Space & Innovation

Summer Is the Most Stressful Time for Most Employees

Your upcoming summer vacation might not be as relaxing as you want it to be.

Summer is a time for rest, relaxation and stress-free vacations, right? As it turns out, the next three months might not be as carefree as you think. According to new data from meQuilibrium, the shift from spring to summer actually causes an increase in stress levels for most employees.

An analysis of 30,000 working men and women found that during the summer months, things like eating habits, sleep, time management and sense of pressure saw a downward shift. Study participants were given a stress test ahead of the analysis that measured these stress vulnerability factors.

These factors were then monitored from April - September of 2014 and 2015. A post-analysis stress test revealed a drop in the majority of participant's emotional state of mind during the transition from spring to summer.

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The reason behind the higher stress levels many of us experience during the summer isn't quite as obvious as you might think. It's not because of what's going on at the office, but rather what's happening outside of it. For many of us, summer means very busy social calendars. Things like extended time with family and friends, long vacations and activity-packed weekends can weigh heavily on stress vulnerability factors like sleep, eating habits and body image.

"Work tends to be the scapegoat for our sources of stress, however, there are many other personal factors at play. These data insights regarding employees' state of mind in the summer supports this point of view," Jan Bruce, CEO of meQuilibrium said in a recent press release about the study.

"We believe it's notable that over two years, thousands of employees indicated they were more vulnerable to many of life's challenges during the summer -- a time that we all generally consider to be a little easier and more carefree," she continued.

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The other factor at play here is that even though most people are taking more vacation time in the summer, they may still be thinking about work while they're away, and everything they'll have to do when they return. Dreading that first day back in the office with an overflowing inbox and blinking voicemail light can be quite stressful.

So if you're trying to figure out why you feel totally stressed out this summer, the culprit might just be all that time spent with annoying Uncle Frank. A great excuse to skip that upcoming extended family reunion!