You’re a mother, a caretaker, a provider and so much more. You’re constantly surrounded by people who need your help, which leaves little time for you. In many ways, women are pushed into juggling multiple roles while trying to maintain a perfect work/life balance, and this is often what causes stress.
His Stress vs. Her Stress
We all experience stress, but what makes stress different for women? In addition to our many roles, we have to deal with financial pressures and try to maintain interpersonal relationships while sustaining our sense of self. Women consistently report higher stress levels than men, and more women are likely to say their stress is on the rise, according to the Stress in America survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association.
The survey also found that women are more likely to believe that stress affects their eating habits, increases feelings of hostility or negativity and reduces quality of sleep. Click here to get more statistics on women and stress. So how can women start the process of coping with stress?
5 Holistic Activities You Can Start Today For Relieving Stress
1. Deep breathing exercises exercises foster calmness. With square or “box” breathing, for example, breathe in slowly through your nose to a count of four, hold your breath for four seconds and exhale through your mouth as you count to four. Meditation is also an excellent way to relax, and there are many guided meditation apps accessible for smart phones.
2. Sleep! Another important way to reduce stress is to get enough quality sleep. To help ensure uninterrupted sleep, don’t drink too much liquid or eat a large meal too close to bedtime. Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed and maintain a “bedtime routine” by going to sleep and waking at the same time each day.
3. Exercise not only relieves stress but also releases endorphins and supports cardiovascular and bone health.
4. Maintaining social relationships can serve as a vital source of support. Sometimes it helps just to talk to someone. If possible, share your meals with others as often as you can.
5. Self-care is vitally important. Prioritizing a sense of balance in your life will serve you well. Taking care of yourself now will go a long way toward becoming the best version of you.
Dr. Maltese specializes in internal medicine. She sees patients at 362 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY. To make an appointment, click here.