Why Women Need To Prioritise Their Mental Health

Dovie Salais

Mental illnesses approximately constitute about one-sixth of all health-related disorders in India. This accounts for nearly 15 per cent of the global mental and neurological disorder burden. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), currently, 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental disorders and […]

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Mental illnesses approximately constitute about one-sixth of all health-related disorders in India. This accounts for nearly 15 per cent of the global mental and neurological disorder burden. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), currently, 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental disorders and this figure set to rise to 20 per cent soon.

health

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This year, the World Mental Health Day comes at a time when COVID-19 has impacted the daily life of several people and has taken a toll on their mental health. While the social and economic impact of the pandemic has been heavy, the psychological consequences of the disease have greatly affected women. Managing multiple roles and trying to be a ‘perfect caregiver’ can often take a toll on several women and while balancing everything many women often forget to practice self-care which can drastically improve their mental and physical well-being. There are several reasons. 

The Play Multiple Roles 

The Play Multiple Roles

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As women juggle between many roles such as caregiver, homemaker, employee, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, friend, and multiple others. Each of these roles is governed by attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, and perspectives, and most of them are accompanied by a set of many unrealistic expectations and demands, which often prove to be too taxing for one. While aiming to be perfect in all areas, many women lose sight of their own individual needs and forget to prioritise their health.

Increased Responsibility Due To The Pandemic

Increased Responsibility Due To The Pandemic

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According to UNESCO, 300 million children are missing school globally due to the current virus outbreak because of which the responsibilities of women during the pandemic have increased drastically. Furthermore, the period during the home isolation and lockdown has become all the more distressing for women due to certain phases in their lives like perimenopause/menopause, pregnancy or soon after childbirth, uncomfortable menstruation and more. This has made them even more vulnerable to mental health problems as huge physical transitions, unexpected health issues and discomfort, a lack of domestic and emotional support can have long term consequences on their mental health.

Higher Stress Levels

Higher Stress Levels

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Due to the increased stress, many women are currently suffering from several psychological problems such as anxiety, panic attacks, sudden onset of palpitations, difficulty to breath, and an increasing sense of doom and helplessness. Even though they continue to suffer from mental illness, they usually do not come forward and often tend to hide their problems due to several stigmas. Evidence has shown that women tend to internalise their emotions and hence end up becoming more prone to anxiety and depression. What can we do? Read on.

Make Self-Care A Priority

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Strategies To Overcome Mental Health Issues

Do ensure you take care of these small things that go a long way. 

Make Self-Care A Priority

While women tend to give all their attention to their kids and family, it is also important to give self-care a priority, prepare a diet for yourself, drink plenty of water, and try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each day.

Calcium And Vitamin D Supplements

Calcium And Vitamin D Supplements

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Bone density, calcium, and vitamin D start reducing significantly after the mid-30s. Hence, regular check-up of these parameters and taking the right supplements are important to maintain strong health. 

Have Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants

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Antioxidant-rich foods like turmeric, garlic, berries, green tea, cinnamon, amla, nuts, and seeds will help you reduce the oxidative stress in your body. Try to avoid or reduce the intake of refined sugar, processed foods, dairy, and gluten. At the same time, it should be inclusive of seasonal vegetables, fruits, millets, lentils, eggs, fish, nuts, and seeds.

Include Anti-Stress Foods And Snacks

Include Anti-Stress Foods And Snacks

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Eat a lot of fruits and green veggies. Focus on fruits like oranges, grapes that contain vitamin C, which helps fight stress. Eat roasted almonds, roasted fox nuts, or roasted channa for snacks.

Follow These Tips To Keep Mental Illness At Bay 

mental illness

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1. Practice meditation for 20 mins every morning
2. Find time to do things that make you happy
3. Exercise regularly to achieve mental positivity
4. Stay connected with your loved ones over the phone
5. Visit a professional psychiatrist if things go out of control

It is important to remember that women should not be too hard on themselves and sometimes should let things go if they are out of their control. You don’t have to be on your toes all the time and should realise to take care of yourself and make your self-care a priority.

Also read: What COVID-19 Taught Us About Mental Illness

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