While it is unclear whether women are more emotionally expressive than men, women are universally perceived by society as emotional beings. Like most myths and generalisations about women, this view too is harmful – it might downplay the actual struggle that women go through.
Remember the image of the Goddess juggling many weapons in her many hands, all while maintaining a serene smile on her face? While it is a popular trope in advertising, it is far from the reality women face in their lives. It is well-known that the burden of domestic work is often borne by women, even if they’re working. As we move to the end of a year of staying indoors, we observe that WFH hasn’t exactly been a boon for women.
Reportedly, the difficult balancing act of tending to household chores and the responsibilities of jobs is leaving women drained. Studies have shown that women also find it harder to defy social expectations and constraints and feel a more significant pressure to adhere to stereotypes and gender roles. This means that they are more likely to prioritise the needs of others over their own – and over time, this can develop into bitterness and resentment.
While both men and women have lost their jobs this year due to the lockdown, women are facing some stark consequences of losing financial freedom – dependence on abusive partners, helplessness, and a greater risk of physical danger or psychological damage. This is affecting women from all walks of life.
Becoming a mother is an event that is accompanied by tectonic changes in a woman’s life. For most new mothers, this also means a great deal of adaptation in a short time. New mothers often go through postpartum depression (PPD) and are at a high risk of developing mental issues. Mental health issues faced by women are often brushed off as just stress from having a new baby, and nothing more, and post-delivery problems thus merit a close consideration.
This group of women has been badly hit by unemployment and salary cuts this year. Young women in cities have reported rising loneliness and anxiety, whereas those living with families have witnessed more strain juggling work, household chores, and kids’ online lessons, all while living under a lockdown.
Stay at home women or mothers are often mistaken to be relaxed and less stressed. However, this is more often than not a gross misrepresentation of all the roles home-makers have to play – from being a caretaker to a gardener, on and on the list goes. Somewhere in this chaos, it is easy to lose the self and become mentally and emotionally drained.
No matter how hard we try to reach our goals, unfortunately, one can’t pour from an empty cup. It is important to make self-care a part of our everyday routine and to remember that to take care of the self is not an act of selfishness but a mark of being responsible. Whether it is curling up on the sofa with a good book, or taking a class to acquire a new skill – find activities that relax you!
Be kind to yourself
This sounds simple but is often hard, but we must learn to forgive yourself. It’s ok to have a backlog from work, and it’s perfectly ok for your child to miss one dance lesson – it doesn’t make you incompetent or a failed mother. We all make mistakes and that’s the only way we learn to improve ourselves, so go easy on yourself and shun that critical inner voice.
It is natural to want to be appreciated, but waiting for others’ approval might be making us unhappy. Be your own champion and pat yourself on your back for finishing the work you’ve set out for yourself. And even if your efforts might go unnoticed, it doesn’t change the fact that you took action to complete something.
Take one step at a time
Living in anticipation of things to come, whether good or bad, often robs the experience of the present day and contributes to our misery. Practice mindfulness, stay in the moment and if times get rough, take it one day at a time and not too far ahead.
Spending time in nature has proven benefits. Go out for a walk, spend time on grass barefoot, brush your hands on barks of trees, take time to smell the flowers in a garden, or just observe the eagle soaring in the distance. Getting in touch with nature can cure many unexplained pains.
Learn something new
A rolling stone indeed gathers no moss and the best way to roll is to learn something new every day. It could be learning a language, cooking, or playing an instrument. There is a wealth of knowledge online today, and learning a new skill might be easier and more economical than you thought.
To sum it up:
When the going gets tough, it is normal to slip into a state where the future feels grim. But there are many helpful ideas out there to pull ourselves out of a stupor and maintain a healthy mental state. Get in touch with one of the experts on our platform for a helping hand today!