Workplace stress is nothing new. It’s one of the most common complaints people across the country have when it comes to things they’d like to change about their job. Between long, demanding hours and little to no recognition, more places of employment are expecting more and giving less.
Women can face additional stresses in the workplace, especially when it comes to physical, mental, and emotional health concerns. Some women might feel as though they need to work harder to prove themselves. Others come from a specific cultural background where working hard is expected, even at the expense of a thriving home life.
So what can you do to make sure you find that balance? How can you keep your overall health and well-being stable while continuing with a job that may be asking a lot of you? It starts with understanding some of the risks you could be taking and how to combat them.
Emotional Intelligence Can Be Draining
Emotional intelligence is often a highly-sought-after skill in the working world. It allows you to pick up on the moods and feelings of others while remaining in-tune with your own values and beliefs. Using emotional intelligence can help you to read people, which, in turn, can help you to have a better understanding of their needs and wants. That can lead to promotions within your company, or different levels of connection if you regularly work with clients or customers.
But emotional intelligence can also be draining. When you understand the feelings and emotions of the people you’re working with, it’s easy to carry those feelings with you, and even take them home with you. You might put all of your energy and focus on helping others at work.
Doing so, however, can cause you to burn out quickly. So while being able to understand the people you work with (as well as clients and customers) has its advantages, it’s also important not to let those feelings drag you down or start to overwhelm you. Helping others is never a bad thing, but you have to set boundaries in order to prevent burnout.
Combating Unique Physical Health Conditions
Women face a few unique health conditions that you should be aware of from a young age, so you can prepare yourself for the future and take the proper precautions, as necessary. Women may have to deal with pregnancy and menopause as their careers progress. Some women even develop conditions like varicose veins, which can occur due to an influx of hormones that come with age or pregnancy. Additionally, some of the most common health issues women are at higher risk for include:
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
- Gynecological issues
Unfortunately, there are still some gender biases in the healthcare system, as well. They include increased costs for women, a lack of representation, and even substandard care.
While you shouldn’t let those issues keep you from seeking medical treatment if you need it, it’s important to take care of yourself as much as possible in terms of preventative care. That includes everything from getting enough physical exercise to finding time to relax every day through something like mindfulness or meditation.
How to Achieve a Better Balance
So what can you do to make sure you’re taking care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually? You don’t have to give up your career to achieve that kind of peace and good health. You simply need to find the right balance between your career and your personal life.
One of the best ways to escape from the effects of burnout and stress from work is to find a support system, especially a group of women who are dealing with similar things. Women can be great at building each other up, and just being able to talk about your work life and home life can give you the strength you need to continue. When you have a better handle on that balance, you can pay it forward by encouraging other women to grow and succeed in their careers and home life.
The good news is that there are so many productive and positive ways to achieve a healthy work-life balance, especially with the right people on your side. The biggest thing to keep in mind is prioritizing your health, mentally and physically. You can do that by:
- Making extra time for friends and family
- Unplugging your electronic devices each day
- Taking a vacation
- Getting enough sleep and exercise
- Setting goals
- Setting boundaries at work
Finally, if you work at a job you’re passionate about and you love what you do, you’re less likely to feel stressed and burned out by it. The feeling of constant stress and fatigue from your work could be a sign that you’re not in the right career or at least the right company. It’s okay to take a step back and re-evaluate your career choices at any stage in life. By keeping your overall health and well-being at the forefront of your mind, it’s easier to make smarter, better decisions for yourself that can help you to find the best balance.
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.