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Women and Burnout

Women continuing to face alarmingly high levels of burnout 

The state of burnout for women in the workplace 

Why women are more burned out than men

Women are suffering from an exhaustion gap 

Women do more to fight burnout - and it’s burning them 

These are just a handful of headlines you’ll find when you do a Google search for “Burnout and women.” Women are tired, but it’s more than that - women have been deceived. 

What happens when our systems are built around a lie? The 40-hour work week was designed with the underlying assumption that men would be working and women would be staying at home caring for the children and household. The women’s movement fundamentally changed how we view women and the workforce. Women were allowed out of the kitchen and we didn’t go back. But, there have been costs. 

What is burnout? 

Burnout is a response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stress. Employees suffering from burnout typically have “an overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment,” according to researchers

Based on this definition, it’s understandable why women are burning out at a greater rate than men. Women typically take on more of the caregiving responsibilities at home while earning less than their male counterparts. In addition, women face harsh judgment about their choices. The fact is women can have it all, but at the expense of our health and wellbeing of our families. 

Interestingly, the pandemic has been the catalyst for women waking up to the deception we’ve been living. Remote work gave women the flexibility we’ve desperately needed to manage work and family. Now that women have had a taste for what it’s like to be able to earn an income for their families while working from home, the bar has been raised for what’s acceptable for working mothers. 

How do you know if you're burned out? 

Burnout is not an official mental health diagnosis in the United States. However, burnout is recognized as a syndrome in some European countries. According to their criteria it is characterized by three dimensions: 

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy.

For those of us in the States, the long-term solutions to burnout among women extend outside of the therapy room and into the laps of our policy makers. However, if you are feeling burned out, there are things you can do today to begin to recover. 

Why seek therapy for burnout? 

Burnout can take a serious toll on a woman’s emotional, physical, and mental health. The effects can be mild to extreme, and in many cases, feeling burned out has been normalized to some extend in our country. For neurodivergent women, this is just another place we feel shame as we fail to live up to the standards of a capitalist society. 

Working with a therapist to recover from burnout is a step toward taking your power back as you challenge beliefs that no longer serve you. 

Reach out to me today if you're ready to begin therapy with someone who understands what it means to give until you have nothing left.