As a mother, wife, businesswoman and professional life coach, Lesego Mothowamodimo shares her opinion on why it is imperative to prioritise your mental health and wellness as a woman.
A day in a woman’s life involves juggling being a mother, wife, working professional, caregiver, romantic partner and community contribution, amongst others. To say that this can become overwhelming is an understatement. Ensuring one’s mental health is in check is an essential aspect for women as it helps them maintain a balance in their lives and relationships. When there is an imbalance, women become susceptible to reduced quality of their lives, changes in appetite, suicidal thoughts, feelings of sadness and discontent, as well as general feelings of being stuck, anxiety and even worry.
Considering the role that women play in the daily lives of others, women must be both equipped and empowered with the necessary information and tools about overall WELLNESS to ensure that as they navigate the roles they play daily, they do so coming from a place of WELLNESS. Every day, we ask each other, ‘How are you?’ The default response to this question is usually ‘I am WELL, thanks and you?’ The real question is, when you utter the words “I am WELL…” are you speaking and responding to WELLNESS in its fullness?”
Let us explore the eight dimensions of wellness and the questions you need to ask yourself in each dimension:
- Physical wellness – Do you recognise the need to take care of your body? Are you physically fit? How is your diet and sleep? Are you physically well?
- Emotional wellness – Are you coping effectively with life and in tune with your feelings? Do you know what you’re feeling and allow yourself to feel it? Can you identify, name or even articulate the exact emotion you feel? Is everything well with your emotional state?
- Financial wellness – Are you financially comfortable, and do you live within your means? Can you get through the month comfortably without needing to be rescued financially? Is your relationship with money healthy? Do you make financially sound decisions? Are you financially educated?
- Social wellness – Are you maintaining good and healthy relationships with others? Do you enjoy being with others, and are you contributing to your friendships, community and intimate relations?
- Occupational wellness – Do you find joy in your job, and does your job give you personal satisfaction? Does the work you do enrich your life?
- Environmental wellness – Is the environment you live in pleasant and healthy? Does the environment you live in support your overall wellbeing? Are you contributing to taking care of your environment and community?
- Spiritual wellness – Do you have a sense of purpose in your life? Does your life have a more significant meaning? Are you at peace within yourself?
- Intellectual wellness – Are you growing intellectually? Are you expanding your skills and knowledge?
Considering all the wellness dimensions discussed above, ask yourself, ‘Am I well?’
Below are some tips that women can use to improve their overall wellbeing and, by extension, their mental health:
- Journaling: Journaling helps increase mental health by creating a safe space that allows you to express your thoughts and feelings. Journaling is essential for gathering your thoughts, venting, and increasing your creativity.
- Meditation: Meditation is crucial for you to spend some time getting in tune with yourself, listening to your own thoughts, and trusting your inner voice.
- Take a break from devices: Taking a break from your smartphone or laptop stops the constant flow of messages/emails, allowing you to relax and spend quality time with yourself and your loved ones. A good idea is to set a daily limit of how much time you spend on your device and not to exceed that time.
- Get good sleep: Getting good quality sleep significantly affects how we feel, physically and mentally. Our overall health and productivity hinge on getting s good night’s sleep.
- Live a healthy life: Being active and paying special attention to your diet and nutrition positively affects your feelings.
- Reframe negative thoughts: How we think is linked to how we feel and behave. Recognising unhelpful thoughts and taking the necessary steps to think about things differently can improve your mental health and wellbeing.
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