Understanding the Vulnerability of Women to Work Stress
19-05-2018 | Posted By: Harneet | 1004 View(s)
Work Stress is the fastest-growing issues that affect the health of individuals worldwide. With the advent of technology and globalisation, the employees are made to work at hours that their biological clock is not able to cope and also 24/7 work culture leads to a stress form identified with workplace called as “work stress”.This article talks about the Vulnerability of Women to Work Stress and the ways to handle it.
The era of globalisation came with increased self-consciousness and self-indulgence, which resulted in increased expenses and slowly and gradually made women come out of the four walls of their home and share the burden of these expenditures. Though they moved out of their home, their accountability at home was as-it-is, and thus, they ended up managing home and work, and this became a second job for them. The pressure of work and home along with looking after children adds up and thereby, they end up with stress. In a country like India, this phase usually gets unnoticed by self and the family which leads to mental and health issues.
Women worldwide have to handle the extreme pressures of job and family and for Indian women; stress is high due to the high expectations from family and society. The society that compares husband to nothing less God fails to help her out of the tornado of conflicts and pressures and treats her like a commodity and house help.
On the one hand, though we say that our women are now empowered, yet we turn a blind eye to her needs. The high pressures cause her to face depression or ultimately breakdown. Her role as a daughter, mother, wife and sister are always acknowledged, but her contribution to her household and society are always downplayed.
Causes of Work Stress in Women
Work Stress occurs in women largely because of pressures that are hard to cope. The ever-quickening pace of change and the demands to push the levels of productivity and accuracy higher can be very stressful. Personal problems and emotional frustrations can also add up to stress experiences.
Role overload, role authority, role conflict and lack of senior-level support contribute to the work stress among them. Time pressure was earlier considered to be one of the leading causes of work stress amongst the software professionals.
Moreover, Women are forced to restrict themselves to mundane jobs though they can take up better ones and apart from working have to do the large part of household chores as well. A balance between multiple roles (worker, spouse, mother, daughter-in-law, and daughter) that they are required to do which results in occupational stress.
Women also tend to suffer from the guilt-complex of not being able to spend enough time with their children during their early years if they are forced to leave their children at the mercy of maids at home or daycare centres on which they have little faith.
Family responsibility considerably affects the care decisions of women professionals. It is generally expected that women should take care of family responsibility. Women professionals’ agree that children’s responsibility hinders their ability to advance. They believe that they are not able to utilise their full potential and at times they have to make care trade-offs because of the family responsibilities.
The absence of an infrastructure that provides a reliable supply of electricity, water, and time-saving, modern-day kitchen and other appliances, renders the performance of domestic responsibilities a burden, particularly for women in dual-career families.
Effect of Work Stress
The animal part of the human brain responds to unfavourable situations in two ways: fight or flight. The initial mechanism of the body is to fight the problem. For this purpose, the lady will try to undertake multiple works at a single time and would be expected to be perfect in all. Further, the image of perfection of the ideal “bahu” is more suitable for a homemaker. This causes the females to be sacrificial goats in the larger picture.
After this initial fight mechanism, the body becomes more open to stressful situations and gets little time for recovery. If the process of work stress becomes unmanageable, then the withdrawal symptoms start appearing in the form of depression.
Work Stress-related symptoms common in women include high blood pressure, heart problem, diabetes, weight gain, disturbance of the menstrual cycle causing abdominal cramps and excessive, heavy flows or even irregular periods.
Apart from these, the following symptoms are observed:
● Binge eating
● Frequent Martial issues
● Premature greying of hair
These reactions if ignored may cause serious health problems.
Tips to handle Work Stress
Work Stress is the leading cause of marital problems in the present Society. For this reason, try inculcating following tips in your life:
● Identify the cause and decide priorities.
● Meditate and include yoga in your regime.
● Take a walk with husband or children.
● Earmark a day for friends and share coffee or dinner.
● Consult a doctor or psychiatrist to help you face the issue.
● Take time for your hobby or better join a social real-life group.
● Share the load and avoid work stress.
These are just a few of the many things that can help you keep work stress at bay and lead a healthy life. Don’t stay silent, share the problems and seek happiness in little things. It is also important to give the body time to recover from problems and not being Mrs Perfect at all times. Also, do not shy away from visiting a doctor if you feel unwell Because “Jaan hai to Jahan hai.”