Women looking outside the window

gender equality 

02 March 2022

Balancing work, life, family and personal time can be a juggling act for many women. 

Women are busier than ever today, between juggling demanding work schedules while raising families, trying to stay on top of domestic chores, and even caring for their own aging parents. They seem to do it all. Women have taken on multiple roles to adapt to changes in society. For many, multitasking has become a way of life, with barely a moment for self-care or reflection. But all this juggling comes at a cost – both mentally and physically, and can often leave women feeling overstretched and stressed out.

Though many women consider multitasking a part of their lives, over time, the stress that comes with it can have a devastating impact on a woman’s mental and physical wellbeing. Statistics show that stress and burnout affects more women than men, and particularly more working mothers than working fathers. A sense of ‘role strain’ among women who are tasked with juggling many roles at once can lead to higher levels of stress and less satisfaction in life.

In addition, if women are over-stretched at home, that means many feel they cannot physically or mentally put in the extra hours demanded by many workplaces, so the gender pay gap continues to widen. Women make up the majority of part-time workers, and in turn are less likely to get pay rises or promotions after having children, making it even harder to pursue top jobs.  

As in March we celebrate the International Women’s Day, it’s a good time for women to recognise the importance of addressing stress in their lives and managing it in healthy ways.

Here are our top tips to help you take control of your life and your well-being.

Make sure chores and responsibilities at home are clearly outlined and shared so you aren’t shouldering the burden of household tasks alone. Have your partner or older children pitch in around the house - cooking meals, cleaning, and taking care of the laundry. Delegate simple tasks to younger children so they too can learn to develop good habits early on and play an active role in contributing to the family. It’s much less stressful if you’re working as a team. 

Draw very clear lines between your work life and your family life. Keeping some boundaries in your work and family time will help you balance both areas more effectively. If you find yourself constantly working outside of normal office hours, make it clear to your boss that unless it’s an emergency, you will be logging off at a certain time.  Be firm about not working extra time in the office or when you’re burdened with family duties.

As women, saying no can seem like a big task sometimes. Mums are always inclined to help out, see friends and cram a million other things into their already hectic schedule. When your to-do list is already full, learn to say no to more projects at work and home if you can. 

Create a to-do list and a schedule of tasks you need to complete, with the most important ones at the top. Review your list and pick a couple of simple things that you are able to complete each day, ticking tasks off as you complete them to give yourself a sense of achievement. Prioritise your to-do list, eliminating anything that’s not a “must”. Less on your list = less on your mind, making it easier to focus on your busy day.

Mums have a habit of putting their own needs last in order to take care of everyone else first. Between keeping up with work, family, and other commitments, “me time” might be the last thing on your mind. But if you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone else?

Set aside some “me time” every day to re-energise yourself. Finding time for yourself is crucial in maintaining inner peace and balance within the hectic environment of work and home life. Regularly schedule time for activities that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga, gardening or reading. Treat yourself to dinner with a friend, a weekly bubble bath, manicure or massage, or set-hobby time, etc. This will help you rejuvenate your mind and body.

Be sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to keep up your energy.

Choose healthy and nourishing foods over highly processed ones. Your meals should be full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean protein for energy. And don’t skip any.

Working out regularly is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. Plus, physical activity will improve your mood.

If you don’t sleep for at least 6 hours every night, your body will not be able to rejuvenate and heal itself. Don't sacrifice your rest just to get more done. Begin winding down an hour or two before you go to sleep and engage in calming activities such as listening to relaxing music, reading an enjoyable book, or practicing relaxation techniques like meditation.

Setting aside a specific amount of focused family time can ease the stress you may feel when you don't allocate your off-work time well. Fun outings like a hike through a local park can be time-efficient bonding, better than hours spent disconnected from one another in front of the TV or in separate areas of the house.
Gender equality and fairness are important for Allianz and we are honoured to be listed in 2022 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the seventh year in a row.
For International Women's Day 2022, the theme is  #BreakTheBias, a global call to arms to tackle discrimination, celebrate our differences and forge an equal future.