As working women, you have probably experienced the struggle of juggling between being a mother, a daughter, a friend, a leader, a co-worker, a wife, a partner, a volunteer, a bill payer, a homemaker, and so on – all at the same time. These many roles and tasks can make women feel overwhelmed.
That’s why it is especially important for women to take time to value themselves and all the things they do. Taking a little bit of time every day to do things that can help you to do a better job at all of your tasks. It also makes you feel good about yourself! There are many different ways you could value yourself. In a booklet written by Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) called Bright Futures: A Woman’s Guide to Emotional Wellness, this guide outlines some of the most important ones and gives you tips on how to do it. Some of the ways that they suggest is to:
· Build your self-respect
· Build your self-confidence
· Build your self-esteem
· Set your own goals and self-expectations
· Take care of your body
· Think positively
· Make time for activities you enjoy and that have meaning for you
· Learn skills that help you cope with difficult emotions and situations
Self-respect is an important part of emotional wellness. Every woman wants to be respected. Have you ever thought about whether you are respecting yourself? This means taking care of yourself in four different ways:
· Physically: Being active, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and practicing good hygiene.
· Mentally: Challenging your mind, including learning about yourself and your family history.
· Spiritually: Taking time to explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life. Taking time to think about how you want to guide your life by the principles that are important to you.
· Emotionally: Thinking good thoughts about yourself and others
Feeling self-confident helps you believe that you can try new things. Even if things go wrong, self-confidence helps you know that you can try to make them better. You can increase your self-confidence by setting goals that make sense, thinking positively, and being prepared.
Self-esteem is important to your emotional health. A woman with healthy self-esteem knows what makes her unique. She respects those things in her personality. Self-esteem helps you to feel good about yourself, no matter what other people think of you.
Tips to help you boost your self-esteem:
• Accept your strengths, and your weaknesses: No one is perfect. Your strengths and weaknesses are what make you unique.
• Congratulate yourself: Honour your achievements, big and small.
• Encourage yourself and others: Think positive, kind, and loving things about yourself. Let others know the good things you feel about them.
• Value yourself: Friends and family are great, but don’t depend on others to make you feel good about yourself. Value yourself no matter what other people say about you.
• Surround yourself with positive, healthy people: Choose friends who value you.
• Turn anger around: Everyone will be angry from time to time. When you get upset, try to use that energy toward positive goals instead of dwelling on the negative.
• Praise yourself: Remember at least one good thing about yourself every day.
• Do good things: Do at least one thing every day that you feel good about
To set your own goals and self-expectation, many women let others tell them what they should be doing and how. To be emotionally well, you need to judge yourself by your own standards and no one else’s.
If you exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep, it will help your physical health. It will help your emotional health as well. You can improve your mood with physical activity, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep. Enough sleep will also improve your memory and help keep you healthy. Most women need about 8 hours of sleep a night. You don’t have to make a lot of big changes to exercise more, eat better, or get more sleep. In fact, you will do better if you try to reach your goals in small steps. In an article written by Women’s Health Magazine on managing frustration, they too give the advice on how exercise is a good way to manage stress levels.
An important part of emotional wellness is training yourself to be more positive or optimistic. While this may not be easy, positive thinking during tough times will help you stay hopeful. It can improve your chances of moving past your problems. It also has been linked to better health. Some people are more optimistic than others, but everyone can learn how to be more positive.
One way to improve your overall wellness is to get involved in activities you enjoy and that means a lot to you. You can get happiness from simple pleasures and from being active and involved. As written in an article published on Johns Hopkins Medicine, Haythornthwaite suggests “seek out happiness” as a method to cope with stress. Haythornthwaite advises to prioritise hobbies and do them on a regular basis, whether it be family time or community activism.
Coping is the way we handle difficult situations, people, and problems. It is how we survive stress or conflict. Every woman has her own coping style.
In general, there are three main ways that people tend to cope with stress:
· Task-oriented coping: In this coping style, people will take a close look at the situation and take action to deal directly with the issues.
· Emotion-oriented coping: In this style, people feel emotions, express feelings, and tend to ask for help if they need it.
· Distraction-oriented coping: Here people keep themselves busy – distract themselves – in order to take their minds off their problems.
Once you understand which of these styles you tend to use, you can try other coping styles that may help you handle difficult situations.
For Counselling contact PROCARE: 0861 776 227
HRSA. 2007. Bright Futures: A Woman’s Guide to Emotional Wellness. https://taadas.s3.amazonaws.com/files/b60bd5bbef05b8f74650ccc1879de43b-Bright%20Futures%20A%20Woman's%20Guide%20to%20Emotional%20Wellness.pdf
John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Stress on the Job: 4 Tips for Working Women. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-woman/mind-mood/stress-on-the-job-4-tips-for-working-women
Women’s Health. 2012. 6 Ways to Manage Stress. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19930858/stress-management-0/