Between children, work, life as a couple and family… How much time do women have left to take care of themselves or take time for hobbies? Not much if we are to believe a recent study on the subject.
This is information reported by the Daily Mail. On average, a middle-aged woman spends only five hours a week on personal needs, whether that be caring for herself or doing a leisure activity.
70% of middle-aged women have less than an hour a day for themselves
In this survey, which interviewed 1,307 middle-aged women, 70% of them said they spend five hours a week on their own needs. That’s less than an hour per day.
The same percentage of women estimate that they spend less than three hours a week socializing with their friends or with their partners. In contrast, only 11% of them estimated that they spent more than 10 hours per week taking care of themselves.
What is taking up all of these women’s time?
But why do these women no longer have time for themselves? Among the most common responses, these women said they spent their time on “parental responsibilities”, “taking care of their aging parents” and “working”. So much so that we speak of a sandwich woman, where the concerns of everyday life take over, leaving time devoted to themselves last.
For Marie-Estelle Dupont, psychologist, “women in the 30/50 age group, as long as they have children and work, have a combination of mandates that are not very compatible with the physiological needs of the brain.” “They are therefore particularly vulnerable to burn out, anxiety, chronic exhaustion” warns the specialist.
But not only. “They are also more sensitive to chronic somatization because being in constant overdrive increases inflammation, disrupts the parasympathetic system in charge of recovery, therefore sleep, digestion, but also immunity. These women are therefore more prone to headaches, back pain, chronic inflammation. she adds.
“Being an attentive mother, an available professional, an attractive woman for her partner, a devoted daughter for her aging parents represents an incessant cerebral noise made up of a thousand logistical complications to manage, of permanent choices, and we know that women are naturally more likely to suffer from a feeling of not doing enough, with imposter syndrome more common than in men”.
Good in his body, good in his head!
How to make time for yourself?
For Marie Estelle Dupont, you have to make choices and stick to them. “The key is to think about your priorities and let go of the rest at least partially without feeling guilty: we all have physical and psychological limits, it’s pride to deny it. We must therefore choose, be willing to say no even if we are made to feel guilty or do not understand us, then delegate and get organized.”.
If your workout twice a week or your Thai massage once a month are locked into the calendar as professional imperatives, no one will make you go back on it. We must allocate time to everyone, including ourselves. “Taking responsibility for your needs means making those around you accept that you are not all-powerful and that your needs are no less real than theirs. It will go very well if you are convinced that this commitment to yourself is the key to your success, which consists of assuming all your roles without becoming bitter, exhausted or making serious mistakes..
Once this first awareness has been achieved, you must delegate and organize yourself to get there. “This can involve entrusting household chores and homework to people who are paid for it, for example…. This involves budgetary adjustments but it is better than compulsive shopping to compensate for fatigue!” concludes our expert.