The cost of living crisis is making workers exhausted and afraid of the future

The cost of living crisis is making workers exhausted and afraid of the future

    (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Forecasts of runaway inflation, especially energy bills, have left many people scared and exhausted. Fear of increasing debt, of the destruction of their savings, of the future. Fear of living in the cold and dark and dealing with crippling fear. Exhausted from taking on extra work in a desperate struggle to increase her income.

So many households are falling behind on their bills that Citizens Advice says the crisis support it is providing is growing at record levels.

It’s confident it will have helped at least 120,000 people access food banks and other charitable support so far this year by the end of this month – more than the total in 2019 and 2020 combined.

And the number of people unable to top up their prepaid meters is at an all-time high, despite the warmer weather.

Along with the Money Advice Trust and the StepChange Debt Charity, the advice organization has urged energy watchdog Ofgem to urgently step up protections for millions of people, as experts warned the price cap hike in October will have a “disastrous” impact.

With millions of people falling behind on their household bills, many people are worried about their debt and are working harder than ever to earn extra income.

According to a specialist nurse in London, psychiatric services are receiving a steep increase in referrals from people who have never had problems directly as a result of the rising cost of living.

Chester Cornford, who himself works extra weekend shifts to make ends meet, warned of a massive mental health crisis looming in Britain over runaway household bills.

“Many of the problems our patients face are related to their standard of living, and as the country becomes poorer, the demand for our services increases,” he said. “We face the prospect of a massive mental health crisis.

“We could be in a very scary position. And when employees are already burned out, it gets worse.”

“Working more shifts has a massive impact on my sleep because it’s really hard to switch off,” says Chester Cornford (Chester Cornford)

Mr Cornford, 26, who has only been at the job for three years, says the pay and stress are so bad he is already considering leaving.

“Working more shifts can be difficult, but the extra money is an incentive. It’s a struggle paying for everything right now so there’s no other option.

“It’s massively impacting my sleep because it’s really hard to switch off and it builds and builds and you feel like you’re coming to a breaking point.

“We’re up to the bills at the moment, but they’re eating up more and more of our money. Our landlord is increasing our rent by 17 to 18 percent, and that’s on top of the cost of food and fuel.”

He said the stress affected his relationship with his girlfriend.

“It’s affected my own sanity at times and I worry about burning out, so something has to change.”

Mr. Cornford is far from alone. A survey for Totaljobs earlier this year found that three in ten workers in the UK were working extra shifts.

More than three-quarters – 76 percent – are concerned about the rising cost of living.

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And despite their employment, at least a third, 37 percent, said their income does not provide them with a good quality of life.

Since then the Cost of Living Crisis has deepened, and in the most recent survey, numbers looking to supplement their income have skyrocketed.

Recruitment firm Indeed Flex found that half of the 2,000 people surveyed were either already working temps or planning to work temps as a direct result of the rising cost of living.

Respondents included retirees and full-time housewives (“househusbands” and “housewives”) – suggesting that people who previously didn’t go to work are now anxious to do so.

More than a tenth – 11 percent – planned to take on a few more shifts, and 8 percent intended to do many more shifts to cope with rising prices.

Abel, 29, from Sheffield, a grocer’s driver, said he has no life outside of work after working more hours to pay his bills.

He now works every day, up to 17 hours a day – a total of at least 100 or more hours a week. “This is my life now – I don’t see any friends or family. It’s not just me – every driver does it,” he told Radio 4 you and your.

Health workers are selling their annual leave back to the NHS to increase their income. In a survey of 1,000 employees, 150 said they sold vacation days, while more than half – 700 – worked extra shifts for cash.

But scheduling overtime adds to the stress workers are already suffering. YouGov research for Totaljobs found that more than three in four (78 percent) suffered from burnout symptoms.

Six in ten of those surveyed said they felt tired or drained, and more than one in three said they felt overwhelmed or had a cynical, negative attitude.

Those working overtime are being motivated by rising inflation, which has broken records for several straight months, hitting a 40-year high of 9.4 percent last month.

According to the Office for National Statistics, rising food and fuel prices were largely the reason for the rise.

And in the latest crackdown on struggling homes, economists have warned that energy costs are likely to triple, resulting in an “all-powerful blow” to living standards.

The average household could face an energy bill of £500 in January, with a projected annual price cap of £3,850 – more than triple the price cap last summer.

There is a widespread fear that people will be harmed if heating, hot water and vital appliances are switched off.

Carolynne Hunter, whose daughter is on a vital support machine at her home in Scotland, said: “Do you know how it feels to be afraid that you can’t look after your loved one because you can’t afford the energy bills ?”

she tweeted to Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson: “You must do something to help families like mine pretty soon or you will have an even bigger health and social crisis on your hands. Where do you think caregivers can afford these ridiculous energy hikes!”

Labor Cllr Seema Chandwani, from Haringey, London, warned: “This is now a serious public health crisis and the Government must act by intervening to stop this surge and improve welfare.”

Those who cannot take extra work may be hit even harder than those who work overtime.

Ben Harrison, director of the Work Foundation, an independent think tank, said: “It’s very likely that part-time workers will look for extra hours to make ends meet in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, but the reality is that overtime won’t come easy as a faucet can be switched on.

“Many people primarily work part-time because they combine their work with other tasks, such as looking after children. A lack of availability and the costs associated with the expansion of childcare often make it impossible for parents to simply take on extra shifts.

    (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

“Similarly, many people will already be working long hours, and taking on extra shifts will increase stress and the potential for burnout.

“At the same time, it will not always be easy for employers to offer employees more shifts. After all, they too are facing the effects of inflation and rising energy bills and need to carefully manage their finances during this time.”

Sleep experts warn of health and safety hazards from working too much.

Martin Seeley of MattressNextDay said: “Working two jobs can be very taxing on a person’s mental and physical health. Those who work continuous nights, early mornings, or rotating shifts for long periods of time can lead to the development of “shift work disorder.”

“This is a condition marked by insomnia symptoms when they try to sleep and experience excessive fatigue at work.

“It can also cause cognitive impairment and physical complications that can make you more susceptible to brain fog or mistakes and incidents at work.”

Rishi Sunak announced a £15billion support package to help Britain through the crisis ahead of his resignation as Chancellor.

It includes a one-off payment of £650 for 8 million benefit families, £150 council tax rebates for homes in bands A to D and a £400 rebate on bills.

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