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Why so many women are experiencing burnout

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A pair of mental health experts in Manitoba are warning that women are putting unrealistic expectations on themselves, leading to burnout and emotional fatigue.

Counsellor Jenn Sherb Jenkins, a co-founder of the Wellness Clinic in Brandon, said women are coming to the clinic with mental exhaustion and a decreased sense of achievement.

She added that women are also experiencing disassociation, which is when they’re doing their daily tasks, but they’re detached from the activities.

“As a result, we’re often lost in our thoughts and thinking about how we just get through the day rather than actually being present and participating,” she said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Monday.

Dr. Alise Gaiser-Edwards, the other co-founder of the Wellness Clinic, said that women often put extra expectations on themselves and expect more from themselves than they do other people.

She said these ideals are then reinforced by society.

“As a working mom we should work like we don’t have any children and parent like we don’t have a job,” she said.

“This is kind of the societal standard that we have set for us.”

Due to these societal standards, Sherb Jenkins said they are seeing an increase in anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances in women.

However, there are ways to avoid these types of issues, including being realistic about what you can expect from yourself and listening to your body.

“We often think of burnout as more of a mental presentation and the idea of just being so completely exhausted that we just aren’t concentrating or able to make decisions, but it’s actually a whole body experience,” explained Sherb Jenkins.

Some ways that people can avoid burnout are taking care of their nutrition, physical health and sleep. It’s also helpful to learn to manage your thought patterns and emotional regulation.

“Our holistic approach to patient wellness is that we need to get a patient seen in regards to all aspects of their health, so meet their basic human needs, like sleep, eating,” Gaiser-Edwards said.

- With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagace. 

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