How can stress in daily life damage my mental health

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Daily activities and events often put pressure on a woman, causing tension in her body and mind (stress). Stress can come from physical problems, like illness or overwork. Or it can come from emotional events, like conflict in the family or being blamed for problems that a woman has no control over. Even events that often bring pleasure—like a new baby or getting a job—can be stressful because they create changes in a woman’s life.

Most women have many kinds of stress pressuring them from all sides:

  • caring for children
  • meeting husband‘s needs
  • getting water, fuel
  • cleaning
  • caring for the sick
  • too little money
  • farming or working
  • too little food

It is easy not to notice the stress in daily life because it is always there. But it takes a lot of a woman‘s energy to cope with this kind of stress.

When a woman faces a lot of stress every day and for a long time, she may begin to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. The problem may be made worse if she has been taught to take care of others first and neglects her own needs. With little time to rest or to enjoy things that could help reduce her stress, she may ignore signs of illness or overwork. And as a woman, she may have little power to change her situation.

Often a woman is made to feel that she is weak or ill. But the real problem may be something that is not fair or not right in life. To have better mental health, women need to have more control and power over their lives.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en011503