Why women need some self-initiated TLC

Exhaustion, satiety, stress, and frustration become the feelings most commonly associated with the daily challenges of modern life. The problems for women who have tried to find balance both personally and professionally are multiplying. You are constantly juggling a delicate routine of work, play, family, and everything in between. Self-care therefore becomes an important element in counteracting daily stress and anxiety. Even more, now – at a time when the pandemic has triggered a “self-awakening” in many – has to spend time for and with oneself and let it help you to center your own thoughts and align yourself with them found many buyers.

Most women grow up with the ideology that they are required to build a strong threshold and be more adaptable and resilient, and that is good for them. Often times, they are not told that it’s perfectly okay to unplug it sometimes, take a break, and just relax and take some time for myself.

This is why self-care guilt is widespread among women, and comes in various unannounced forms. “It comes in a way of apologizing for taking time out for yourself, or putting aside a task because you have more productive things to do but later feel guilty about it. Women feel uncomfortable when they suddenly shift the balance from others (including parents, in-laws, spouses, children, and even pets) to themselves, ”says Shradha Lohia, co-founder of Ekaanta: Minddiversity on the Ganges.

The chronic stress women usually go through when switching between multiple roles not only affects their day-to-day relationships, but also makes them prone to many health ailments, including a weak immune system, heart disease, a fragile mental state, and more. Ananya Malhotra from Delhi, IT expert and mother of two, suddenly suffered from mental changes, insomnia and weight gain. “At first I ignored it and then as it got worse I thought it was just the sedentary lifestyle and the work from home scenario during the pandemic,” she says. When it began to affect her immune system, leading to bowel problems, her husband convinced her to seek medical help. Her doctor diagnosed her with stress and anxiety.

Her friend Madhulika Shrestha, a Gurgaon-based psychiatrist, advised Malhotra that she should focus on caring for herself without feeling guilty. “Self-care should always be part of the daily regimen for women to keep stress at bay. Every woman needs to take the time to treat herself with love, respect, kindness and discipline, ”says Shrestha.

A study of Families and Communities Rising in North Carolina, conducted in May of this year, says self-care is extremely important in maintaining and improving daily life. In essence, self-care is a deliberate act taken to improve health, restore energy, or maintain a positive attitude. In developing a regular self-care routine, one will inevitably spend more time with oneself and understanding what brings about a personal moment of joy and peace, which research has shown can contribute to positive results. This includes building resilience and being better equipped to deal with stress.

The work, whether at home or at work, costs us most of our energy and time. This routine leaves us with no time for ourselves. “When we treat ourselves compassionately, we increase the production of oxytocin – a hormone that helps us feel safe and loved. With mindfulness [through self-care activities], we can be self-compassionate without waiting for others to shake hands to help us. It is imperative to treat ourselves as kindly as we treat others. But sometimes this task becomes difficult for women because we think it’s selfish, ”says Lohia.

In the midst of pesky work hours and worrying about family, women often forget to take a break and listen to the signals from their mind and body. At the same time, it’s important to remember that excessive indulgence is not self-care. Sleeping 12 hours a day, going on a luxurious vacation, or ordering a sumptuous meal does not mean self-care. “The idea is to switch off your body and mind, relax and regenerate,” says Shrestha. During times of stress, it is imperative that people invest their time and energy in activities that will help them grow as individuals rather than focus and attracting negative vibes from people and the environment.

Self-care is relative and can vary from person to person. For some, just sitting on the balcony without a gadget can be self-sufficiency, while for others, talking to a friend, going for a walk or even cooking can count.

“I finally understood that women just need to be aware of the fact that ‘burnout’ is not a badge of honor and it is up to them to take care of themselves before they take care of everyone else,” says Malhotra, adding, that she has chosen pottery as a hobby to relieve stress and discover her own joy and happiness.


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