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Imago Relationship Therapy

Pre-Marital - Marriage Enrichment - Divorce Prevention

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ACA Marriage
Anger and Rage
Argue Less
Assertiveness
Avoiding Ruts
Beyond the Honeymoon
Constructive Arguing
Differing Sexual Appetites
Increasing Communication
Intentional Joy
Intimacy Checkup
Lies in Marriage
Listening
Nagging
Nurturing a Marriage
Overachieving Husband
Parent-Child Communication
Parenting Differences
Power Struggle
Quality Time with Children
Religious Differences
Respect
Sharing Feelings
Superwoman Stress
Teen Parent Relationships
Time Expectations
Understanding vs Agreement
Working Wife


Superwoman Stress

Q:   I’m worried that the amount of stress I feel during the workday is starting to spill over at home. I feel like I’m working harder and enjoying everything less. Some days I feel like pulling the covers over my head and not facing work, children, husband, school and all the responsibilities. How do I get out of the pressure cooker?

A:  It sounds as though you may be suffering from “superwoman stress.” I see “superwoman stress” as a range of physical, psychological and interpersonal stress symptoms that are generated as a result of trying to perform perfectly many roles at the same time such as career woman, wife, mother and home-maker. A partial list of the symptoms includes the following. See how many apply to you.

            Physical: fatigue; feeling dizzy or weak; headaches; grinding teeth or clenching your jaw; tension in neck, shoulders and back, and dermatological problems.

            Psychological: feeling overextended, overwhelmed or overloaded; feeling like running away and hiding from it all; feeling tense or anxious; feeling sad and crying without any apparent reason; difficulty concentrating; increase in alcohol or drug use, increase in smoking or eating (or loss of appetite).

            Interpersonal symptoms: working harder but accomplishing less; getting to work late and missing appointments consistently; general irritability with co-workers and family; your children are complaining more about your grumpy moods; more sensitive to the noise, activity and demands of your children, husband, pets; feeling always behind schedule, that you will never catch up.

            If you find that many of these symptoms are present and you want to make some changes, consider these three choices.

         Change your situation by a) negotiating for changes that you want, at home and at work; b) leaving the situation all together, eliminating tasks or delegating some;
c) organizing home and work so it’s more manageable.

         Change your perception of the situation. Stress starts with how you judge, view or perceive a situation. Look at it as an outsider might to get another viewpoint. Lower your expectations of yourself so you regain your sense of self-worth.

         Build your tolerance for stress by increasing physical conditioning; improving nutrition; relaxing for 10 to 20 minutes daily, re-thinking your situation and approaching it with an attitude of self-support, and taking a class or workshop to learn more stress-management methods.

 If you continue to feel stuck in the “pressure cooker,” you might want to consider a few sessions with a professional counselor to gain a clearer picture of the situation and develop a plan that fits for you.