Deal with Stress: Setting priorities, exercising and helpful steps

Deal with Stress: Setting priorities, exercising and helpful steps

For many people, stress is triggered by lack of control.

Both at work and at home, stress is more related to lack of control than to heavy demands.

Menopause is a perfect example of an event that is beyond the control of women. Women may experience such uncontrollable symptoms as anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness during menopause. At the same time, menopausal women may be dealing with other issues that they have no control over, such as their children leaving home and their parents becoming unable to care for themselves.

Stress also can be triggered by the nurturing and caregiving roles that women often assume. Many women, for example, scale down their own aspirations so that they can address the needs of their marriages, their children and possibly their parents.

By constantly putting others before themselves, women can end up exhausted, resentful and depressed. They can lose their identity and their purpose. Eventually, they burn out.

Another significant source of stress for women is balancing multiple responsibilities, including work, home, family, and personal interests.

Achieving balance, however, can be made difficult by a number of things, including the following:

Achieving balance.

Women can take a number of steps to overcome the difficulties in achieving balance. But they should not try to take those steps all at once. They should start by choosing one small step and taking it. Among the steps that women can chose from are the following:

Article credit: Sherri Martin

A health educator, Martin is a coordinator in the Department of Health Promotion at the Northwestern Memorial Wellness Institute in Chicago. In that role, she implements and coordinates wellness programs for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the community surrounding the hospital, and several Chicago companies.

Sherri Martin delivered an address on stress management at the American Osteopathic Association's first National Symposium on Women's Health in Chicago.

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