Currently, in the Western world there seems to be a massive push for equality and perfection, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that a huge number of women are struggling as a result.
From what I can see, the vast majority of us females are suffering from female burnout. It occurs when women try to be absolutely everything and everyone, every single minute of the day.
One of my favourite books, The Rent Tent, beautifully illustrates life of the biblical women – the healers, the carers, and the mothers, who looked after others until the time of the month came, and then they retreated to a tent together to take care of themselves and relax.
Now, we have the typical woman, the one who has all of these in-built instincts to heal, care and love… but who is also a career woman, working at least 5 days a week, with no break for self-care each month.
Did you know that 20% of women in the UK now have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), 10% have endometriosis, and about 30% have fibroids (benign uterine tumours)?
Sadly, ovarian, cervical, and breast cancers are also on the rise, with breast cancer affecting 1 in 8 women compared to 1 in 22 in the 1940s.
It’s about time we addressed this issue because it’s not OK.
The changing role of women has led to more stress, which can end up raising the hormone cortisol in the body.
For those who want the science… Cortisol competes with progesterone for receptors, and always wins, leaving the body with less progesterone to use. On top of this, the brain gets messages that there isn’t actually enough cortisol in the body and so produces even more, which can lead to the breakdown of bones and can contribute to osteoporosis and muscle loss.
Not only that, but when there is too much cortisol, there is an increase in oestrogen, which can lead to oestrogen dominance and the conditions mentioned above.
Stress and a diet high in sugar can simultaneously raise insulin, again raising cortisol, which can contribute to PMS, PCOS and underactive thyroid glands.
Even the science is saying women need to chill out.
We need to start letting go of being perfect, and letting go of this intense desire to be equal. The fact is, we are wired differently to men, there’s no question about it, we are equal in value, of course, but our strengths lie in different areas. It’s time we embrace our femininity and actually listen to our bodies.
It’s time let go of expectations and perfection for our bodies, perfection for our careers, or perfection to even be “the best version of ourselves”.
If we’re tired, it’s about time we relaxed. It’s time to find other females to lean on and laugh with, and it’s about time we gave ourselves permission to not work so hard every single minute of every single day. I know it’s easier said than done, but we have to start somewhere. We have to bring our feminine energy back and care for ourselves as much as we care for others.
This month will be dedicated to female health, looking at how we can tap into our inner goddess and kick female burnout to the kerb once and for all!