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Boomer Women Tolerating Excessive Workload

Posted Aug 17 2009 10:33pm

Connections Matter Reducing anxiety during the economic recession is important for the mental and physical health of boomers.  However, knowing that you get what you tolerate can be important in handling today's challenges.

In a new survey of 4,435 full-time employees, 37 percent of respondents say they are now doing the work of two people, and 30 percent say they feel burned out.  A dysfunctional work environment, if left unchecked, can deteriorate to the point of employee burnout. Burnout is a familiar term these days: it's the physical or emotional exhaustion that results from long-term stress or frustration.   Chronic fatigue is a major symptom of burnout: one feels physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Behaviorally, the burnout worker becomes cynical, indifferent and increasingly ineffective in the job.  

To reduce stress on the job, consider visiting this week's Blogging Boomer Carnival hosted by Laura Lee Carter, the Midlife Crisis Queen.

Senior woman executive The recession is taking a toll on the health of American workers as a survey of 1,500 of them, at companies with 2,000 or more employees, finds 20 percent have skipped taking prescription-drug medications in order to save money.

Boomer women who think they're really good at their jobs may suspect that others don't see it that way.  When asked to predict how others would rate them, women underestimated men's ratings by an average of 11%.  It's not because of a confidence gap.  With an average 17 years' experience, the men and women gave themselves equally high marks.  Instead, one reason for the perception gap may be a carryover from years of women thinking they had to work twice as hard as men.

When a woman executive feels rushed, overwhelmed, or pressured to do everything, her stress-reducing hormones are depleted, and her stress levels increase.

Taking part in testosterone-producing activities at work can diminish a woman's oxytocin levels.  Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that seems to be involved in reproductive behavior in both men and women, and apparently triggers "caring" behavior.  Oxytocin is also the hormone which allows contractions of the womb during pregnancy and labor. When women have plenty of energy, they take great pleasure from their responsibilities.  Creating a lifestyle and diet that sustains unending energy by producing plenty of oxytocin is key to lower stress levels.

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