Although this story is not real, the situations are composites of stories I hear regularly. The difference is that most of the stories I hear about the daily lives of career women are busier! And, in some instances, they are single parents. Career women seem to be more susceptible to stress-overload because women tend to want to please others. As a result, women have difficulty saying no to requests (BTW, No is a complete sentence!). Women are more likely to feel guilty for taking time for themselves instead of caring for someone else. As a result demands modern women face, chronic stress is on the rise. If stress is not managed by these women, stress related physical problems will continue to increase. Some of these stress related physical conditions include backaches, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, skin disorders, and many more.
Women can manage the effects of stress in some easy ways.
- Take some time for yourself – 15 minutes a day can do wonders fro your well-being
- Remember, it is okay to say no occasionally. If this is too difficult for you, work up to it by saying, “Let me think about it.”
- Incorporate social interactions into your weekly schedule. Before women entered the workforce, women naturally met with other women for coffee, PTA meetings, Quilting Bees, etc. These connections can provide opportunities to support and unwind with others.
- Try exercising a few times a week. Go for a walk at lunch, join a gym, take yoga.
- Develop and adhere to routines at home. Prepare lunches the night before; make some meals over the weekend to reduce meal prep time during the week. Maintain regular bedtimes to ensure you receive adequate sleep.
Remember: The better care you allow for yourself, the more energy you will have to better care for others.