Someone rightly said, “A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body”. So, when we talk about mental wellness, the ultimate question is, are we at peace? A woman’s mood and mental health play a pivotal role in all aspects of her life. Be it her inter and intra personal relationships, confidence, self-esteem, professional growth or even her physical health. Given the varied roles she juggles, the responsibilities and expectations many a time take a toll on her.
Many life experiences have an impact on her. These can be positive or negative. Childhood experiences, family relationships and dynamics, caring for or supporting others selflessly as is sometimes expected, managing relationships, negative life experiences like poverty, infertility, discrimination (mostly based on gender and identity and sexuality), violence, abuse, isolation, financial instability, menopause to name a few.
Sometimes even a momentous experience like childbirth, when coupled with postpartum depression can become a negative incident.
This doesn’t mean to say there are no positive experiences, but as the human mind focuses on the negative based on evolutionary survival instinct, we give more emphasis to the negatives which ultimately shape our subconscious thoughts.
When women are constantly pitched against societal expectations and pressure, either by themselves or others, there is a huge amount of associated stress and anxiety which later leads to other comorbidities like depression, eating disorders, and insomnia to name a few. For example, the guilt a working mother has when she drops her child at school or when she is logged onto an office call while the child is playing next to her.
Though these appear like small incidents, they play a monumental role in affecting her emotions. It’s always the small things that bother her!
So how can we make things better for ourselves? By following a few simple actions, we can try to stay healthy and at peace!
· Love oneself and understand that you are doing the best you can at the moment.
· It is not selfish to take some time to care for yourself. You can help others only if you are fit.
· Engage in physical exercise
· Eat a balanced nutritious meal
· Try getting adequate sleep
· Gear yourself with coping skills to combat stress
· Engaging and understanding communication is key to sorting out various challenges
· Quality time with friends and family
· Screen-free time
· Have someone, friend/ spouse/ parent/ sibling with whom you can share your thoughts and feelings
But the most important thing a woman has to remember is, her wellness lies in her hand. So here is a shout-out to all the strong women out there who are doing the best they can every single second!
Dr. Sushma Gopalan, Child Life Specialist – Psychologist
Aster CMI Hospital