Women wear a lot of hats, and most of them originate from dated societal beliefs and pressures. Consider how you and other women in your life are expected to juggle family life with professional careers without a hitch. You’re supposed to be the perfect mother, boss, and wife all at once, and this is a standard that women rarely–if at all–live up to.
There’s nothing wrong with balancing all those. They’re lovely and significant roles to play that only women can often successfully pull off. But the external pressure from peers and the internal pressure of mindsets shaped by traditional perspectives can lead to immense stress. The worst part is that you may not have had the chance to process all these yet and therefore do not know how to manage them exactly.
When you can analyze female stress today and examine how it applies to your life, you’ll find it. You won’t always have to fear that you’re coming off as a drama queen. You’re not. You’re reasonably stressed, and being the first to show yourself kindness during the most difficult times may be the best stress management of all.
You can’t introspect something you don’t fully understand. Believe it or not, you’ve experienced stress from many seemingly harmless things growing up like advertisements, TV commercials, and thoughtless remarks made by the people around you. It won’t be a surprise if you’ve internalized many of these and have become your own constant critic. Some of these include conforming to the current beauty standards, pursuing expectations for marriage and family life that you’re not sure you want for yourself, and relentlessly comparing your achievements to that of other women.
It #39;s a good thing that there are movements globally that make everyone aware of how body shaming, gender pay gap, and similar issues impact women. You have endless resources online and offline from other women who have straightened your baffled thoughts for you and turned them into comprehensive arguments. These books, movies, speeches, and other forms of media that explore female stress allow you to reflect on your experiences and how you’re personally dealing with them.
Don’t just settle for social media quotes. Get the full context by sparing at least an hour weekly investigating female stress. Who knows? This may even be the way you get in touch with other women who share your experiences and are looking to give their minds, souls, and bodies the love they deserve.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
The more aware you are of the thoughts, words, and actions that trigger stress, the more likely you’ll be able to make drastic changes in your immediate environment and lifestyle choices. Stress management looks different for everyone, but the fundamentals remain the same. Starting with the basics, you’ll find that eating the right food, getting enough exercise, and sleeping the recommended number of hours will lay a good foundation for your other stress management efforts.
Look up how other women deal with premenstrual syndrome, the social media comparison trap, and issues like body shaming within their inner circle, and see what works for you. It may be humoring yourself by watching professional speakers who are both funny and educational. For others, it could be trying a new lifestyle like minimalism and mastering new skills. Others still benefit from therapy to process their stress in a safe environment. Expect that it might take a while to find activities that successfully alleviate your stress, and even then, you could find yourself looking for new things to try every two or three months. As long as your self-image improves and you find that your efforts stop stress from derailing your relationships and career, you know you’re on the right path.
Support Other Women
Life is always easier to manage when you have a community that empowers and enriches its members. Supporting other women and finding support for yourself doesn’t always mean joining feminist movements. You may find the people you need in book clubs, church groups, workshops, and running clubs. The point is to surround yourself with other women who break stigmas that inhibit your growth and self-love. It takes a community to figure out this complicated society and the many erroneous ideologies it promotes.
It’s a Process
This won’t happen overnight, not even when you know the what, when, where, and how of your stress triggers. Accept that it’s a process and embrace it. Handling stress–specifically those that are unique to women–will have its ups and downs even when you reach a better state of mind.