Society can be a pretty tough judge on women and stress is often an unforeseen consequence. In today’s world we women often try to do it all. We try to fill many roles, meet all of the demands others put on us and do everything as though we have to be perfect. And perfect is an impossible dream. We’ve written about the trials and tribulations women in current society face and the stressors they endure. So, we thought we would offer three common sayings that are easy to remember and comfortable to apply.
Women tend to multitask. It is not unusual to work on laundry while preparing dinner and, perhaps, reviewing our children’s homework. In another scenario, we may be doing our housework as we watch some TV and monitor the children playing in the next room. At the office, multi-tasking is common. How many times have you found yourself working on a computer project while talking on the telephone and checking your e-mails? No wonder we are always talking about women and stress!
We set expectations for ourselves way too high. When we can’t live up to our high standards, then we start berating ourselves as falling short. Not being good enough. Stupid. Incapable. I’m sure you have heard that voice in your head making such negative remarks.
Now, step back and take an objective look at your situation. Could anyone manage to accomplish all of the things you have set out to do? And no doubt, you expect perfection—or close to it—in most cases. When we talk about women and stress, we are often talking about the thoughts that women have about themselves which is the real cause of stress. So a word of advice: be nice to yourself.
Don’t postpone happiness, start right now. Make today your first day pursuing a life of self satisfaction. Part of the women and stress issue centers around our belief that we need to endure difficult life situations, and then later in life, we can find happiness.
Have you ever said or heard someone say, “When I get a better job, then I will be happy.” Or maybe, “Once we retire, then we can start enjoying life.” Another word of advice: start living in the present. Enjoy now, and learn to live in the present. The past provides you with useful memories and wisdom. The future has not happened. Your only real experience happens now. Be mindful of what is happening around you and savor the opportunities to live.
If something isn’t going your way, go a different way. Even the best made plans can go haywire sometimes. We have learned the hard way that sticking to a plan that isn’t working doesn’t make things any better. Experience has taught us women and stress do not have to always be copilots. Let me give you an example.
I like to play tennis. Doubles. My partner and I develop a strategies to compete effectively and win against our opponents. I like to come to the net as much as possible so that I can volley the balls that come my way. However, if I find that my opponents are really good at lobbing the ball over my head and landing in the back of the court, I have to adjust. Just staying at the net will not win any points and would be a foolish strategy for me to continue. So, I adjust and stay farther back from the front of the court and end my opponents’ ability to win points by lobbing over my head.
So is life. If you find that your plan to juggle all of your demands is not working, change the plan. You may find that you should handle one demand at a time so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. You may find that delegating some of the workload is a better approach. Or eliminate any demands that are no longer necessary for you to handle. Regardless, making adjustments is a necessary skill for women and stress levels tend to drop when life stops spinning out of control.
The topic of women and stress could focus on many different themes, but I thought we would keep things simple. Be nice to yourself-be your own best friend. Embrace the present and celebrate life. Adjust when things start going awry, and stop making such unreasonable demands on yourself. Start noticing your accomplishments rather than keeping track of mistakes. It’s a much more positive way to enjoy life.
It’s not what you start in life, it’s what you finish.
~ Katharine Hepburn~