That Overwhelmed Feeling

3 Nov
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I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately and it is only the first week of November.  I’ve read recently that women are biologically wired in way that they feel stress more than men because women do not shut down as easily as men do.   Men can come home put on the television and their mind goes completely blank – this enables them to relax, rejuvenate and build testosterone to deal with stress.  (fyi – women if your man wants quiet time when he comes home and just wants to watch television to deal with his day – he may just need that in order to provide you with what you need).

Men can shut down easily.  Unfortunately, studies have shown that biologically women have a more difficult time shutting down.  When women come home from work – I’ve read – that their stress levels increase four times as much as men. 

I’ve been feeling very stressed when I come home.   My mind seems to be racing with all of the things I need to do when I’m in my home.  Many of us already know, but studies show that women are biologically wired to be doers and to nuture their family members.  So, on top of being out working in a busy city feeling the stress of working, women are also feelig the stress of their home life because they just can’t seem to be able to do everything they are biologically built to do in addition to working outside of their home – namely, nuturing their family.

I’m struggling with how to deal with this increased stress.  From what I read, women need to rebuild their oxytocin so that they can deal with stress better.  Oxytocin is the female hormone responsible for childbirth but also has been linked to giving women the ability to cope with stress.  When Oxytocin levels in a women drop, their stress levels rise. 

Well, right now I feel like my oxytocin levels are depleted.  I have given myself totally to my son, my work and my volunteering.  I love doing all of those things but right  now I feel like I don’t have any energy left – not even energy to spend time with my beloved boyfriend – running!   My body has even let me know that I need to slow down by developing  a dreaded cold sore :(.

Since my running injury I have told myself that I will listen to my body better when it is telling me to slow down.  So, I am listening to this amazing machine right now but I’m not sure how to relax – to rebuild those oxytocin levels.  How does a single mom slow down?  I slowed down by cutting out stuff I love to do like cooking and exercising .  To replace that I am trying to sleep more – but my brain won’t shut down.  It keeps thinking about stuff to be done and stuff I would like to do. 

These are the days I wish I had someone to take care of me.  To tell me, you don’t have to be responsible today – I will take care of the baby, you can stay in bed watch television and zone out.   I never really had someone that took care of me in my life like that – only my mom and dad – but that is what I imagine a real partner would do.

I’ve read that the Oxytocin levels can be replenished by just talking about the stress to someone who is willing to listen.  The person listening doesn’t need to provide solutions – as there really isn’t any solution to this type of problem – except to try to sleep and relax when I can. 

I rarely ever share my day to day stress with anyone as I feel like I am very lucky and my stresses are just stresses of daily life that we all struggle with – men and women.  However, I did try talking last night to Mid-Western Boy by phone.  He listend and told me that he was concerned because he heard my exhaustion in my voice. 

Some oxytocin was replenished after that conversation and that conversation even added some feeling of excitement about starting to care for someone who may just care about me.

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