Monday, October 24, 2011

Young Women More Prone to Stress and How It Effects Our Health and Fitness!

So I want to talk about something that I don't usually pay a lot of attention to but seems to be really prevalent in my life recently, STRESS!

For the last few months I have had major tooth sensitivity and finally last week while I was traveling in Chicago, it started to hurt so much that finally decided it was time to find a dentist here in Charlotte and do something about it. I went this morning and they told me that it wasn't a cavity (totally suprised me!) but instead it was a problem with the gum line and it was caused by stress! How does stress effect your teeth you ask? I asked the same question and the doctor cleared it up for me.

Apparently, women between the ages of 18-25 usually have this problem from stress and muscle reaction! When we are stressed during the day and then have no release for that stress before we go to bed, our bodies take it out in our muscles by clenching and grinding our teeth. This clenching of your jaw causes pressure on your teeth which causes your gum lines to become painful and recede! Who would've thought! So the trick to get my tooth to stop hurting wasn't a brand new filling but instead was taking up something to relieve stress!

It made me start to think, while I have had stressful situations recently (within the last 6 months) -job hunting, moving, graduation, new job, apartment getting broken into (yea.. that happened) I didnt FEEL more stressed out at most points than usual. So I started to think, what are the main stress points for young professionals women, what effect do they have on us and how do we combat them?

I came to the following conclusions - at least for myself
Main Stressors

- WORK! - Number 1 is work, as young professional women, we have to be faster, smarter, stronger, more professional and we are expected to do it all in high heels, perfectly highlighted hair and full face make up (Ps I am not getting my butt out of bed early enough to do all that) Especially being a young woman adds the factor of office jealousy, politics and caddiness. Usually you will only hear men talk about other men as related to their work so basically if you do your work then you're safe. Women bring a whole new ball game, women will always talk about each other and not only your work but you can't get angry, you have to be careful of what you wear, you have to be careful talking about your personal life, and you can't make anyone else angry, sad or upset whether intentional or unintentional. Its a lot of stress and work to do your job while making sure you take 50 other women's feelings into consideration.. sheesh!

- Money - Money will always be a stressor, for me the main money related stressor is student loans which is something that a lot of people both male and female have to deal with. We have all probably been brought to the point of tears to see 3/4 of your paycheck get taken by Sallie Mae. How do they expect a new college grad with an entry level job to afford an $800 a month payment? Really? No wonder the banks failed if thats their logic!

- Taking Care of Yourself and Your Place
Sometimes the thought of having to do all the things you have to do, just to maintain your life, is stressful. Sometimes you just want to go home and do nothing.. read a book or watch mindless television but you cant because you know you have no food so you have to run to the grocery store, your apartment is a mess and you can't stand the thought of cooking dinner in a disgusting kitchen so you have to spend an hour cleaning when you get home before you an even do anything. You have an 8-10 hour day of work just to know that when you get done, you have more errands to run and by the time you finally get home and get to sit down, you look at the clock and its already 9 oclock and you have 2 hours before bed and going to do it all again.. and oh wait! You forgot to pack your lunch for tomorrow and you should probably answer some emails that piled up from work, right?

All of this everyday plus the little things that pop up constantly to add more responsibility can add up and even if you walk around with a smile and you dont feel anything out of the ordinary, your body will never let you actually be fooled because it will bring your stress out in other ways if need be! Like my tooth apparently. You can also run into things like headaches, eye strain, muscle aches, skin problems, being more prone to illness, tiredness and weight gain.

So what can we do about this? My goal is take more time for me and exercise. I stopped doing super hard, bootcamp style work outs because they are kind of awkward to do by yourself in the gym but maybe its time to start again. Those kind of workouts will help relieve any stress!

If anyone have any comments on what stresses you? How do you handle it? How have you seen it effect your body? I would love to hear them!