The Age Women Hit Peak Stress Levels Is No Surprise At All

stress peakIf you're in your mid-30s and feel like you've never been more stressed in your entire life, you’re probably right.

The combination of juggling kids, a relationship, and a career while trying to stay on top of expenses and manage a household is causing stress levels in some women to hit their absolute peak smack in the middle of their fourth decade. According to a new study of 2,000 British women, 34 is the age at which they felt the most harried, whereas just nine years prior, at age 25, women felt the most carefree

Well, as my 9-year-old likes to say, "Duh." Sure, at 25 you may have "stress," as in, "Oh no! My roommate ate all my yogurt and used all my laundry detergent!" or "What should I wear to happy hour this week?"

But, let's be honest, that can't hold a candle to the stressors that come with being a mom. 

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Many women are wearing several different hats throughout the course of a single day, from breadwinner and head chef to laundress and chief negotiator, ruling on everything from budget cuts to bedtimes. 

While the concept of establishing the elusive-but-much-talked-about work-life balance sounds amazing in theory, it can be extremely challenging to put into practice. 

In her blog, productivity pro Laura Stack writes, "We all know that it’s a good idea to maintain a reasonable work/life balance, but the blunt truth is that under some circumstances, it’s just not possible. Something has to give, and in an economy like this one, it’s usually the rest of your life."

Amen! But how do we go about making our lives a little less-stressed? Moderation is key, says Stack.

"Too much work can keep you away from what really matters to you," she writes. "It can also cause both physical and mental stress, which can have devastating health effects. If you do work overtime, know when you’ve reached your limit, and be willing to cut back as necessary so you don’t work yourself to death ... literally." 

Do you feel like things got a lot more hectic in your 30s? What's the number one stressor in your life? 


Image @Sharie Kennedy/LWA/Corbis

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