What is superwoman syndrome and how to deal with it - Hindustan Times
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What is superwoman syndrome and how to deal with it

By, New Delhi
Apr 03, 2023 02:15 PM IST

Women, is your pursuit of achieving perfection in all areas of your life leaving you exhausted? You may be suffering from superwoman syndrome.

A homemaker, an employee, a mother, a wife - a woman wears many hats and has to invariably juggle multiple roles. It is difficult to match the pace especially in the modern world where to-do lists are unending and there is hardly any time to pause. No wonder women at times have to work very hard to manage all aspects of lives, to the point that they are left exhausted and burnt out. Superwoman Syndrome refers to a phenomenon where a woman strives to achieve perfection in all spheres of her life and ends up feeling overwhelmed and highly stressed. They neglect their personal needs and may suffer from chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and frequent headaches. (Also read: Mental health tips: 3 effective ways for women to beat daily stress)

The term 'Superwoman Syndrome' refers to a phenomenon where a woman pushes herself to excel in all areas of her life, leaving her overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed. (Freepik)
The term 'Superwoman Syndrome' refers to a phenomenon where a woman pushes herself to excel in all areas of her life, leaving her overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed. (Freepik)

"In today's fast-paced world, women are continually juggling personal, professional, and social responsibilities. As a result, many women strive to achieve an impeccable balance between the various aspects of their lives. This continuous pursuit of perfection often leads to what is called the 'Superwoman Syndrome.' The term 'Superwoman Syndrome' refers to a phenomenon where a woman pushes herself to excel in all areas of her life, leaving her overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed. This relentless strive for perfection can have adverse effects on her overall well-being," explains Dr Chandni Tugnait, M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director – Gateway of Healing.

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Dr Chandni lists common signs of the superwoman syndrome. They however may vary between individuals.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SUPERWOMAN SYNDROME

- Chronic fatigue

- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances

- Frequent headaches or migraines

- Anxiety and depression

- Difficulty in concentrating and decision-making

- Inability to relax and enjoy leisure time

- Neglecting personal needs, including self-care

WAYS TO DEAL WITH SUPERWOMAN SYNDROME

Dr Chandni says it's time for reality check for these extremely laborious women and it is important to prioritise and not strive for perfection in every area of life.

Here are some ways to deal with superwoman syndrome:

Prioritize: Recognise the areas of your life that are most important to you and focus on them. It's essential to realise that you can't achieve perfection in every aspect of your life, and it's okay to let go of some responsibilities.

Set realistic expectations: Understand that it's impossible to be perfect in everything. Set realistic expectations and goals for yourself, and do not berate yourself for not being flawless.

Challenge perfectionism: It's important to challenge perfectionism by focusing on progress rather than perfection, practising self-compassion, and accepting that mistakes are a normal part of life.

Learn to say no: You cannot accommodate everyone's wishes or demands. Be assertive and say no when necessary - this will help reduce your workload and stress levels.

Delegate tasks: You don't have to bear the burden of completing all tasks by yourself. Reach out to your support system, including friends, family, and colleagues, and delegate tasks to them.

Practice self-compassion: Remember that you are only human, and it's natural to have flaws and make mistakes. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion to navigate through tough times.

Prioritise self-care: Take time out to care for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Indulge in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as pursuing a hobby, spending time with loved ones, or practising mindfulness exercises.

Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is important for managing superwoman syndrome. This can include saying no to requests or demands that are not aligned with your priorities, setting limits on work or social media, and protecting your time and energy.

Seek professional help: If you find it challenging to break free from the superwoman syndrome and its negative effects on your health, don't hesitate to seek guidance from a mental health professional.

"It's crucial for women to recognise these self-imposed expectations and the adverse effects they have on their well-being. By taking steps to manage superwoman syndrome, women can prioritize their own health and well-being and lead more fulfilling lives," concludes Dr Chandni.

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