Women’s mental health during COVID-19 has declined greatly. These mental wellness tips will help you prioritise and improve your mental health.
Recent studies have shown a decline in mental health during COVID-19. This has brought conversations around mental wellness to the fore, including the effects of domestic violence on women’s mental health.
Women are almost three times as likely as men to suffer from significant mental health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, including anxiety, loss of appetite, inability to sleep and trouble completing everyday tasks, according to a study conducted by CARE.
The division of labour in the home has put a heavier emotional burden on women during COVID. When schools close and children are left with only remote learning, the burden of keeping kids focused and checking their assignments falls disproportionately on women.
The situation is even more concerning in terms of women’s mental health in India, and countries like Bangladesh where women are six times likelier than men to have been laid off during the coronavirus recession, and an astounding 100% of 542 women surveyed reported increased mental health problems.
Women in India have been struggling in silence with their mental health issues for years, as mental health in India used to be a taboo topic that few people took the time to discuss. Studies show that married women in India suffer greater mental distress as compared to married men.
Furthermore, when a woman becomes mentally ill, she is blamed for the illness and does not get timely mental help when she needs it. A lot of women may think they’re strong enough to handle their issues on their own, or they may think that receiving help will make them look weak.
But some women are much more open to seeking help for their mental health problems than others and today, the outlook for treating mental health disorders is much more optimistic because people are finally taking the time to have these discussions.
7 Women’s Mental Wellness Tips To Improve Mental Health
The truth is that all women can benefit from mental healthcare, no matter what that may look like. In this article, we list 7 women’s mental wellness tips to help you improve your mental health.
1. Get online therapy
Going to therapy is one of the most common ways women can try to improve their mental health. Online counselling services and resources like MyTherapist have made accessing therapy easier than ever.
Thanks to the growth of online therapy apps, women can now video chat or talk over the phone with their therapist. Some mental health apps even offer texting and online chatting or messaging. This is a great improvement from past attitudes that may have labelled counselling as taboo.
How does online therapy help?
Talking or chatting with a professional counsellor online can help you identify your strengths and learn about your blind spots and weaknesses as well. Your counsellor is an unbiased, nonjudgmental source of information for you as you work toward healing your mental health issues.
A professional counsellor can help you create goals and work with you to reach those goals you’ve set for yourself. You’ll also learn to communicate better while in counselling, learn new skills for coping with your problems and come to understand what situations may cause your mental health to decline.
There are many benefits of online therapy, but you have to show up for your appointments to get the help you need. Your counsellor might recommend that you go once or twice a week for months on end, or they might suggest going once a month.
The rate at which you go often also changes as your mental wellness improves, but not always. Everyone’s experience will be different.
2. Adopt a healthy diet and regular exercise
Mental wellness and physical health go hand-in-hand. People with poor mental health are often at a greater risk of developing chronic physical health problems.
Women who want to create positive mental wellness may also consider focusing on their physical health. In general, you should try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day in order to stay healthy.
This could include activities like jump roping, swimming, jogging, and playing a sport. There are also many benefits of practising yoga for anxiety and depression.
Pick activities and hobbies that you’ll actually enjoy and look forward to. Staying physically healthy will ensure you stay committed to them instead of treating them like a chore.
As far as eating a healthy, balanced diet goes, a general rule of thumb is to eat as many fruits and veggies as you can. If you’re someone who snacks a lot, make sure to pick snacks that are healthy and low in fat and sugar.
Almonds, blueberries, chickpeas, and hummus are all great options when you need something that’s tasty and also good for you.
3. Cultivate good sleep habits
According to the Sleep Foundation, adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Some women may need less or more, so you need to pay attention to your body and understand your unique sleep requirements.
Sleep greatly affects how well women function throughout the day. A lack of sleep can lead to things like less alertness, memory problems, and feeling tired throughout the day. It can also cause decreased productivity, depression, weight gain, and anxiety.
Sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to health, so you should prioritize it every day. Both short and long-term problems can occur if you continually receive too little sleep.
4. Find a solid support group
Friendships raise your self-esteem, lower stress, help you cope when life gets tough, and give you a sense of purpose. Women who have strong friendships report being mentally happier and healthier overall.
It’s essential to your mental wellness to have supportive friends and, in general, people who love and support you. If you don’t already have a solid network of friends, start by looking for people who like the same things you do.
This could mean sharing an interest in sports, books, music, or something else entirely. It’s even better if you can share these interests together, such as playing tennis together or going to movies with one another.
On the SHEROES app for women, you can network online safely and make friends with other women in women-only communities where trust and empathy are paramount.
To have good friends, you first have to be a good friend. Ask yourself what types of qualities you’d like to have in a friend, and then be that person for others. Soon, you’ll have a group of people supporting you through the highs and lows of life.
Remember that quality is much more important than quantity. It’s better to have one or two really close friends than multiple people who don’t know you on a deeper level.
5. Find a fun, interesting hobby
Your time is best spent on the activities you genuinely enjoy. Hobbies reduce stress and anxiety, lessen feelings of depression, and make you happier overall. Another word for “hobby” is “purposeful activity” or something that brings meaning into your life.
Women who have fun, interesting hobbies of their own tend to be mentally healthier. The best way to find a hobby or two is to ask yourself what you enjoy.
You can choose to do something artsy like painting or drawing, or something sporty like basketball or volleyball. Hobbies are even better when you can do them with other people. Try inviting friends along or even making new friends as you go.
6. Use social media wisely
Social media can be addictive if you’re not careful. Research shows that women typically spend about 25 hours online each month, which is 8% more than men.
Especially for women, social media can cause comparison and competition. You might start to feel bad about your body because of the unrealistic, airbrushed bodies you see online. Or you may feel that everyone has more friends than you do.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) can make you feel like you don’t match up to others and quickly lead to feelings of social isolation and loneliness. This is why it’s so important to have strong in-person relationships if you’re going to spend time online.
While social media was designed to connect people, it can just as easily have the opposite effect if you don’t know how to use social media wisely. If you feel like your mental health is declining, assess your social media habits.
It may be that you’re spending more time on social media than you are focusing on your actual life. Monitor your screen time well and, if you feel you’re addicted, seek professional help.
7. Prioritize your mental wellness
Women have many more options for improving their mental wellness today. The interesting thing about mental health treatment is that what works for one woman might not be helpful for another.
It may take trial and error to figure out what works best for you, but never feel ashamed if you need to seek out more help, such as from a therapist or an online counselling chat helpline. It’s better to operate out of an abundance of caution rather than try to handle problems on your own.
Learning mindfulness meditation can do a lot to improve your emotional self-care. Once you’re feeling more mentally healthy, you’ll have more time and energy to devote to the things in life that really matter such as friends, family, and your passions.
Practising self-care for women is also essential and taking care of yourself while caring for others will help you look after yourself and your family better during the pandemic.
Never sacrifice your mental healthcare for any reason. Make sure to prioritize your mental wellness no matter what age you are, and encourage other women in your life to do the same.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is presented for the purpose of educating people. Nothing contained on this website should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or another qualified healthcare provider promptly. Always consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare providers before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.
About the author:
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics, and specializing in mental health topics including depression symptoms and treatment, how to strengthen family relationships, and how to cope with loss in healthy ways.
Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health and mental wellness, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression and other important mental health topics.