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Do You Struggle With Managing Stress And Superwomen Syndrome?

Do you ever feel like you are just about doing it all... but not doing any of it well enough?

As busy, professional women it's so easy to find ourselves wearing multiple hats — we have to be entrepreneurs or business women, career driven woman, wives and partners, mums and daughters, friends and caregivers. We can be drowning in so many responsibilities and problems to solve, and it can often feel like everyone is depending on you to save the world!

Is it any wonder we can find ourselves struggling with managing all the stress?

Level up without overwhelm and juggle life stress with confidence
Managing Stress for Women - Avoiding Superwoman Syndrome

As superwomen, we can often develop a fear of dropping a ball somewhere in this juggle we call life. And, let's be honest, with so much at stake in each life area we are managing, it can feel so hard to prioritise, especially when our emotional heart strings are being pulled in every direction.

Who and what do we take care of first? How do we make the best use of our time and where can we find the energy we REALLY need to get things done?

Ironically, problems managing stress and superwomen syndrome tend to go hand in hand for us all. Managing stress is often the very thing we are not "super" at doing. The pressure to excel in every aspect can lead so many of us to strive for perfection and high status, without even stopping to ask ourselves what on earth are we are doing. We can often be really good at being superwomen, but the question is at what cost and how long can we maintain it?

The Emotional Weight of Balancing Multiple Roles

Balancing a demanding career with family responsibilities and aging parents is no small feat. One of my clients Sarah, is a 42-year-old marketing director and mother of two, who also cares for her elderly mother. Stress management did not come naturally to her and she felt trapped between a rock and a hard place when it came to juggling all her responsibilities. Each day presented a new set of challenges, from meeting tight deadlines at work to managing her children’s schooling and after school activites and ensuring her mother’s health appointments were kept. It was a lot to take care of. Like so many of us, the way that she made all this happen is by low prioritising herself and her own needs, which is what tends to happen when we end up embodying the so-called 'Superwomen Syndrome.'

Any of this sounding familiar?

The Risks of Burnout

In striving to meet our own unrealistic expectations, and without having a solid stress management strategy in place, burnout lurks just around the corner. Symptoms may include persistent tiredness, cynicism towards our job roles, and a significant drop in our performance—both at work and home. Life may begin to lose its sparkle and it can become almost impossible to be fully present with our loved ones. We fins ourselves reactive and irritable and simply not enjoying life much anymore. We may even begin to feel trapped and as if this is our new normal. But it doesn't have to be this way. Life is not to be endured it is to be enjoyed even if we do have a lot to contend with every day.

Recognizing these signs early can be a game-changer, allowing for interventions before you reach a breaking point.

Practical Strategies to Reduce Emotional Burden

So, how can you ease these pressures? First, with Sarah, we set clear boundaries between work and her personal life, which meant turning off work emails during family dinners and setting specific times to check in on parents. She also needed to get out of the habit of responding to everybody straight away, and letting herself breathe.

Checking the messages every hour or two instead of every 10 minutes was a good start and then resisting the urge to respond to anything in that moment unless it was truly urgent gave her much more time to focus on what mattered in her busy day.

Prioritizing self-care is also crucial; it isn’t selfish to take a moment for a coffee break alone or a short walk. It is a survival strategy! I introduced her to something called a "60 second mind body reset", which is a simple but very powerful mindfulness exercise that allowed her to find a moment of calm and control in the day of chaos. Everybody has 60 seconds to spare somewhere for this and when we apply it we are often surprised to discover that slowing things down can end up with making us faster with our productivity, because we refocus our energy on what matters and we can get things done with clarity. Delegation is also key—both at work and home. Utilizing resources like grocery delivery services or sharing household chores can free up valuable time. Getting the kids doing things for themselves is major, as is asking for help instead of waiting on everybody hand and foot or expecting help to be offered. In the end family members like to feel useful and needed so you are doing them more of a service by involving them in your own needs, rather than disempowering them by doing everything for them or getting frustrated by their lack of willingness to step and help unprompted!

If we want someone to do something for us, then it is a good idea to start by asking for it, rather than expecting them to read our mind.

Introducing Forever After Ease: Stress Solutions

For those seeking more structured support, my 'Forever After Ease' personal taster session, (priced at just 97 euros), offers tailor made strategies to start to manage your stress effectively. This single session is designed to provide professional women of all ages, with the tools and help they need to balance their emotional health amidst their busy lives.

Whilst the allure of being 'Superwoman' can be strong, it's vital to remember that true strength lies in your ability to balance and self-care. Putting your own oxygen mask on first is a life skill and it can take some practice to get used to treating yourself with the love and care that you do truly deserve. Let’s redefine what it means to be a 'Superwoman,' and help you by taking your first step towards a healthier, more balanced life by exploring what a simple 'Forever After Ease' session can do for you.

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