News & Insights

Women at Risk for Burnout, 10 Tips to Stay Healthy

It’s National Women’s History Month.

In 2024, President Joe Biden officially declared the month of March as National Women’s History Month. At OhioGuidestone we are proud to employ almost 1,000 women, and as a behavioral health provider, we strive to perform the most up-to-date psychiatric services for our female population. In 2023 alone, Our Psychiatry providers served over 3,000 female patients ages 6 and older. Nearly 500 of these patients are suffering from a substance use disorder and 2,400 are suffering from a mental health diagnosis. 

Self-Care to Avoid Burnout.

As everyone’s lives continue to be busier and more stressful, it is vital for all women to prioritize self-care habits. Jerilyn Neeper, Certified Nurse Practitioner, states:

“As women, we put a lot on our plate. Career, family, taking care of kids, siblings or parents, maintaining the household, managing finances, and more. It’s important for overall mental health and wellness to take care of ourselves, even if it is as simple as setting aside15 minutes a day for self-care.” 

10 Steps to Improve Mental Health and Overall Wellness:   

  1. Sleep. Experts recommend adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. In addition to waking up fresh and ready to attack your day, those who get proper rest are less susceptible to a wide range of health disorders. 
  2. Exercise. You do not need to run a marathon. Exercise can be as simple as stretching or walking. You can start with 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week as a goal.  
  3. Unwind at the end of the day. Listening to music in your car during your evening commute, before you begin your evening routine. Allowing 1 hour of “self-care” time before going to bed. This is not meant to be spent cleaning or folding laundry, however relaxing, watching TV, or reading a book are all great ways to unwind.  
  4. Meditation. There are numerous studies that show the impact of meditation on one’s happiness. And now meditation is easier than ever – just try an app like Ten Percent Happier and you can experience an entire guided meditation session in as little as five minutes. 
  5. Form a group of women to meet with regularly for support. The more diverse the group of women, the more you will come to learn about yourself. 
  6. Limit social media influence. Studies show that social media has a direct and negative impact on your happiness and mental health. Your time is precious, so stay focused on the moment. Limit screen time when you’re with loved ones or before bed, where the white light will prevent you from falling asleep. 
  7. Set healthy boundaries. You are not a superhero! It’s alright to say “no” to things when saying “yes” would create too much undue stress. Busy with work and can’t volunteer for the school bake sale? Politely decline. Saying “no” is not a reflection on your abilities as a wife, mother, or person. So often as women we “overload our plates”, which can lead to burnout.  
  8. Increase water intake. Soda and Starbucks are fine as a treat, but water consumption is proven to prevent headaches, relieve constipation, and aid in weight loss. A good rule of thumb is drinking half of your total body weight in ounces per day. 
  9. Maintain a healthy diet. There are numerous benefits of eating healthy. A healthy diet supports muscles, boosts immunity, strengthens bones and can lower risks for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. Overall, a healthy diet may even help you live longer.  
  10. Affirmations. It may sound foolish, but sometimes finding success is as easy as talking yourself into believing that you can be successful. Daily affirmations, done first thing each morning, can help you focus on your goals and develop the self-confidence you need to thrive. 


Who’s at Risk for Burnout?

Between work and home-life responsibilities, women are at a high-risk for burnout. Burnout can be a result of stress from a person’s job, which ultimately leads to feeling worn out physically and emotionally in all areas of your life. In America, a full-time employee will work just under 2,000 hours a year – which is higher than in most other developed countries. A recent Gallup survey showed that approximately 41% of employees work more than 45 hours per week.  

Common signs of burnout:  

  • Exhaustion                                                                                                                               
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches 
  • Insomnia 
  • Depression 
  • Illness 
  • Cynicism 
  • Anxiety 
  • Inconsistent Appetite 
  • Difficulty Concentrating 

If you think you are suffering from burnout, simple things like getting enough sleep, taking a break, and practicing mindfulness can help improve symptoms. If symptoms continue, you can seek professional help at OhioGuidestone. You are worth it!  

*Jerilyn Neeper is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner for OhioGuidestone, specializing in the treatment of substance use disorders.