Stress levels surge following back to school rush

Over a third of Brits feel more stressed since the start of the new school year, whether they have children or not, it emerged yesterday.

New research revealed that the stress levels of millions of Brits have surged since the September back to school rush – with 1 in 4 admitting they feel stressed hourly or daily since the end of summer, regardless of whether they are parents or not.

According to the poll, conducted by webuyanycar, over two thirds of commuters (67 percent) have been effected by the September start of term, with almost half spending an extra 15 to 30 minutes travelling to work since schools reopened, while 1 in 10 have had a whole hour added to their commute, compared to July and August.

The post-holiday blues continued as 27 percent of parents confessed that they feel more stressed now that their kids are back in school – with even more on their plate or still loads to do.

With more time spent stuck in school-run traffic, it does seem like there aren't enough hours in the day for many – with the average Brit saying that they would pay between £5 and £20 for just one additional hour, while 1 in 20 is willing to stump up £100 or more for extra time.

Richard Evans, of webuyanycar, said: “This new research highlights just how hectic the back to school rush is for a vast majority of the nation.

“Stress and anxiety are a huge part of modern life and it’s clear that they are manifesting themselves in the day-to-day activities of much of the population.

“Webuyanycar is one of the UK’s many convenience businesses who recognise this is a growing trend, and while millions struggle to find enough time to combat their pressures head-on, we continue to provide stress-free solutions for thousands of motorists each week.”

Just behind the Christmas and New Year period, September came out on top as the most stressful month of the year, in the poll.

This is hardly surprising since millions are currently surviving on less sleep - over a third of Brits (36 percent) said they are waking up earlier to beat the traffic, while 1 in 5 are not sleeping well due to all the added pressures since the start of autumn. 17% of people admitted that they generally feel more anxious, while the same number said they now spend Sunday evenings dreading the week ahead.

More people are tuning into classical music to relieve their stress (8 percent), while the same number admitted that road rage has become a recent habit.

Free time is also playing a huge role in our seasonal stress levels, as 42 percent of those surveyed said they have just 2 hours or less free time a day, while a quarter have no free time at all.

And even though the stress associated with a lack of free-time is felt by a majority (63 percent), just 1 in 10 of us is actually doing anything to relieve it.

Top de-stressing activities identified in the poll included chilling on the sofa to a favourite box set (46 percent) and listening to relaxing music (33 percent), while others turn to their pets, cooking and baking to calm down (13 percent).

Neil Shah, of the Stress Management Society, said: “In modern life, time and stress are closely interlinked however it’s not the matter of hours we have, but rather how we use that time that will determine how much we’re able to achieve in the hours we do have spare.

“In 2017, the demands made on us are increasing, so it’s important to try and manage these pressures by developing some effective techniques for de-stressing. Exercise is one of the best ways to help reduce stress, and produces ‘good mood’ substances in the brain. So go for a brisk walk around the block when you feel tense, and try to incorporate some regular exercise in to your daily routine.”