In March, we celebrate both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, to not only uphold the achievements of women but focus on the challenges faced by women. This month, we recognize the struggles caused by gender bias and inequality and work to take action against them.
Unfortunately, these inequalities have become even more apparent in the last year, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
So what can women do to manage burnout and take care of their mental well-being? Read these tips from Embark Behavioral Health’s top clinical leaders.
The State of Women’s Mental Health Today
Today, women are burned out, exhausted and overwhelmed – mentally and physically – from the burden (or lack) of childcare to less pay and lost jobs in their profession due to COVID-19.
Heidi Stanfield, LPC, Clinical Director of Teen Girls at Calo Programs, states,
“Burnout is a natural cycle that cycles faster and more intensely for women in multiple roles and is compounded by the professional stress of working, especially during a pandemic.”
Lauren Disner, LMFT, LPS, Clinical Director at Embark at Hobble Creek, adds,
“Women often do a lot more of the emotional and mental labor of household work and can unintentionally fall into that pattern in their professional work as well.”
These factors, and more, have had a disproportionate impact on women’s mental health in the past year.
The unequal division of responsibilities and COVID-19 restrictions have led to women leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men in 2020, according to recent studies.
5 Ways That Women Can Manage Burnout and Improve Their Mental Well-Being
If you are one of the millions of women struggling navigating through this pandemic with little to no support, consider utilizing the following five tactics and techniques that Shellina Jenkins, LPC, CPCS, Clinical Director of Embark at Atlanta North, shares to minimize the impact of burnout and improve mental well-being:
1. Break up your roles.
Breaking up the multiple tasks and roles you’re juggling into smaller, more obtainable ones may help minimize burnout.
2. Delegate tasks.
Trying to delegate some tasks to other members in your household or teammates at work could improve your mental well-being.
3. Engage in self-care.
It can be difficult to care for others if you’re neglecting yourself. Engaging in self-care and creating an exercise routine such as walking or working out, reading a book or taking a hot bath might help.
4. Speak with your employer about setting a flexible schedule.
Ask your employer to consider helping you set a flexible schedule from home to allow you to assist your children with their schoolwork, as well as have family time and time to work.
5. Stay true to you.
Most of all… don’t forget to be unapologetically you!
Women’s mental health matters, and it’s not on women alone to manage this burnout. Mental health organizations like Embark can help set the tone for those organizations who may be struggling with the challenges that the pandemic has only escalated.
Whether female employees and supervisors are having frequent check-ins about women’s mental health, or leading by example and prioritizing their team’s well-being, or even offering mental health benefits to their employees – organizations should remain mindful of the obstacles of the COVID-19 era.
Too often, women suffer in silence, especially parents who are working at an unsustainable pace. This burnout can be avoided when employers are cognizant of the struggles their employees are facing.