The Health Consequences of Guilt and Emotional Labor


Women all over the world are the primary caretakers and emotional managers of families and societies. The emotional burden they take on has been found to contribute to mental stress and exhaustion, as well as worsening physical health. Women’s health is put in danger when they feel they aren’t fulfilling their role of caretakers the best way they can. Guilt and excessive emotional labor leads to strain-induced health outcomes, endangering their wellbeing. Women have been socialized to be homemakers and to take on the stress of those around them, and now it’s affecting their physical and mental health. Recognizing one’s efforts and one’s emotional labor is the first step to a healthier life. Reminding yourself that what you do is more than enough is important for your self-preservation and overall wellbeing.

For Further Reading:

A research study done by SexRoles has found that an unfair division of labor is associated with poorer health. You can read more about it here.

Discussion Question:

Have you ever assumed the role of caretaker because you felt obligated to do so because of your gender?

Action Item:

Take care of yourself and remind yourself that what you are doing is enough. Try to recognize when you are burdening yourself with unnecessary emotional labour, take a step back, and focus on your feelings first and foremost.


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