Your neighbor next door is gearing up for the special Thanksgiving Day or for the Christmas just around the corner, but you are gloomy since that isn’t what is in stock for you. Workloads during the festive season could become a reason for immense mental pressure and cause a misbalance in the work-life equation. The result is poor performance and a stressful holiday.

No Time For Merrymaking: Festive Season Is Not A Time To Celebrate

For many Americans, festive times sometimes bring no pleasure; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Celebrations like Christmas or Hanukkah or even the New Year, are only burdened by work shifts.

No Time For Merrymaking: Festive Season Is Not A Time To Celebrate

A poll conducted by the National Journal and Allstate in 2014 stated that at least a quarter of them had to work either on the holiday of Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Year’s Day. It becomes all the more torturing when people see things quite on the contrary around them and the media is all colorful and promising about the happy times of celebrations when one is able to spend a little quality time with their family and friends. 

As Dr. Lata McGinn, a professor of psychology at Yeshiva University and co-founder of Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants feels, that such situations are hampering a person’s feelings’ making him feel solitary in an otherwise lively neighborhood. While others are making preparations for a great time and merrymaking, the working person feels deprived of his needs, a phenomenon termed relative deprivation. The person would automatically feel that he is less needed or required by others and that his presence is insignificant. This would enrage a person and cause resentment. Research says that in order to do away with such human behavior, social movements have taken place to manipulate civil rights, gay rights, and feminism. And this is something that too needs a similar outlook to evade all chances of mental stress.

A 2017 peer-reviewed study reported that working under stress could lead to cardiovascular disorders besides other health implications. According to Malissa Clark, an associate professor of industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Georgia, ‘workaholism’ can have a negative impact on a person’s well-being as it affects one’s personal life. Work pressure makes it difficult for the person to spend time with the family members and this leads to disturbed relationships which again reflects in the work-life of the person. Instead of spending some happy moments with the loved ones in a festive mood, there is detachment and the person shuns all company and accepts the fact that it is no time to celebrate but work. This in turn has a profound effect on the quality of the work output.

The notion of the psychological contract was first introduced in the year 1989 through a study by Denise Rousseau. It states that the employees build a kind of expectation from their employers that their dedicated work would gain recognition over time and would get rewarded later in way of promotions, time offs, and hikes. But, when these expectations do not get fulfilled, the employees start feeling less engaged in their workplaces, and more so, when such employees have to work even on holidays. This might affect those workers more who work in some non-emergency field and could afford a holiday but are denied so.

An American Psychological Association study in the year 2006 suggested that about 38% of the Americans felt stressed about increased hours working during the holidays while only 8% said that their workloads decreased during the winters. But on an overall account, working during the festivals is considered stressful. It is possible that many might not feel the burden those are basically workaholics and that, some just cannot escape their emergency duties, but there is a certain percentage of the population who can do nothing but accept the fact and are left to deal with psychological issues.