Ever wonder why stress and fatigue are synonymous with the superwoman syndrome? Here is a description of a day in the life of a superwoman.
She wakes up as early as 4 am and, still feeling exhausted from the previous day’s activities, quickly fixes herself a hot cup of coffee to help her stay awake. She makes breakfast for the household while trying to finish up work from the previous day. Afterwards, she prepares her kids for school and her husband for work before getting ready herself.
At work, she is cumbered with several responsibilities and critical outputs are dependent on her activities. She attends meetings, makes presentations and the company’s revenue is sometimes dependent on her ability to coordinate her unit’s affairs. After working for long hours and closing late, she rushes home to make dinner for her loved ones and tuck them all in bed before sleeping herself. This consistent strain on the superwoman steadily takes a toll on her.
Multitasking can become a herculean task for superwomen who simply want to do it all. The zest to break boundaries and make astonishing achievements sometimes leaves them prone to fatigue and stress, which, if not properly taken care of, can cause a breakdown.
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What happens during stress?
Stress is the body’s way of communicating to you that its normal homeostatic processes have been distorted and are out of balance. Generally, when we exert ourselves, our bodies enter a state known as “fight and flight”. This is the body’s response to preconceived threat or danger.
When the body is stressed within normal range, the adrenal glands do not respond as this stress is within the body’s equilibrium. In cases where it is out of range and the body is constantly being subjected to stress, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, causing the body’s adrenal glands to release stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol to help the body cope with the effect caused by the many activities.
These stress hormones cause certain changes in the body, psychologically, mentally, physically and emotionally which in turn, put a strain on the adrenal glands leading to burnout.
Stress and fatigue present symptoms such as chronic illnesses, anxiety, depression, PMS, memory loss, hair loss, confusion, persistent tiredness, alcohol or drug addiction, headaches, gastric acid reflux, joint pains due to extended muscle contractions or immune suppressions. These symptoms vary in individuals. However, some symptoms are unique to the various classes of superwomen.
OVERCOMING THE SUPERWOMAN SYNDROME
The superwoman syndrome affects ladies of all ages and all career levels. According to the world bank, Nigeria has a labour force that accommodates over 53 million people, out of which 45.5% are females.
With a growing population of women in the workplace, the need arises to equip them with tools for healthy living. Yes, you can produce results, break records and reach your dreams, while staying in good health!
Catch the next episode of Superwoman Syndrome as we discuss specific disease test parameters and tips to help you as a superwoman live your best life!
Asuquo Michael Oscar
Graduate Trainee (Diabetes Care)
ISN Products Nig. Ltd.