Understanding and managing mental load

Sep 2023

Mental Load refers to the often-invisible responsibilities of managing a household along with maintaining a job, social responsibilities and looking after others while also trying to look after yourself. These pressures are compounded for women, who often take carry most of the household burden which can lead to heightened stress levels, anxiety, and burnout, even when shared with a partner.1

Some examples of mental load take the form of the below:

  • keeping track of parenting-related daily details, including after-school plans, permission slips, library book due dates, or paediatrician appointments
  • checking in on kids’ physical and emotional needs
  • making to-do lists, grocery lists, or chore charts
  • purchasing and wrapping gifts for friends and loved ones
  • scheduling date nights, holidays, and visits to family or friends

As with many mental health challenges, the unseen nature of the mental load means its impact might not be recognised until health issues arise. Prolonged stress due to the mental load can result in various health problems, including anxiety, depression, digestive issues, headaches, muscle tension, heart-related concerns, sleep disturbances, weight gain, and difficulties with focus.2

Yet, the most impactful change comes from open conversations—both at home, with friends and in the workplace. When discussed openly, the mental load can be understood and treated collaboratively, potentially transforming how we collectively manage its challenges. This may look like delegation, asking for help, creating a roster with a partner or friend group and most importantly, seeking professional help.

MetLife 360Health

For those seeking support, MetLife offers eligible policy holders and their partner and children over the age of 18, access to 360Health Mental Health Assist at no additional cost. Through the service you have access to an evaluation of your mental health by a team of experts in Australia, followed by up to two check-ins with a mental health nurse. 

Explore these Resources

Remember, reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not defeat.


  1. Beyond Blue Statistics
  2. Psychology Today - Mental Load
  3. Mayo Clinic - Stress and Health

The information provided in this blog (the Content) is general information only and is not health or medical advice. If you have a health or medical concern, please seek professional medical advice immediately. 360Health services are provided by a third party, Teladoc Health Pty Limited which is a separate and independent entity to MetLife Insurance Limited (ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL No. 238096) (MetLife). While the Content is based on resources that MetLife believes to be well-documented, MetLife is not responsible for the accuracy of the Content, and you rely on the Content at your own risk. Each person’s condition and health circumstances are unique, and therefore the Content may not apply to you. The Content is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your licensed health care professional for the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and before starting or changing your health regimen, including seeking advice regarding what drugs, diet, exercise routines, physical activities or procedures are appropriate for your particular condition and circumstances.

360Health services are not provided by way of insurance (including health insurance) and the provision of these services is not dependent on the occurrence of an insured event under the policy. Access to these services will be at MetLife’s absolute discretion and MetLife reserves the right to reasonably discontinue or change the services at any time. By accessing this website you agree to comply with MetLife's Legal Notices.

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