The Critical Importance of Self-Care for Women During Covid
Two-thirds of caregivers in the United States are women. This includes those taking care of children, older adults and/or disabled people. Many essential workers, such as nurses, social workers and other therapists, teachers, and childcare workers are women. Because the many caretaking roles that women perform have been on the rise during this pandemic due to school closures and changes in school schedules, reduced daycare and childcare options, and the need for many to work from home, women are at serious risk of becoming overwhelmed, overworked and totally burnt out.
As this pandemic continues, with the inherent uncertainty and major changes in daily routines and overall lifestyle, all of us are at a higher risk of becoming anxious, stressed and/or depressed. It is important to be aware that feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, stress and sadness are very normal responses to dealing with the ongoing pandemic and the many consequent changes to our lifestyles across the board. With that said, there are many steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact of the pandemic on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Because many women are accustomed to “wearing many hats” at all times (e.g., mother, worker, caretaker, partner) oftentimes we do not prioritize our own physical and emotional wellbeing. In particular, during the pandemic, it is especially important that we women go the extra mile to take extra good care of ourselves, otherwise we run the risk of becoming physically, mentally, and emotionally compromised. The following are various tips and tools recommended for women during this very difficult time, in particular as we head into the winter months, with longer, darker, colder days, increased social isolation, and less time to be outside. To all of you women out there, take some time to read this list and commit to act each and every day. It is especially important that we encourage our fellow women to do the same!!
- Let go of the notion that you must be a “superhero” to everyone. Acknowledge and accept that it’s ok not to be ok and to ask for help and support when you are feeling overwhelmed.