One of the hardest things for most women to do to prevent burnout is to simply asking for help. Women are masters at multitasking giving their all to their family, friends, and job. There are millions of women who once they arrive home from work, take on their other jobs of being caregiver, teacher, housecleaner, accountant, chef, designer, landscaper, and nurse – and that’s all in a 24-hour day.
But the constant stress and strain of juggling many different balls in the air at once, can takes its toll on women. This is why anxiety and depression occur twice as much in women than as in men. Women who are doing everything without asking for help are putting themselves at risk for significant burnout that can begin to affect them emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Why women find it hard to ask for help when trying to prevent burnout
This brings us back to a logical question – why don’t women just ask for more help? It sounds simple but it’s easier said than done for many. One reason is the fact many women grew up in households where their mothers took on a major role in childrearing and housekeeping. It’s almost natural for many women to take control of the household duties without asking anyone to chip in.
For some women, this may be a way for them to maintain control. When someone asks, “do you need some help?” it’s not uncommon for a woman to refuse the offer saying she can manage. Part of this thinking may be due to believing only they know how to do it and are concerned someone won’t do it right.
This can be okay at times but if a woman rarely if ever accepts some help, eventually burnout rears its ugly head resulting in hostility, irritability, and anger towards those she loves most. Burnout can also lead to fatigue and insomnia as well as feelings of lack of motivation and less joy.
Burnout not only affects women but also puts a strain on relationships with their spouse, children, friends, and coworkers.
How to get help to prevent burnout without asking
For women who are born multitaskers and believe only they can do things “right,” need to consider how their busyness is affecting their family. Is it worth it to always be busy and what kind of role model message are you sending your children?
It’s okay to ask for help. No one is saying you have to do it all. But when asking is hard to do, how about doing it without asking? Here’s how:
Learn to say “no” without really saying it – If you always automatically clean up the kitchen by yourself or pick up toys off the floor before bedtime, stop. Next time, instead of being on autopilot cleaning up, let it slide. Someone will finally say something and that’s when you can delegate tasks to others.
Take time for yourself – Women are always thinking of everyone else except for themselves. They are the ones who keep the family on track with medical appointments, shuttling kids to school activities, grocery shopping and paying bills. Everyone else is first while women tend to put themselves last. It’s time to block off time on your schedule just for you. It could be going to the gym, taking a walk, or scheduling a routine exam you’ve been putting off.
Be appreciative of how others can help out – You may think only you can do all things right. But how did you become good at what you do today unless at some point in your life, someone allowed you to do that. For instance, instead of feeling obligated that only you can make your children’s beds the right way, let them make their own beds their way. So what if it isn’t perfect. How will they ever learn unless they are given the opportunity and chance of learning? And be sure to tell them how much you appreciate their help. Or if you send your husband to the store to get something but it’s not exactly what you wanted, show him love anyway for taking the time to do so.
When asked, “do you need some help” say yes – Invariably, there will be times when your family will notice you are stressed and could use help. When they ask, say yes. If they didn’t sincerely want to take a load off of your plate, they wouldn’t have asked. Gladly take up the offer and together get the tasks done working as a team.