongly agree
Top Five Norfolk Stress Factors by Age: Norfolk Men & Women

18-24 Financial worries -
41.67% agree, 41.67% strongly agree

25-34 Time pressure -
38.46% agree, 34.62% strongly agree

35-44 Christmas shopping -
47.83% agree, 30.43% strongly agree

45-54 Time pressure -
27.27% agree, 25% strong agree

55-64 Time pressure -
39.13% agree, 21.74% strongly agree

65-71 Christmas shopping -
100% agree

Over 75 Christmas parties -
100% agree

Top Five Suffolk Stress Factors by Age: Suffolk Men & Women

18-24 Financial worries -
100% strongly agree

25-34 Financial worries -
36.84% agree, 31.58% strongly agree

35-44 Time pressures -
50% agree, 37.50% strongly agree

45-54 Time pressures -
48.89% agree, 22.22% strong agree

55-64 Time pressures -
66.67% agree, 19.05% strongly agree

65-71 Christmas shopping -
66.67% agree, 16.67% strongly agree

Over 75 Financial worries -
33.33% agree, 33.33% strongly agree ​