In this #YesSheCan blog, we are exploring The Exhaustion Gap. We’ll be seeing what it means, where it came from, the impact of the gap and what we can do to overcome it.
What Is It?
The Exhaustion Gap was coined from an online UK and US wide 2022 study.
The Gap refers to the imbalance women see compared to men – both in their careers and in their personal lives. It highlights the aspects which both sexes do, but that women do more of – with detrimental effects.
This can be chores at home, administrative tasks or doing extra work outside of working hours. Women are more exhausted, burned out and feeling less driven. This gap has widened due to the pandemic with more women losing work or having to switch their careers – as well as balancing the responsibilities at home that they’ve always had.
The impact of The Exhaustion Gap can affect our mental health and physical wellbeing, as well as our interests, hobbies and career.
Women are more likely than their male counterpart to continue working at home – and it’s nothing to do with their career. Heterosexual couples are divided with 25% of women spending more than 10 hours a week doing unpaid work, such as chores, compared to 8% of men. On the other side, LGBT+ couples are more likely to split and equally do those unpaid tasks at home.
57% of women in the UK have felt more burned out and stressed in this first 3 months of 2022. This means we feel less passionate, productive, and more anxious about our careers!
51% of women never or rarely do an activity that inspires them – that’s a stat that speaks for itself! This, unfortunately, might not be surprising with the added pressure, burnout, and anxiety we are already feeling on top of trying to get through our careers.
"What Can I Do?"
1. First of all, recognise the signs and accept you’re feeling like this – and know it’s OK! This is the first step to combating that exhaustion gap you’re feeling. Which takes us to…
2. …Create the best mindset for you! This can mean sorting your thoughts and feelings and categorising them and making a plan to what you can do and what’s out of your control. Just know that you can get through this, no matter what.
3. Move away from the pressure. We know the exhaustion gap can refer to external pressure on us, but we all know most of the time it can be us that puts those expectations on ourselves. Take one task, one day or one week at a time and celebrate your achievements – big and small.
4. Stop overworking – which can be easier said than done at first. This means creating a balance between work and home – don’t take work into your personal life and vice versa. Keeping them separate eases that pressure and can help to keep those boundaries clear.
5. Assess your burn out, then take a break (if you can). If your burn out has took you to the point where you’re staring at your screen, notebook, or tasks and feeling frozen, it’s time to take a break. This can be more walks in your workday, more flexible or hybrid days or booking in some paid time off for you – and you only.
6. Have an honest conversation with your partner, and yourself. Set a limit to what you will and won’t do at home. Sit down with your partner and communicate how you are feeling and how you can create that change together. Then sit down with yourself and make it happen – with no compromises!
If you enjoyed this blog and want to learn more about establishing a routine, check out our blog on how stereotypical roles hold women back and how to prioritise your mental health.