As women, we often face a wide range of expectations that can negatively impact our mental health. We worry if we are good enough daughters, mothers, or spouses.
We worry about our careers, passion projects, and even if we are doing enough to “save the world”. We also spend time worrying about whether we have found the perfect work-life balance.
Overall, we often feel like we need to lean in and be able to do everything. If we can’t do everything, we feel like we’re letting someone down.
Unfortunately, we don’t talk about these struggles in a meaningful way. We might make a joke about life being busy, but then we are ready to deflect the conversation onto another topic because it makes us feel uncomfortable.
Struggles Women Face
While women face a wide range of struggles, we often don’t acknowledge them because we are not sure how we can ask for help. Feeling a little bit off can start to feel normal, so it is important to take the time to always be processing our mental health. This means it is important to know when we should take a high-functioning depression test or a test to see if we are suffering from high levels of anxiety.
Sometimes what we assume is simply our normal is really a symptom that we should have checked out so that we can thrive. As women, we can tend to put on a happy smile and push through even when what we really need to do is to pause, reflect, and ask for help.
Prioritizing Our Mental Health
While it might be a cliché by now an empty vessel cannot pour. As women we have a tendency to always put ourselves last. We often struggle because we are not sure how we can prioritize our mental health while we are also busy with family, work, or personal projects. The good news is there are a wide range of options we can try. We might try yoga or meditation.
We might try some breathing exercises or find ways to ask for help when we are overwhelmed. We might even choose to work with a therapist either in person or in a virtual setting to process stress, grief, or trauma we might be experiencing.
Supporting Other Women
Once we have taken care of our own mental health it is important that we talk to others about our struggles. Each generation of women experiences different challenges, but we can all learn from each other.
For example, while for some mental health involves the pressures of social media for others it might be more about family expectations. Often mental wellness comes down to being able to understand that the challenges we face as women do not have to be faced alone.
Starting The Conversation
So once we understand the importance of talking about mental health, we might wonder how we can start these conversations with others. When we are struggling, we might choose to open up to a close friend or someone else we trust and simply say we are not doing ok.
When we see someone else is struggling, we might take them out for a coffee and say; I see that you are struggling, I am not sure how I can help, but I am here for you. Long term we might make sure we are talking about mental health in the social media posts we make, the blogs we write, and the podcasts that we listen to each day.
There are many ways we can keep conversations around mental health going and we will find that often when we are open with our own struggles, we find people who either share a similar experience or are willing to provide us support. It might be a friend who can come over with some food and allow us to vent about our struggles.
It might be someone who can help do a few chores such as picking up groceries or watching our kids for a night. It might be someone who knows of some cool online tools that they have found to be useful when they are struggling.
In the end, while we will never know in advance exactly how such conversations might go, these meaningful conversations are important to have.