Apparently we all are. Stressed that is. According to the American Psychological Association and the New York Times, “too much work, too little money and not enough opportunity for growth are stressing us out on the job.”
That would do it for me!
The research documents what we already know (actually, most research says what we already know but simply don’t have hard data to prove) – that everyone, everywhere, for all sorts of reasons are stressed.
There’s the normal stuff. Like bills. Those can be very stressful. ABC says medical bills are particularly stressful (this is a story? this is news!). There are reports that those facing retirement are stressing out. Specifically “American are stressed over retirement savings.” Guess why? They’ve got none! That certainly stresses me out. Some reporters are claiming that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is stressed out. Again, I don’t see this as particularly surprising.
The sad news is that stress today impacts primarily the young, particularly young women. This is important to me because all three of my children are young people and two of the three are women.
According to the American Psychological Association, if you’re under 30 you’re likely pretty stressed out. According to Arianna Huffington you Millenials are “leading the stress parade.” Not exactly a parade you want to be at the head of.
If you are a working woman below the age of 33 it gets worse. Young women are the most stressed out group in America. And why are women so bummed? According to the study it is due to low wages, long hours and lack of opportunities for advancement. I don’t know about you, but that would get me stressed. Sadly, the result could be more women smoking cigarettes. (Yet another study shows that while men smoke for enjoyment, women smoke to calm their nerves.)
Equality at home doesn’t seem to help. The latest Pew Survey of American lifestyle says that moms and dads are sharing more duties, have greater “equality” (whatever that is) but guess what, we’re both (mom and dad) more stressed!
There is hope. Scientists have developed a breathalyzer that will enable you to know when you are stressed. And they’ve figured out what you should eat if you’re stressed. It is a combination of fruits, low-fat cheese, almonds and asparagus. Everything but the asparagus can fit easily in a back pack. (For the asparagus you may have to make sure there’s a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s within walking distance.)
So to my children – particularly my girls – I know that we (baby boomers) have left you a pretty screwed up situation. Its not something we’re proud of.
But try not to stress about it. Be prudent. Be optimistic. Save your money. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Know that Mom and Dad love you. And God has a plan for you.
And whatever you do, don’t think that a cigarette will fix things.