What Is Superwoman Syndrome?

by | Nov 22, 2021 | Recovery

If you think you have to do it all — juggle a career, maintain a perfect home, attend to your family, your home, exercise, and show face at every social activity — you may have a condition called “Superwoman Syndrome”. Let’s be honest though – women have a lot of different hats they are expected to wear.

Superwoman Syndrome was first coined back in 1984 and occurs when a woman neglects herself in hopes of doing everything to perfection while also stretching herself too thin in the process.

For centuries, women have been made to believe that once they are able to fulfill these roles and responsibilities to perfection it can lead them to a lifetime of happiness and balance, when in fact, it’s just not true. In fact, it’s not even realistic, nor should anyone be forced to believe that it is. Often times women who struggle with superwoman syndrome don’t feel balanced, or happy, they just feel exhausted, stressed, and anxious.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Superwomen can be found in a variety of women: working moms, stay-at-home moms, wives, and students. Any woman could develop this mindset that they must do it all, even if it means that their mental well-being becomes at risk. Here are some common symptoms that some superwomen may experience:

  • Bouts of irritability
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Memory issues
  • Muscle tension
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating when not physically active
  • Inability to concentrate
  • General aches and pains

Although these symptoms are vague, it is important to listen to your body – to step back and realize when too much, is just way too much. Aspiring to a level of perfectionism that is not attainable while sacrificing your well-being will inevitably lead to stress and unhappiness.

How Can I Help Myself?

The reality for so many women out there is that they have to wear multiple hats. Sometimes we don’t have the support that we need in order to take a step back or maybe they’re unsure how to step back. If you’re unable to step back due to financial restraints, lack of childcare, or support, we totally get it – but just remember you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to do it by yourself. Feeling as though you need to complete everything to perfection will lead to stress and it opens the door to a multitude of health issues, including early aging, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and gastrointestinal conditions.

Take Off The Cape

To overcome some of the negative side effects of superwomen syndrome, here is a list of things you can implement into your life:

Ask For Help

Again, we know this one isn’t available for everyone, but think about everyone in your life, parents, siblings, neighbors, co-workers, and peers. You can’t do everything yourself. It is so important for every person to have someone in their corner that they can depend on and rely on. Don’t feel like you’re a bother or that your needs don’t matter, because they do. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, we all need help at some point.

Take Time Out for You

Don’t forget to schedule time off for yourself. Whether it be a week, a day, or even taking some time out in the morning before your tasks start, begin devoting time out just for yourself. Daily meditation and mindfulness practices can relieve stress and help you to slow down, especially when you’re under a great deal of stress.

It’s Okay to Say No

Telling someone “no” doesn’t make you the bad guy. It’s a form of setting up healthy boundaries. You can say no to things that you don’t want to do or have time to do. When we set up these types of healthy boundaries, we are showing ourselves that we matter and that our time is valuable.

Make Realistic Goals

We can’t do it all, or maybe we can, but it’s just not healthy to keep piling things onto your already full plate. It’s important to identify what you personally want and what is important to you. Step back and prioritize what is most important. Set realistic and achievable goals.

Say Bye to Perfection

Seriously, bye, bye perfection. No one’s house is clean 24/7, and not every family sits around the dinner table, seven days a week. You don’t have to be the perfect student, employee, mother, wife, or anything else. You just need to be you. You are beautiful and worthy just the way you are – and if anyone says any different, say bye to them too.

Remember, Superwoman is a fictional character, she’s not a role model. Embrace you and all your imperfections because everything about you is amazing!

 Modern womanhood means maintaining the demands of multiple roles: businesswoman, mother, spouse, daughter, sister, homemaker, breadwinner, caretaker, chore and homework supervisor, family taxi driver, meal planner, or some mixture of these and more. Women wear all of these hats while also attempting to perform them perfectly. We are expected to be superwomen, and although so many women manage it all, it comes at a cost. Women today show increased rates of anxiety, depression, chronic stress and fatigue, migraines, heart disease, strokes, and infertility. Taking on multiple roles can take a lot out of a person and require way more energy than they might have. Superwomen Syndrome is consuming women all over the globe. Attempting to do so much, while attempting to master everything perfectly is not healthy. If you or someone who know is struggling to manage their mental health call Sober Life today. We want to help. Call (619) 542-9542.

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