Rosario Torres says she doesn’t even have time to think. She is 52 years old. She has two adult daughters who still live with her with two dogs. Her husband works “literally 12 hours” a day. She wonders “how can anyone believe” that she has “one minute” to herself. A cleaner works two jobs and eats her meals on the way from one to the other. She points out that she actually has “four [jobs]: Two pay me plus the beds and the dogs.” Rosario doesn’t know what it feels like to take time for herself, “let alone slack.” What if she left some of her errands for the next day? “What I do every day I have to do every day because no one is going to do Someone else, and then I’ll just pile on the work until I can’t sleep.”
Torres, who immigrated to Spain from Ecuador more than a decade ago, is just one of the many women who barely know what free time is. These women live by the principle of not “postponing what you can do today for tomorrow.” The enjoyment of free time to do anything, or the luxury of temporarily leaving something unresolved, depends on multiple social, economic, cultural, and familial variables, such as where one lives and works and whether one has a partner or children. Regardless, women tend to have less free time because they often work and act as caregivers. In 2019, the ClosinGap study, Opportunity Cost of the Gender Gap in Leisure, estimated that women have 11.1 million hours less combined leisure time per day than men; Hispanic women average just 1 hour and 37 minutes a day. This gap is even greater in rural areas, where women spend two hours and seven minutes a day at home with their families than men.
Laura Sanier, an economist specializing in big data and market intelligence, has spent nearly two years analyzing what Spanish women think, feel, and what their lives look like (Las Mujeres Hue) [Women Today], Deusto, 2018). She says a woman’s “free” time depends on her living conditions, and what she calls the multiple “fronts” of children, partners and work.
Sagnier found that a woman’s free time breaks down as follows: If a woman is not active on any of the ‘fronts, she has 4 hours 18 minutes. If they only live with a partner, 5 hours 6 minutes. If they only have children, 4 hours’ and 18 minutes If they only have a paid job, 3 hours and 36 minutes If they have a partner and children, 3 hours 18 minutes If they have a partner and a paid job, 3 hours and 24 minutes If they have a paid job And kids, 2.5 hours. And if they have all three, it’s one hour and 54 minutes.” Women withdraw two periods of paid and unpaid (domestic) work. They experience the so-called mental load. Refers to the mental effort required by the daily organizational responsibilities of women at work and at home. They also impose on themselves additional demands, especially in their jobs; These additional expectations are based on gender stereotypes and the gender gap. This means that they work harder to reach the same goals and demonstrate the same skills as men; Sometimes, women also try to avoid overburdening their colleagues with work that they can do themselves.
The way society is organized means that the time women have for themselves – if they ever have – tends to be more than the time spent serving others. This contributes to the fact that women experience more stress, anxiety, depression and emotional problems than men. As women age, the amount of medication they take increases compared to men. According to the 2017 National Health Survey (the most recent), 34.1% of women over 65 have taken sedatives in the past two weeks, compared to 15.4% of men. Some authors suggest that greater functional instability plays a role. Others point out that women are more willing to talk about their symptoms and seek medical attention than men,” Maria Isabel Santos Pérez, author of a study on the topic, explained to EL PAÍS.
Kim Limonero, professor of psychology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, notes that women tend to be more responsible and follow the rules, based on the influence of a culture that has traditionally assigned them more caring tasks and duties than men. When you care about others, it leads to [women] To give up activities that they find rewarding can lead to mental illness, which tends to occur more often. [among women than] Among men, although it varies in different societies.
Rosario is always “tired” and has taken a prescription benzodiazepine for seven years. Amelia, who is trying to make her way into the legal profession and prefers not to use her last name for “professional reasons,” has been taking medication for three years, since she turned 31. The problems started two months after she joined the law firm where she currently works: “I couldn’t sleep and felt like I was dizzy all day.” She goes on to remember the pressure you feel: “In my world, if you’re young—and even more so if you’re a woman, obviously—you have to stick to the program or they’ll eat you alive. I work crazy hours and I’m always available.” Sure, she has no children or other responsibilities, but she also has no free time: “I almost can’t say, well, I’m going to the movies or to dinner …” Work, more work, little or no free time, stress, Anxiety, medications: the mere fact of being a woman is considered a risk factor for mental health problems. Several studies indicate that a woman’s chance of developing psychological problems is about 20%, twice as likely as a man. There are biological and social reasons for this. As with many health issues, the interaction between the two determines whether or not certain disorders appear.
Experts agreed that biological factors – driven by hormones – play an important role. As noted by Marina Diaz-Marsa, president of the Madrid Psychiatric Association and director of psychiatry at the San Carlos Hospital Clinic, changes related to estrogen and the reproductive cycle occur in adolescence, postpartum, menopause and menopause.
But social factors are exacerbated by social factors: “Between the ages of 45 and 55, women face great burdens in their lives, including greater demands at work as well as many physical and psychological changes. That is why the problem is at its worst during this period, and may suffer Women are more depressed.” A 2019 Gaceta Sanitaria [Health Gazette] The study concluded that gender, social class, family roles, work inside and outside the home, and family environment can lead to mental health inequalities. The role of the caregiver often contributes to such problems. “When a woman has anxiety, prolonged restlessness, irritability, or guilt about going to work instead of looking after her children, she usually does not think she has an illness. She usually goes to a psychiatrist or doctor later, and waits until it is The solution is more difficult.There is a tendency to ignore the fact that these are mental health problems, that they are treatable diseases, Ana Gonzalez-Pinto, president of the Spanish Foundation for Psychiatry and Mental Health, said in an interview with El Médico Interactivo. [The Interactive Physician].
The ability to deal with everything that drains time and health
However, women are more resilient when faced with such issues, says Javier Oliveira Puyo, a psychiatrist who oversees the geriatrics and psychosomatic medicine program in San Huesca.
George University Hospital. For example, while women have more mental health problems, they commit suicide far less than men. This flexibility also manifests itself in the workplace, which is not always a good thing. Sometimes the situation of what can be done causes a woman to overburden herself with work. This burden has been corrupted by gender stereotypes, but it is harmful in the short and long term. In a 2021 study conducted at Ohio State University’s Fisher School of Business, in conjunction with Harvard Business School, Grant Donnelly—one of the article’s co-authors—experimented with his class. He assigned a paper worth 20% of the final grade to 103 undergraduate students in a business administration course. They were given a week to submit the essay, but were told they could officially request a one-week extension via email. 36 percent of them ordered one; Only 15% of them are women.
Then, another teacher – who did not know who wrote the papers or requested an extension – graded the essays. The students who requested the extension did better. “[Women’s] Concern about overburdening their team and their manager with extra work was more predictive of their unease about asking for more time. The burden and perceived emotions such as shame and guilt explain why women are so uncomfortable asking for an extension,” Donnelly explains via email.
In this case, the research shows that “women should ask for more time” when they need it. However, they generally do not do so “because they worry that they will be seen as incompetent or unable to perform their work effectively; this concern is exaggerated. Requiring additional time reduces burnout and allows women to produce higher quality work.” The investigation consisted of nine studies with more than 5,000 participants, both working adults and college students. It found that “feeling that there is too much time to do and not enough time to do is a social epidemic that threatens the productivity, physical health, and emotional well-being” of everyone. However, both this research and “previous research show that women experience relatively greater time pressures than men.”
Women’s sympathy for “increased burnout and stress in the workplace” is partly to blame. They are more “relationship-oriented” and “more concerned about being a burden to others, and being good teammates; they tend to be more sensitive than men to the needs of others.” [Women] They sacrifice their needs to satisfy the needs of others, whether voluntarily or in response to social pressure.” These are “very good characteristics to have a mate, but they undermine [women’s] luxury and performance. “
Attorney Amelia realizes she has to “try to ‘make more time’ for my family and friends. I have almost no social life until I go on vacation.” Rosario, however, just wants to take some time for herself. She likes to “be lazy from time to time…Everyone can take care of themselves…I can take care of myself and even say, ‘I’ll do this tomorrow.'” “
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