BY: Andrea Lardani
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The results of several studies point to the same place: employed women with young children are the group that is suffering most from the impact on mental and emotional health during the pandemic.
According to the studies, women have experienced a greater increase than men in terms of suffering psychological distress, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty disconnecting from worries. The difference is even greater when it comes to anxiety, depressive feelings, guilt, hopelessness and their levels of confidence, optimism, serenity, relaxation, vitality and energy have been reduced more intensely. These results are related to the fact that many women have found themselves in the situation of teleworking and taking care of their children.
Studies show data indicating that “it is the female gender that is becoming more vulnerable to anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress”.
Whether it is because women work from home and their partner is away or because her partner is home but only works, which leads to an overload of stress as they are mainly responsible for running the house and children’s schooling, without leaving their work aside. Some feel that they are working all day long, since having flexible hours becomes a continuous demonstration of responsibilities towards work while they are taking care of their children and the house. Women with children and teleworking tend to develop strategies such as delaying bedtime or getting up earlier than the rest in order to be able to organize their day and domestic tasks. We find that women are taking on enormous burdens: mental and emotional burden, managing the household, being caregivers, teachers, nurses, psychologists and also workers.
The main problem is that they cannot disconnect even for a second, they do not have time for themselves or to do a pleasant activity, so they have high levels of anxiety, emotional and mental exhaustion, insomnia, hopelessness and stress, being a gateway to mental and physical health problems of our century: anxiety, depression, heart attacks and cardiovascular problems.
Taking this information into account, it is essential to seek advice in time to find healthy alternatives for the new challenges generated by the pandemic, both for companies and their employees. Employee Assistance Programs offer different resources as recommedations for managers on how to lead their teams and psychological support for employees who find themselves in this situation.
– University of the Basque Country
– Arantxa Gorostiaga, member of the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behavioral Sciences at the University of the Basque Country.
– UCM-Group 5 Against Stigma
– Jesús Linares, psychologist
– University of Valencia
– Empar Aguado, sociologist
– Carmen Flores, president of the Federation of Associations of Single-Parent Families (FAMS)
– María Fornet, psychologist and writer on therapeutic feminism