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Coping with too busy lives in the run up to Christmas

17 December 2019

Leaning on friends and family was often central to making life easier

It’s the countdown to Christmas, the silly season, the month of madness. Whatever your preferred term, it almost always conjures up a panicked feeling as we all try to do more with less time.

So, as we deal with what is often perceived as the busiest time of the year, what are some of the factors that make modern lives so busy and what can we do to cope?

Well, the latest research from State Insurance shows ‘work’ is the most common culprit in making Kiwis feel too busy or stressed out, but that certainly wasn’t the only factor.

State Insurance asked its customers what makes life feel too busy and more than 6000 replied with their thoughts, citing work-related reasons in most responses. People mentioned specific work stresses such as deadlines, projects, managing staff, working extra or long hours and the flow-on impacts to the rest of their lives.

The top reasons why life feels too busy:

  • 22% Work
  • 20% Poor organisation/time management
  • 17% Things happening at the same time
  • 16% Managing unforeseen situations
  • 12% Family member being ill
  • 11% Being ill
  • 11% Busy lifestyle
  • 9% Lack of work-life balance
  • 7% Not enough time
  • 7% Stressful situations
  • 7% Project delivery/deadlines
  • 7% Working overtime

And while the build-up to Christmas might be an even busier time than usual, the research did prove that too-busy moments don’t just occur in the run up to Christmas, they’re inherent in our day-to-day lives.

So how did the 6000 or so respondents say they coped at these busy times?

Not surprisingly ‘friends and family’ were the key to feeling better under pressure with a third of respondents saying that connecting with people was the main way they coped. Even when other coping strategies were used, leaning on friends and family was often central to making life easier.

The top ways people cope when they’re too busy:

  • 14% Friends and family
  • 13% Holding on and getting through
  • 11% Quality time with family and friends
  • 10% Going for a walk
  • 9% Taking time for myself
  • 8% Having a drink
  • 8% Talk to someone
  • 7% Spend time doing something I enjoy
  • 7% Writing lists
  • 6% Planning
  • 6% Taking deep breaths
  • 5% Sleep

So while you rush to meet a million work deadlines before the Christmas shutdown, shop up a storm to ensure there’s a wealth of gifts under the Christmas tree, and turn yourself inside out with your best Martha Stewart impersonation to feed the extended family on the big day – it’s good to know that your most popular coping mechanism, friends and family, will be close at hand.

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