Women between the ages 35 and 44 are 67% more likely to experience stress more than men. Working women are suffering considerably higher levels of work-related stress, anxiety, and depression than their male coworkers. The pressure to be do-it-all women is making women sick.
Women are overloaded with expectations like being the caretaker for the children, taking care of their aging parents, along with working a full-time job. Add media manipulation to the mix, it really is no surprise why stress is on the rise.
Stress releases copious amounts of cortisol, which is the body’s stress hormone. If not tended to, it could lead to anxiety, digestive issues, decreased productivity or worse; heart attacks.
The problem is, with all this stress on the rise, how do we deal with it? How do we let go of the stress without turning our lives inside out?
Read on to find out how.
Stress and the Working Woman
There are countless studies currently trying to understand the causes of stress and the working women. They have narrowed it down to a few common culprits, the main reason being that they’re just too overscheduled! Common stresses of the working woman are;
- Being a mother
- Being a boss
- Being an employee
- Being a caretaker of the family
- Trying to have a social life
- Societal pressures from media about image and beauty
- Pressure to be strong, the suck-it-in and suck-it-up mentality
These are just a few of the many stresses that working woman has on their plate. The sad thing is that it isn’t going anywhere. It is time to take a time out and learn how to cope with it.
Become more Mindful
By focusing on the present moment, we can overcome the anxieties of the future and the past. Practicing conscious mindfulness can help protect you from excessive stress responses. By constantly going back to mindfulness, we can control our reactions, which for someone with induced stress; can feel a lot like anger.
Take some time away from your common triggers and stressors, and find a quiet place to sit, solo. Focus on your breathing, if anything comes up- just kindly let it go and go back to focusing on your breath.
Focus on Gratitude
Studies show that people who focus on gratitude have 23% less stress than people who do not. It doesn’t only help you feel good to count the blessings in your life, it is actually good for your health!
Gratitude can help you sleep better, improves your immune system, lower inflammation and lower blood pressure. Making a list of 10 things you are grateful for every day will help you feel a beautiful sense of gratitude.
If you are feeling overly busy, perhaps you committed to too many things. Take a look at all your non-essential activities in your life, if you are still doing something that doesn’t give you enjoyment, stop it. Your body and mind can only take so much stimulation, good or bad, eventually, it could make you feel sick.
This is also related to perfectionism. If you are constantly working on a project, trying to get it absolutely perfect, stop. Know and understand that you are doing the best of your abilities and just relax.
Break a Sweat
We all know that exercise is good for the body, what you may not know is that it is also amazing for your mental well being. Physical activity lowers excess cortisol levels in the body, thus reducing associated stress symptoms. A perfect balance for the working woman
There are numerous other benefits of keeping active. It can slim your waistline, build bone density, and improve your posture as well. Mentally, exercise helps reduce depression and anxiety, promotes inspiration, improves memory and much more.
The most important muscle in your body is your heart, which is also very vulnerable to stress. By working your cardiovascular system you are strengthening your heart and preventing the big bad cortisol bully to affect it.
Nourish Your Body
It may seem like a comforting idea temporarily but in long-term, junk food can create more stress in your body. Empty calories such as sugary treats and high fat, hydrogenated oils can create a toxin-like effect in the body, leading to other health issues.
Instead, focus on providing your body with micronutrients from vegetables, which will help the cells in your body feel a sense of “euphoria” and happiness. Start to appreciate how good your body feels after a green smoothie and make that your go-to comfort food choice.
If you think back to the caveman days when the cavewoman got stressed, she didn’t go make herself a giant pizza, eat ice cream and pig out on chocolate cake. She ate foods that came from the planet to keep her body (and mind) strong.
Your digestive system is already compromised by stress — do not make it worse!
Put Yourself First
You do not have the ability to truly help another person if you do not help yourself first. If someone has requested you to do them a favor, and it will negatively affect you in some way, learn to say no.
People pleasing will only add to stress and hurt your body in the long run. Learning to say no will give you your power back and help you to focus on the most important thing in your life- YOU.
Where this shows up for people the most is in romantic relationships. If your partner wants to go shopping for the big engagement ring AKA the anillos de compromiso, and you are not ready yet, this will cause your stress levels to skyrocket.
Learning to voice your feelings and opinions in any relationship, whether it be romantic, friendship or family will help lower stress and also boost confidence. Take your power back into your own hands, and start living your life for yourself.
If you would like to learn more information about coping with stress, or perhaps you want to learn more tricks to being a savvy mother, feel free to contact us.