Neglecting self-care has come to become a natural way of life for many women. This tendency to deny or overlook one’s health, especially mental health, is rooted in many factors like social and experiential to name a few. The solutions lie in your active participation in understanding and addressing the interplay of these determinants to ensure your mental well-being.
It’s important to prioritise your mental health and not neglect it, because it can lead to several complications.
Tips to recognise mental health problems in women and address them
Here’s how to prioritise your mental health to avoid problems and address the problems before its too late:
Recognise the behavioural patterns
You usually see women around you taking care of others from a young age, which often takes precedence over their own needs. Given that lot is learnt through observation of your environment, this behavioural pattern conditions ‘the self’ in a way that relegates one’s concerns, both in day-to-day life and concerning larger goals. It is important to recognise this and start with small steps to make the choices for your well-being.
Acknowledge your needs
The constant juggling of multiple responsibilities, such as childcare, household chores, family, and work, may leave little space to acknowledge your needs. Yet the guilt of not doing enough or taking time off for yourself may consume you. This can lead to physical and psychological stress and can make you feel overwhelmed. Ensure that you pause to reflect on your emotional experiences. While managing your roles, it is equally crucial to acknowledge your individual needs. Do not hesitate to ask for support when you require it.
Refrain from internalising the stereotypes
Social conditioning for most women that comes through family, society and media is about idealising, the perfect image of self or body. It often gets reinforced through conversations, lack of recognition, acknowledgement of the efforts or by creating unrealistic beauty standards, which continue to perpetuate the stereotypes of what is desirable or expected. This often shapes self-esteem that consistently feels ‘not good enough’. Despite giving your best and making the right choices, the ‘lurking self-doubt doesn’t allow you to feel the confidence within and start to affect your mental well-being. Take stock of your efforts, recognise your strengths, step away from judging, and back yourself with all that you do.
Prioritise and invest in your health
Educate yourself with the right information when it comes to your physical and mental health. Take active measures to invest in it by recognising the signs, ensuring regular check-ups, and developing habits that align with your well-being. Physical exercise, pursuing interests, spending time with loved ones, maintaining adequate sleep, and seeking help when needed are all essential for positive mental health.
Mental health is integral to every aspect of our life and crucial for everyone. It is time to stop neglecting and set a positive example by expressing your concerns and taking ownership that improves your overall well-being. As a society, each and everyone has a role to play in building structures that ensures support to sustain the much-needed change.