Physical health threat and isolation with restrictions hampering mental health; COVID-19 is like a double-edged sword. Statistics from various sources have indicated that women are facing major burnouts and increased stress that negatively impact mental wellbeing. There is a juggle to balance household chores and professional life with the continuous blurring of balance.
More than 41% of the working population cited issues with the delineation between personal and work life. Women are struggling furthermore as work from home is becoming the norm and there are no schedules or routines, leading to additional chores and responsibilities.
“I am meant to cater to everyone’s needs and also complete my work deadlines” – a traditional Indian woman.
This is the dialogue that plays in the head and defines the life of women in India. They are the prime carers and are mostly overloaded with work and societal pressure. They need to take care of the family’s physical needs, nutrition, and daily chores with the added need to now maintain a professional environment for everyone working at home. While other realities and needs become her schedule, her well-being is usually on the back burner or completely ignored.
“If I take time out for myself, it's selfish. It will disrupt everything, and everyone will be unhappy” – a dutiful working mother.
This is what surrounds a working woman who is trying to not only balance work and chores but also support her child through their growth. Women believe that they need to be tending to the needs of their children always, and a little “me time” is a betrayal from her responsibilities of womanhood.
“I am exhausted, I don’t know if I will make it. I should rather take a break or quit my job”- a burnt-out women employee.
This could become or has become the theme of working women’s life since the pandemic and its shifts. However, being aware, changing how we think, and working out our schedules can help us balance and prioritize our mental well-being.
Knowing how to do and what to do for oneself can help cope better:
In the end, we are the creators of our fate and managers of our health. Hence, women should be encouraged not only by other women but also by their families to promote their mental health and indulge in self-care without guilt or shame. You can avail services like chat support where one can simply vent out or even offer a mental health assessment that helps understand one's needs which redirects to the correct steps towards one’s self-care and mental wellbeing. Finally, being aware that when things go out of control, professional help can always help bring you back on your feet is an important memo! It needs to be added to all women’s to-do lists!