Oftentimes women are so busy that they do not take time to slow down long enough to think about how stress is negatively affecting them.While men and women share many of the same sources of stress, such as finances, job pressures, health, and relationship issues, women differ in that the many roles they may take in their work and family life creates more demands.
Women tend to be in the caregiving role in their families for children, parents and siblings that makes them the primary “go to” if there is an emergency. That level of responsibility and always running to “put out fires” in their lives can leave them with little down time to evaluate their own needs and often times experience guilt if they do take that time.
Women who are chronically stressed tend to normalize their experience and do not notice how they are functioning is damaging for their health. Some signs of stress that are unique to women are:
- Mood disturbance: Feeling as though you could cry, having a sense of panic, increased anger and irritability
- Heart problems. Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate.
- Headaches and migraines. Tension headaches are more common in women than men.
- Obesity. Women are more prone to stress-related weight gain than men.
- Bowel problems. Difficulty with bowel movements, upset stomach, indigestion
- Pregnancy issues. Women with higher stress levels have a more difficult time becoming pregnant than women with lower stress levels.
- Menstrual problems. Irregular periods and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
Counseling becomes a place where women can schedule time to evaluate their needs instead of meeting the needs of others. It is in this guilt free time that women can learn that the more they take care of themselves, the more they are able to be supportive to those around them.
Make yourself a priority and schedule and appointment today.