Published On: Wed, Jul 8th, 2020

Women spend a month every year worrying about these 40 things


Worried woman

Almost two thirds of women have periods where they feel worried with what’s going on in the world (Image: 10’000 Hours/Getty Images)

In comparison, men spend just an hour-and-a-half worrying each day, with almost one in 10 admitting none of that time is spent thinking of others. Almost two thirds (64 percent) of women have periods where they feel constantly worried, with what’s going on in the world at the moment – including the pandemic, protests and fears about the economy – the biggest concern. But the health of loved ones, their family’s safety and needing to care for older parents is also causing them to feel stressed.

It also emerged women are around twice as likely to worry about their children’s or grandchildren’s diets, health, education and future than men are.

Worryingly, 57 percent of those polled, by supplement brand Healthspan, admitted this leads to them neglecting their own health over fears about how it would affect their family.

And a staggering 72 percent of women have dismissed worrying health symptoms, simply putting them down to stress or tiredness instead.

Chartered psychologist Dr Meg Arroll, on behalf of Healthspan, said: “Because women’s stress response is all about the ‘tend-and-befriend’, rather than the classic fight-or-flight, women will quite naturally worry about their loved ones.

“Women’s role in our species’ survival is to take care of others, so when there’s constant disturbing news headlines, competing caring responsibilities or concerns over putting food on the table, it’s not surprising that stress levels skyrocket.

“Managing all these competing demands often results in high levels of stress which exhibits itself in behaviours such as comfort eating, poor sleep and anxiety.

“This is why self-care is so very important – remember the old adage “put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.

Young woman

47 percent of women feel constantly overwhelmed [STOCK PHOTO] (Image: Thomas Tolstrup/Getty Images)

“This can be achieved by managing stress through techniques such as relaxation exercises and spending time in nature, eating well and adhering to a regular sleep routine.

“There’s growing evidence that products which include CBD (cannabidiol) oil may help to tackle anxiety-related disorders, which impact our ability to fall and stay asleep.

“In addition, self-care treats like bath salts which include magnesium can boost levels of this depleted mineral during stressful times, plus various non habit-forming sleep aids such as Valerian and 5HTP should be considered when dealing with poor sleep.”

The study also found 47 percent of women feel constantly overwhelmed, with almost a third turning to comfort eating to cope with their worries.

But with 37 percent of women worried about putting on weight, compared to only 18 percent of men, this leads to a vicious cycle of feeling stressed, comfort eating and then being anxious about that weight gain.

One in four women have even suffered a panic attack as a result of the stress they are under and 13 percent have experienced chest pains.

Almost 14 percent of women polled, via OnePoll, feel they have developed a health complaint as a result of increased stress levels, while another 19 percent think it has made an existing issue worse.

Not getting enough sleep was also a concern for two-fifths of women.

Dr Sarah Brewer, Healthspan medical director, said: “We know from research that stress depletes the body of vital nutrients used up during stress responses, including vitamin D.

“Between 30-40 percent of the UK population have been shown to be deficient in Vitamin D and, as well as reducing immunity, this may also have an adverse effect on sleep.

“Analysis of nine studies, involving 9,397 people, found that those with vitamin D deficiency had a 50 percent increased risk of sleep disorders, with poor sleep quality, short sleep duration and sleepiness.

“Sleep is a key copying strategy and without enough sleep people may experience low mood, lethargy, less resilience and more stress.

“When people with low levels of vitamin D in their blood were given vitamin D supplements, they fell asleep more quickly, slept for longer, and experienced less chronic pain, for example.

“Other vitamins and minerals which are believed to be important for sleep are B group vitamins, magnesium and calcium.

“Diet should always come first but it may be worth considering a supplement and Public Health England recommends everyone takes a vitamin D supplement – advice is to take Vitamin D3, such as the Healthspan Vitamin D3 10ug, once a day during the summer months.”

Top 40 things women worry about

1. What’s going on in the world at the moment

2. Not getting enough sleep

3. Financial worries

4. Putting on weight

5. A relative or friend’s bad health

6. Getting older

7. Family safety

8. Your appearance

9. Being late or running out of time to do something

10. Work

11. Whether what you’re doing is good enough

12. Remembering everything you need to do

13. Your lack of motivation

14. Your own bad health

15. Growing old alone

16. Getting through a to-do list

17. Parents ageing and needing care

18. Children/grandchildren staying healthy

19. Children’s/grandchildren’s future

20. Whether or not people like you

21. Your job security

22. Wondering whether you exercise enough

23. The environment

24. Dental problems

25. A heavy workload

26. Job prospects

27. Being in debt

28. Troubles/ arguments with a partner

29. Wondering whether you eat healthily enough

30. Your relationship

31. Your friendships

32. Having to learn new skills that are out of your comfort zone

33. Wondering if your children/ grandchildren are eating the right foods and doing enough exercise

34. Children/grandchildren getting a good education

35. Computer problems

36. A bill landing on your doormat

37. Your partner’s job security

38. Moving house

39. Your pension plan

40. Having no WiFi/phone signal



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