The stress and pressure of modern life can be overwhelming.
Whether at work or at home, we often face mental overload that can lead to loss of concentration, reduced productivity and mental and physical fatigue.
It can also affect our emotional and mental health. This is where the notion of "mental load" comes into play.
What is Mental Load?
Mental load is the mental weight we carry on our minds due to unfinished tasks, responsibilities, concerns, and decisions we have to make.
It can include our household chores, bills to pay, work chores, taking care of children or certain family members, deadlines, ongoing projects and much more.
These tasks may seem insignificant when you look at them individually, but when they accumulate, let's face it, they are overwhelming.
Ultimately, all of this can lead to mental overload, which can affect not only our well-being, but also our ability to function normally.
How does mental workload affect your life?
Mental workload can have negative effects on your life, such as:
Mental and physical fatigue
Obviously, if you have a high mental load, it can tire you mentally and physically in a much more extreme way than normal.
It goes without saying that you will feel exhausted and you may find it difficult to concentrate. And that's just one problem among a multitude of issues that fatigue can cause.
2. Stress and anxiety
You guessed it, your mental load may be one of the sources of your stress and anxiety, which can make you more vulnerable to developing other mental health problems. Take care of yourself!
3. Decreased productivity
If you have a high mental load, it can affect your ability to accomplish important tasks, and therefore, you will be less productive.
4. Sleep problems
Your mental workload can also affect your sleep. Duh.
It's happened to all of us. Having a full head and not being able to fall asleep for hours or even waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.
You know like us that it's bad for your health. Your sleep should be your #1 priority.
Physical health issues
Finally, your mental load can have a negative impact on your physical health. You could suffer from headaches, muscle aches, gastrointestinal issues and so many more…
In short, we agree that the mental load only brings negatives.
Mental load and women
Unfortunately, women are often more affected by mental load than men.
This is partly due to the traditional gender roles assigned to us, such as taking care of the house and the children.
Women are still seen as being responsible for these tasks, even if, like men, we work outside the home. It's double the work...how did we end up in this position??
As a result, women often have a higher mental load than men, because they have to juggle multiple responsibilities at once.
Women are therefore tired, stressed and their productivity suffers.
In addition, women are often confronted with gender stereotypes which aggravate their mental load.
For example, we are considered less competent than men, which can motivate us to work harder to “prove our worth”.
We are also faced with far too high expectations in all spheres of our lives. Whether as a mother, partner, employee or in other areas of our lives, we have to be perfect.
These expectations are stressful and demanding, and contribute to increasing our mental load. In addition to excessive expectations, we must also add prejudice, discrimination and many others that contribute to exploding the pressure on our shoulders.
Ultimately, we need to take care of our mental and physical health and make reducing our mental load a priority.
How to reduce your mental load?
The good news is that there are ways to reduce your mental load. Here are our tips to help you:
plan your day
Plan your day in advance. It will help you feel more organized and therefore reduce the pressure.
The best way is to use a diary to manage your time and plan your schedule.
2. Prioritize your tasks
Prioritize your tasks according to their importance.
It's known, but it will help you focus on the ones that will really make a difference and let go of the ones that cause you too much pressure.
They are not important anyway. You will do them later.
3. Learn to say no
Learn to say no to requests that aren't important or don't match your priorities.
You don't have to say yes to everyone. If you're too tired, that's okay! My your needs first.
Delegating tasks, asking for help, and setting boundaries for yourself is super important.
If it is accessible to you, try to seek support from those around you to manage your mental load. Working as a team is the key to creating a healthy environment for you and reducing your stress.
In conclusion, mental workload is a daily reality for many people, and can have a significant impact on our mental and physical health.
It can result in mental fatigue, stress, anxiety, reduced productivity and a decrease in our overall quality of life.
It is therefore essential to take the mental load seriously and to take concrete measures to reduce it.
You can use simple strategies like delegating your tasks, planning your menus, taking regular breaks and setting clear boundaries.