This month is Women’s History Month, and as discussions of women’s importance spread, so too do discussions of women’s health. Throughout history, there have been certain risks and conditions that affect women more so than men. Many of these risks are influenced by a multitude of factors, including stress and mental health.
Many women suffer from undue stress and feeling the need to hold it in or minimize their own needs can not only cause mental health issues but can make physical health issues worse as well. To help raise awareness of women’s health, Sherman urgent care wants to talk about how women, and those in their lives, can help to alleviate the harmful stress they might experience.
When we find ourselves overwhelmed or feeling unwell, many of us might try to hide it. Whether we don’t want to worry anyone around us or we’re trying to power through a difficult work week, anyone can mask sniffles, coughs, or an achy feeling from time to time.
Women, though, are more likely to hide their illnesses frequently, which can increase their health risks. Traditionally, women are seen as caretakers in the family, and this preconception makes them more likely to try “toughing it out” instead of seeking care. Whether it be working long shifts during a cold or even hiding symptoms of the flu and pretending that they are fine, many women will try to work through infections.
When women hide their sickness, they can make themselves more likely to be seriously ill in the future. Hiding symptoms can make it harder to tell when a cough is just a cold or something serious like bronchitis. This makes it crucial for not only women to properly care for themselves, but also for friends and family members to encourage women to get the rest they need.
While it is easy to see how hiding symptoms of an illness can be bad for your health, it might be harder to tell why stress is such an influential factor. After all, everyone feels stressed sometimes, and small amounts of stress can be natural motivations for people to get things done. But not all stress is normal, and when someone feels overwhelmed, it is important that they have an outlet or people to confide in.
Similar to the tendency to hide symptoms of common illnesses, many women are also prone to hiding severe stress. When women feel overwhelmed or especially stressed about something, they may try to carry on as if everything is fine. This can be harmful to mental health as well as physical health, as unresolved stress can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of serious conditions like heart attacks or strokes.
Since it is so important for women to not only express their stress and get the TLC they need while they’re sick, there are things that everyone in the family can do to help. Friends, family, and women themselves can all try some of the following to help lighten the load of internalized stress and illness.
Making women and their well-being a priority in your home can go a long way to helping with stress relief and proper care for illnesses. When everyone in the family knows how to be aware, they can work together to make sure that mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and even friends take care of themselves.