¡Buenas tardes! (Good afternoon!) TRIS readers! 🙂
I apologize for the delay between the previous post and today’s – it’s honestly been pretty hectic around here lately. To give you an idea, last week for me included: house hunting, attending a few job interviews, and making a speedy trip to Madrid. Soon I’ll write a post updating you all about the changes that will take place for Diego and I next month! 🙂
The inspiration for this blog post came to me while cruising around on the Metro (that’s underground public transportation system of Madrid) on Friday. It was there that I overlooked someone reading a newspaper with a front page byline proclaiming:
(Spanish women are the most stressed of Europe)
The title caught my attention so I figured I would read the article and report to you all at home what, according to this newspaper, causes Spanish women to endure so much stress in comparison to their European peers.
According to the article, 66% of the Spanish women who responded to a Nielsen study admitted to feeling stressed because they “lack time to relax and spend time doing things for themselves”. Other European countries aren’t too far behind the Spanish – the article states that 65% of the French women and 64% of the Italian women questioned in the same survey reported to feeling under pressure for the same reason: the lack of time through out the day to dedicate to their own well being.
The article goes on to say that Spanish women are under so much stress because of their new “fore frontal” role in the work place. Within the past 30 years, the women of Spain have come to work just as many hours away from the home as men. It also appears that, due to a growing equality between the two sexes in the work place, women in Spain are now expected to assume the same responsibilities as their male co-workers.
The article states that according to a different survey 80% of the Spanish people interviewed believe that: los hombres y las mujeres están igual de capacitados para trabajar, cuidar a los niños, tener más educación, más salario, involucrarse en política y tomar decisiones de compra o ser jefa de una empresa. (Men and women are equality capable in respect to: their professional work, taking care of children, their pursuit of higher education, obtaining a high salary, getting involved in politics, making household purchases, and being a boss of a company)
Therefore, it appears that Spanish women are under stress because of their need to juggle both personal and professional responsibilities and, at the same time, attempt to participate in sectors of society (such as upper management and politics) that were traditionally dominated by men.
It seems that European and American women have much in common in respect to what our societies now expect from us. Gone are the days of labeling women as strictly mothers and domestic workers – we are now excepted to do all that as well as maintain a thriving professional life. Furthermore, because there exists only so many hours in a day, it’s difficult to find the time to accomplish all of one’s professional and family duties and also relax and pursue one’s own needs/interests. Based on all that, who can blame Spanish women for reporting to feeling stressed?
Back again to the article, in the end I found its information a little underwhelming. What I was lead to believe from its title was that it would provide insight into why Spanish women are so stressed when compared to other European women. I was left wondering: What about Spanish life/culture specifically contributes to their high stress level?
Never fear folks! As always, The Ray is here to try to tackle those difficult questions based on her own personal observations 🙂
To be fair, I can’t take all the credit because it was actually Diego who came up with this idea as to why Spanish women have high stress levels.
He pointed out to me that it probably has something to do with the typical Spanish work time table…. As it turns out, here in Spain it is not uncommon to have one’s work day divided up into two shifts. Many people work from 8 or 9 until 1 or 2 in the afternoon – take a 2 or 3 hour break for lunch – then return to the office and finish up around 8 or 9 pm. Imagine that schedule combined with a commute to work and you could potentially be out of the house from 7 in the morning until 10 at night… pretty crazy right?
Based on these facts, it’s likely that if a Spanish woman has children and also a job that requires her to work in the morning and in the afternoon then she is scrambling at the end of the day to find time for herself.
What do you think about this type of work schedule (working two 3-4 hour shifts with a long break in between)?
Also, even though men and women are viewed by the majority as being equally responsible at home and at the work place – Are domestic chores always shared 50/50 by a couple? Do women, in the end, end up having to work just as many hours at men at their jobs and then more hours than men doing things like cleaning at home and taking care of children?
Those are some tough questions for today! It would be interesting to find a study about the stress levels of American women – I wonder if the same percentage of us report to being stressed out by the lack of time to dedicate to ourselves??
I want to end this post about stress with a link to a blog about Zen Habits – if you are feeling a little “strung out” yourself, I would recommend checking this blog out! (I personally read it ever week!) 😉