The Hindu, an English language daily newspaper headquartered at Chennai once covered a survey an article that stressed on the alarming percentage of working women who have some or other health problems.
The transition of the traditional role of a woman from being an elegant hostess, full-time mother and wife, great cook with a perfect understanding of flavours and spices to that of an ambitious, fierce headed corporate wife and mother, was never easy. Whether the body was able to evolve to cope with this swift transition is a point to ponder. 3 out of 4 working women in India having health problems could make this case stronger.
According to a psychologist of University of California, women tend to approach a stressful situation by protecting themselves and their young through nurturing acts as opposed to fight or flight mechanisms by a male. Although men and women both display fight or flight response on arousal, men display this far larger than women. Which means women aren't inherently wired to be aggressive, multitaskers - yes, but aggressive maybe not.
To top it off, females across the globe are also subject to a discriminatory pay gap, gender inequality in reference to promotions, difficulty in maintaining a work-family life balance. A study reveals how working women in the country are hit with chronic and acute ailments like obesity, hypertension, depression, diabetes, high cholesterol to name a few due to this sudden lifestyle change.
Does this really mean that women have evolved not to be corporate professionals?
Then what is it that accomplished corporate women like Priya Nair, (Executive Director, Home Care, Hindustan Unilever), Deepika Arora (Regional Vice President (Eurasia), Wyndham Hotel Group), Arundhati Bhattacharya (Chairman, State Bank of India), to name a few,have got right?
“The point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.” -Ellen DeGeneres
As women are getting more conscious of the potential they hold within, of the realisation that there is in fact no job that her male counterpart can do better, she will have to overcome the physical limitations. Applying some of the below mentioned coping mechanisms may just help. Let’s start a movement to ensure the numbers of health problems in working women and women in general is reduced.
- Exercise - even a short walk reduces anxiety and releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good, heart rate goes up and circulation gets better. It also serves as a great way to distract yourself from your office worries and deadlines. Turning to yoga is a great option too.
- Breathing exercises - The effects of Pranayama is well known to reduce tension, feel relaxed and reduce anxiety.
- Eat healthy, well balanced meals - Take a break from comfort foods and consciously pre-plan your meals to include fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of water
- Regular health check-ups – Women tend to have more health problems than men also because of their general set-up. It is important to have regular health check-ups especially if you are above 30 / 35. Ask your family doctor which tests are advisable basis your age, present health condition and lifestyle.
By Mudita Ghia
Founder and Director Clarus Media