I recently read the Global Women’s Wellbeing Report, which reported that only 15% of women surveyed were happy with their lives. The survey interviewed over 2000 women from 80 plus countries and delved into over 60 core attributes of wellbeing. A more recent web-based assessment by the World Health Organisation, which reached over 10 000 participants worldwide, states that self-reported anxiety increased by 63.5% for women.
It is reports and statistics like these that highlight the importance of self-care in our lives. Yet a number of us don’t take time out to look after ourselves, and we know that we can’t pour from an empty cup. We genuinely forget to make ourselves the highest priority in our life, worst yet, we feel the need to ask permission to take care of ourselves and our needs.
And so we find ourselves in a dilemma. We know what self-care is, we know what it entails and why it is essential – but we don’t do it! What then is the answer? Simple, let’s be real.
Drop the perfect persona
We need to drop the superwoman act and start being real. As women, we feel pressurised to do better or “one-up” on each other. We set exceptionally high expectations of ourselves, when, in reality, we are tired and stressed out.
There are movements encouraging women to build each other up. This isn’t just in the boardroom and the workplace. We should be encouraging each other as mothers, as peers battling with anxiety or depression, making annual appointments for pap smears and mammograms. You get my point.
Being real means being brave, courageous and vulnerable. Taking the time to uplift, encourage and check-in with one another. Suppose we start prioritising one another’s wellbeing. In that case, we’ll soon be accountable to one another for keeping it real, seeking out therapy, asking for support or simply choosing the salad over a doughnut.
Keep it real
If asked if you are okay, be honest and open. Let’s start normalising our day-to-day struggles around health and wellbeing. And if you’re doing the asking, start actively listening and seeking out the “real” answers.