Do You Suffer From SWS?

February 11, 2022


Lindsey Peterson, FNP

What is SWS, you ask?⠀

Superwoman Syndrome or SWS is becoming more common and often the norm for women. Women wear multiple hats and are gifted with the ability to do so. Often we are working full-time, running a business, supporting our spouse, raising children, caring for our parents, volunteering, etc. The tricky part in all of this is that time for “me” gets lost. ⠀

It becomes expected or sometimes you feel obligated to give all of yourself to others but lose “you” in the process. Many women have told me they don’t know what to do with free time, feel anxious about not having a to-do list, or feel guilty if they take some time for themselves. ⠀

I grew up with parents who were workaholics. My mom never stopped and still doesn’t today in her 70’s. I thought that was normal and spent most of my adult life trying to live up to that standard. While some of us maybe can manage long hour days, I struggled with chronic insomnia, fatigue, stress, irritability, and ultimately burnout. It almost cost me my career and took a toll on my personal life. ⠀

It has not been easy giving myself permission to put “me” first. I initially felt guilt and shame and thought I was always letting someone down. What I have learned is how much better and more present I can be to my children, patients, friends, spouse, and most importantly to myself when I feel rested and have more energy.⠀

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you may be struggling with SWS:⠀
☝️When was the last time I expressed myself creatively?⠀
☝️How long is my to-do list? How do I feel if I don’t get through it?⠀
☝️Do I give myself any downtime, especially before bed?⠀
☝️Do I ever just have fun?⠀
☝️Do I feel tired, stressed, overwhelmed?⠀
☝️Do I get easily irritated?⠀
☝️How is my sleep? Can I fall asleep easily and stay asleep or do I wake up during the night thinking about the day?⠀
☝️Is there anything I look forward to or am I just trying to survive the day?⠀

If you think you may be struggling with SWS, we are here to help. Book your 20-minute complimentary phone call to get started on your wellness journey today! We can help you put you first. ⠀

~  Dr. Heather Maddox, MD