Do you suffer from Rushing Woman Syndrome?

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Anna Brech
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Many of us spend our days in a chaotic blur, catapulting from one frantic absolutely-must-be-done-right-now task to the next.

We are born masters of multi-tasking; running for the bus while Whatsapping plans for tonight’s dinner, covertly scrolling emails while hosting a Skype session and calling our mum on a dashed lunch run to Pret.

And now an author has coined a term for this perennial state of fraught tension: Rushing Woman Syndrome.

Australian nutritional biochemist Dr Libby Weaver believes the frenetic nature of our lives means women, in particular, operate “in a permanent state of stress”, and has devoted a book to the topic that’s now available in the UK.

Women, she argues, are suffering from a modern malaise of constantly being on the go, made worse by the 24/7 demands of technology. We’re overloaded to the point where “our hormones are in turmoil”.

“I have witnessed the impact that a constant state of rushing has on women’s health and analysed the biochemical effects of always being in a hurry,” Dr. Weaver writes in the Mail.

“You might not think you’re particularly harried, but your liver, gall bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, thyroid, ovaries, uterus, brain and digestive system certainly do.”

So, what are the symptoms of Rushing Woman Syndrome?

This is Dr. Weaver’s formula for self-diagnosis:

You know you’ve got RWS if your instinctive answer to ‘how are you?’ is ‘busy’ or ‘stressed’; if you rarely get enough sleep, make poor food choices, rely on coffee to rev you up in the morning and wine to calm you down at night.

You drive too fast and, afraid to let anyone down, will do everything possible to avoid saying ‘no’, squeezing every last drop out of your day, even if it means answering emails in the early hours of the morning.

Behaviour like this, says Dr. Weaver, typically leads to a “chemical cascade” of the stress hormone cortisol.

This hits particularly hard during menopause, but is damaging no matter what stage of life you’re in.

If this is all sounding just a bit too familiar to you, fear not.

Dr. Weaver has a handful of strategies up her sleeve to ease the impact of Rushing Woman Syndrome.

These are pretty common-sense and include:

  • Doing regular gentle exercise such as yoga
  • Cutting back drinking to two nights a week
  • Committing to at least one extra healthy meal a week
  • Try drinking Withania tea if you’re particularly prone to worrying, or Siberian Ginseng tea if you’re merely exhausted
  • Spend a little time by yourself every day and simply “be”

On this last point, Dr. Weaver says, “Your psyche cannot push on for too long without some quality downtime. A little bit of alone time has been shown to decrease stress hormones, improve memory, mood and empathy, and it allows your body to recharge.”

Rushed Woman Syndrome, clear a path: we’re coming right atcha...

Images: Rex, iStock


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.