Are you a rushing woman? Tell-tale signs you have rushing women syndrome
Rushing Women's Syndrome is a term used to describe the cascade of hormonal changes that happens when we feel stressed for extended periods. It can manifest in anything from unexplained weight gain to fatigue to mood swings - SINAR DAILY IMAGE
The weekend comes, then its full of sports matches matches, chores and housework. Sounds familiar?
If you feel you are always on the go balancing work and home, you are one of many.
Rushing Women's Syndrome is a term used to describe the cascade of hormonal changes that happens when we feel stressed for extended periods. It can manifest in anything from unexplained weight gain to fatigue to mood swings.
Dr Libby Weaver, who coined the term Rushing Woman's Syndrome, attempted to explain the biochemical knock-on effects from stress and lifestyle in her 2012 book of the same name.
The problem many scientists - or any specialist in any area,for that matter - face is their ability to explain complicated concepts in an accessible way. Hence the title of her book.
Dr Weaver, a nutritional biochemist, was passionate about helping people understand the interplay of various lifestyle factors on our hormones and health. She saw a pattern, she said, of people feeling "tired, but wired"
According to US medical research centre the Mayo Clinic: "Long-term activation of the stress-response system - and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones - can disrupt almost all your body's processes.
This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including: anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment."
The cumulative effect of constantly feeling pressure can create a cascade of stress hormones that is detrimental to our physical and mental health.
Diet and alcohol also stimulate stress hormones. Add in a lack of sleep and you have yourself a heady chemical concoction.
These are problems that affect many of us.
So many of the women I see kept talking about being so exhausted or so busy or so stressed," Weaver said.
"Tired yet wired. This relentless urgency, this perception that there is not enough time, combined with a to-do list that is never all crossed off, is having such significant health consequences for women that I had to write a book about it.
"I kept hearing the same issues arising - about menstruation, digestion, sleep and the ability to remain calm and patient and kind ... I kept hearing the word 'pressure.'
"The perceived need to rush, whether a woman displays it on the outside or keeps it under wraps, is changing the face of women's health as we know it in such a detrimental way.
A woman's body cannot keep up with the rate of change the world now asks of it and it is imperative we understand this and take steps in our lives to create periods of downtime, time in days, weeks or months when we can truly rest.
"How often do you feel that your day moves from one urgent task to another? Regardless of circumstances – whether it’s full-time work, parenting, caregiving, studying, running a household, or a combination of these – most people schedule their days to the max, trying to squeeze it all in.
"While some items on the to-do list will have a genuine deadline, most of what we set ourself to do in a day is based on what we perceive we ‘should’ be achieving or what we think will help others to see us in a favourable light.
"Although that can initially feel untrue or a little confronting. The truth is, it is possible to live a full and busy life without the rush and it is possible to choose a slower pace if that feels better for your health and your lifestyle," Libby writes.
In the her book, Dr Weaver suggests various lifestyle revisions to help bring the body back into biochemical balance.
These included eating more whole foods, trying meditation or yoga, breathing, prioritising adequate sleep and having an honest conversation with ourselves about the impact of alcohol and caffeine.
To slow down, Dr Weaver suggests we start each day with a morning ritual of solitude – even if it’s just ten minutes before the rest of the household.
This time can be used effectively to alleviate rushing woman’s syndrome symptoms.
"Sit on your balcony or in your garden with a peppermint tea and do some diaphragmatic breathing,’ suggests Dr Weaver.
"This won’t change what you have to do, but it will change how you see things. You won’t panic when you see you have 200 emails or get stressed at the waiting 50 WhatsApp messages. Instead, you’ll probably realise there are only ten that need answering immediately.
"On your drive to work, listen to some restorative spa music, or do some meditation on your commute on public transport. If you have a desk job, have little breaks every hour and do your 20 long slow deep breaths," she writes.
She also stressed on the importance of planning tasks and ending your day well.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from the book is for women to stop trying to do it all, accept that its ok to ask for help, be it from a family member, friend, or simply outsourcing some of the everyday things that you can to lessen the load on yourself.
Delegating is not a sign of failure. Investing a small amount of your household budget per week for a cleaner or babysitter might pay off tenfold when it comes to your mental health and the general satisfaction and happiness you feel. Lessening the load can also be extremely liberating.
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