As a Chronic Stress Coach, it’s interesting – and sometimes sad – to hear professional women downplay or deny the affect chronic stress has on their well-being, especially their emotional health and relationships.
Common words I hear that demonstrate this disconnect are:
‘I don’t have chronic stress, I’m the rock other people depend on.’
‘I don’t have chronic stress, I just have too much on my plate.’
‘I don’t have chronic stress, I just can’t sit still.’
‘I don’t have chronic stress, I need a fast pace to thrive.’
It’s as if admitting chronic stress is a shameful disease that may mean you can’t handle it all, or a potential sign of moral weakness.
But nothing is farther from the truth. Experiencing chronic stress does not mean your life is falling apart, your health is declining, or that you are on the brink of divorce.
Chronic stress is rampant and commonplace in professional women – a complex by-product of perceived societal expectations and unrealistic self-expectations to accomplish and achieve.
Chronic stress means the demands of life have exceeded your available resources and in turn, you no longer have a sustainable pace, a content frame of mind, or a heart that is fully available and receptive to others.
Oftentimes the signs of chronic stress creep up steadily, slowly, and unnoticed, like the frog that unknowingly gets cooked in the pot as the water temperature slowly escalates.
Chronic stress shows up differently in professional women. As in my case, it is often the very traits that help you succeed – ambition, high expectations, perfectionism, intellectual intensity, the need to control and please – that left unchecked, turn on you, and leave you a little hollow, wondering, ‘What am I doing all this for?’
You worked hard and now have (almost) everything you ever wanted, but you’re not enjoying it.
You have so much to be grateful for, so why is it not enough?
If this rings true, review the
8 Signs Of Chronic Stress In Professional Women
- You’ve got yourself all together on the outside. You look great and seem fine, but on the inside you experience anxiety, perfectionism, and negative repercussions of high expectations from yourself and others
- It’s difficult to turn off work, thoughts, planning and ambition even when you want to
- It’s hard to admit but you know your physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual well-being is affected by stress and putting too much pressure on yourself
- You experience feelings of disconnection from the ones you love. When you come home at the end of the day, you start on what’s next instead of genuinely connecting with yourself, your partner, kids, or pet
- You desire another way to BE that is present, fun and free but don’t see how this is possible with the level of responsibility you have
- You fear changing may mean giving up your edge or what has made you successful
- You are concerned what may happen to your well-being, your relationships, your work, and your feelings of discontent if this pattern continues…the trajectory doesn’t look good
How many of these signs ring true for you? If you tally 5 or more you are in a state of chronic stress.
Friend, I totally get it, and you are not alone. I was there too, and not just for a little while. I lived with chronic stress for decades.
It took a health and marital crisis for me to wake up. I had to take two medical leaves of absence from work and a voluntary demotion <insert ego deflation> to take care of myself.
Even though my corporate work environment was intense, I knew I was the problem and took 100% responsibility for my situation.
I didn’t quit my job or move to a tropical island. Instead, I healed myself in the same work environment that triggered my dysfunction and now help other women do the same.
The key to being free of chronic stress is NOT exercise, vacation, massage, yoga, or eating gluten-free.
The secret to being free of chronic stress is to stop looking outside for your conditions to change and look within yourself to reconnect with a heart that is dying to be set free.
Only by taking an inward journey will you discover the peace that already exists within you.
If you are interested in beginning this journey so you can be available for who and what matters most to you without being ruled by guilt, expectation, or self-pressure, I can teach you how.
Watch the 2 minute video below to learn the top 3 reasons women really overschedule. Then sign up below for your free video series – How To Stop Overscheduling: Less Rushed + More Effective so you can stop overextending yourself and actually feel good about it.
Sign up below, and I’ll see you on the other side!