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New Delhi, May 18 – One of the biggest challenges is the constant pressure to be perfect, to do it all, and have it all. Society places unrealistic expectations on women to be superwomen – to be perfect mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and career women all at once. It can feel like a never-ending cycle of trying to meet everyone’s expectations, including our own and feeling like we are failing on all fronts.
This pressure can lead to mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. It is challenging to find the time and resources to take care of ourselves when we are constantly putting others’ needs first. It can be difficult to seek help or support when we feel like we should be able to handle everything on our own.
Another challenge is the lack of support and understanding in the workplace. Many women face discrimination and bias based on their gender, race, or family status, which can make it challenging to advance in their careers or feel valued in their roles. This can lead to feelings of isolation and inadequacy, which can impact mental health.
As a single mother, some mothers experienced firsthand the impact of these challenges on their mental health. There have been times when she has felt overwhelmed, anxious, and alone. She has had to learn how to manage her stress and prioritise according to her mental health, even when it felt like there is no time or energy left for self-care.
One of the most important things that she has learned is the power of community. Connecting with other working women who understand the challenges and struggles has been a lifeline for her. It can be reassuring to know that we are not alone and that others have faced similar struggles.
She has also learned the importance of setting boundaries and saying no when necessary. It can be challenging to prioritise our own needs when we feel like we are constantly being pulled in multiple directions. Learning to say no and setting boundaries can be empowering and help us to take control of our lives.
Taking care of our mental health is a journey that requires patience, self-compassion, and support. It is essential to seek help when we need it and to prioritise self-care, even when it feels like there is no time or energy left.
As a working woman, she believes that it is essential for us to speak up about our mental health challenges and advocate for change. This includes pushing for more supportive workplace policies, such as flexible work arrangements and mental health support programs. It also means challenging societal expectations and stereotypes that perpetuate the pressure to be perfect.
We must recognise that mental health challenges are not a sign of weakness, but rather a natural part of the human experience. We must work together to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and create a more supportive and compassionate society.
In conclusion, the mental health challenges faced by working women are real and significant. As a single mother, musical artist, and entrepreneur, I have experienced firsthand the impact of these challenges on my mental health. However, I have also learned the power of community, setting boundaries, and prioritising self-care. It is essential that we continue to speak up about our experiences and advocate for change in our workplaces and communities. Together, we can create a more supportive and compassionate world for all women.
(Neha Pandey, Independent Indian pop artist/playback singer and entrepreneur based out of Dubai)