Women's Stress Syndrome is a term I coined to describe the unique way stress manifests in women.
I've seen the damage that years and even decades of stress can cause for women. When we're young, we usually don't notice the problem - we're too busy being busy, or being "good". It seems normal. But as we get older, it begins to take a toll - on our happiness, relationships, ability to perform at our best and enjoy our lives, our sense of purpose and meaning, and even our health.
About Women's Stress Syndrome
Life today is stressful for all of us. But women's stress can be different than men's in many important ways and is determined by our unique biology, genetics, and the culture and environment in which we live. The accumulation of trauma, even small social traumas we experience when we're very young and trauma passed through the generations also play a role in the development of Women's Stress Syndrome.
In addition to the stress so many women experience balancing work and family life and riding the hormonal rollercoaster, I've identified 8 common manifestations of Women's Stress Syndrome.
Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions?
Superwoman: You take care of everyone and everything and you do a great job of it most of the time, but you feel overwhelmed and underappreciated - maybe even angry. You've been revving high and rushing for so long that you can't even relax when you have the opportunity. Every once in a while, you shut down either physically, emotionally, or both. You need a stress solution that won't take up too much time and energy.
Over-Committed: The bottom line is that there aren't enough hours in the day to take care of what you need to take care of. You're over-committed, over-extended, and can't seem to catch up. You need to get some things off your plate!
The Good Girl: You always do the right thing. You're kind, good, and always nice. You never say no and never disappoint anyone. And you are suffocating under the weight of all your "shoulds"! You need to allow yourself permission to be human, to be imperfect, and to matter.
Exhausted: You work really hard and don't take the time to refuel your tanks. You feel like if you stop, you'll drop, so you fuel yourself with the adrenaline that comes with more stress. You need to learn how to renew and replenish in a healthful and sustainable way.
Lost: Life's demands have finally let up a bit, perhaps you're an empty nester, or maybe you find yourself living alone, and you're ready to do your own thing. Except, you don't even know who you are or what you want. Maybe you never did! You need to find yourself and discover your purpose.
Invisible: You feel like no one really sees or knows the real you, and it's really unsettling. Sometimes you feel really angry about it, and other times you struggle with self-doubt. Your work begins with building a foundation of self-trust and self-kindness.
Disconnected: You've denied your body's needs for so long that you've lost your connection to your body's signals. You may be experiencing body image or eating issues, or you may be missing your body's subtle cues telling you that something's wrong. You need to reconnect mind and body, and learn to trust and honor your body's needs.
Depleted: Years or even decades of not prioritizing yourself or managing the build-up of stress in your nervous system have taken a toll, and you've developed symptoms of stress-related illness or even chronic pain. You need strategies that reduce your symptoms and a stress relief toolbox - now!
As you can see, different experiences with stress require different solutions. And these are just some of the many ways Women's Stress Syndrome can manifest. However stress shows up for you, I'm here to help.
A Failure to Flourish
Flourishing is growing toward your full potential, becoming your best self, and experiencing happiness, peace of mind, purpose, and satisfaction.
We were each born with the capacity to flourish. And that's not just flowery talk, because when we don't flourish, we wither, and our unfulfilled needs become our afflictions. Women's Stress Syndrome causes us to fail to flourish. My purpose is to help you eliminate the obstacles and optimize the conditions that will help you restore that natural drive to grow, thrive, and flourish!
My approach blends therapy, mentoring, and coaching, to provide you with the help you need as you navigate the opportunities and challenges of managing Women's Stress Syndrome and creating a fulfilling life!
More specifically, depending on your challenges and circumstances, our work may include:
- Embarking on a journey of discovery, designed to help you reconnect with authenticity so you can live freely, purposefully, and meaningfully.
- Developing a program of simple daily practices to build your resilience, and help you calm down, relax, and handle stress optimally.
- Focusing on time and energy management so you can handle overwhelming demands and possibly even get some of those demands off your plate.
- Strengthening boundaries in your relationships, and developing "fierce self-compassion".
- Directly targeting symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, or stress-related medical conditions.
- Dealing with food, weight, and body image challenges.
- Helping you develop a sensible but non-negotiable approach to self-care and self-kindness.
"I believe that as women, the challenges we face as we navigate our lives are mostly riffs on a common melody. We leave ourselves behind as we care for everyone else, lose our natural authenticity as we play the roles expected of us, or pursue a definition of success that leaves us unbalanced, exhausted, and ultimately unfulfilled.
I am truly passionate about helping women who are finally ready to play their own tune, and flourish authentically!"
It's Your Time to Flourish!
If you've had it with Women's Stress Syndrome and you're ready to flourish, or if you simply recognize yourself in what I'm describing and want things to be different, contact me today to get started on your stress solution!