Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

How Stress Affects Working Women

Stress has permeated our lives. We have learnt to cope with it. But there are times when stress overwhelms our lives, more so for working women who are walking the tight rope of family and professional commitments. An occasional episode is okay but when this becomes a recurrent feature it can result in lapses in judgment, reduced creativity, emotional burnout, and a host of degenerative diseases.

The modern urban woman wants to be a multi tasker-an efficient career woman, a loving mother, a caring wife and an active socialite. In this process, she gets stressed without even realizing it.

Stress can give rise to gynaecological disorders like endometriosis, infertility, menstrual disorders. Though not directly related to stress conditions like polycystic ovaries, breast tumors are on the rise which further leads to mental problems like depression. Moreover, long hours of work and stress often results in hypertension, high blood pressure and heart diseases.

Infertility and stress
Working women suffer depression that can be attributed to job stress. Women today are more goal oriented and independent. They don’t want to get married early in life or have their baby soon. Moreover, long hours of work and stress often lead to infertility. Most of them do not want to get married before 30 and even if they get married in their 20s, they don’t usually plan their baby soon enough. Infertility is more common amongst working couples, whose economic activities often lead to infertility. In today’s competitive world, women have become more career oriented and independent, be it financially or emotionally.

Coping strategies–

Try to take things lightly, take breaks from work and try to find out the actual reasons of
• Avoiding too much delay in marriage and child bearing
• Eat a good breakfast; regular meals and a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables
• Avoid junk and fast food, stick to healthy and nutri-rich diet while being in office
• Working lunch or working dinner can also be considered but home-cooked food along with a bowl of fresh cut fruits or salads is suggested over it
• Consume too much of liquids like water, fresh juices, lemon water, lassi, milk shakes, etc. whether it is summer or winter
• Caffeine causes a physiological stress response so avoid its excessive and repetitive intake; avoid too much of tea and coffee
• If have a habit of munching things through our the day, then have some healthy foods like chana, peanuts, diet mixtures, protein biscuits inspite of having chocolates and chewing gums
• Get involved into deep breathing practices, light exercises, going out into nature, listening to music
• Avoid smoking or drinking, no need to take it as a stress buster
• Get enough exercise to reduce stress. It is recommended that 30 minutes of exercise and
brisk walk on regular basis can keep you away from stress
• Do not skip meals, infact try to take out breaks and have food at intervals
• Learn some relaxation techniques; this can help you sleep better and relieve stress-related physical pains such as stomach pains and headaches.

Dr. Manju Hotchandani, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Moolchand Women’s Hospital™, Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi

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Category: Health Concerns
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