Two-thirds of caregivers in the United States are women. This includes those taking care of children, older adults and/or disabled people. Many essential workers, such as nurses, social workers and other therapists, teachers, and childcare workers are women. Because the many caretaking roles that women perform have been on the rise during this pandemic due to school closures and changes in school schedules, reduced daycare and childcare options, and the need for many to work from home, women are at serious risk of becoming overwhelmed, overworked and totally burnt out.
As this pandemic continues, with the inherent uncertainty and major changes in daily routines and overall lifestyle, all of us are at a higher risk of becoming anxious, stressed and/or depressed. It is important to be aware that feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, stress and sadness are very normal responses to dealing with the ongoing pandemic and the many consequent changes to our lifestyles across the board. With that said, there are many steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact of the pandemic on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Because many women are accustomed to “wearing many hats” at all times (e.g., mother, worker, caretaker, partner) oftentimes we do not prioritize our own physical and emotional wellbeing. In particular, during the pandemic, it is especially important that we women go the extra mile to take extra good care of ourselves, otherwise we run the risk of becoming physically, mentally, and emotionally compromised.
For the next 5 weeks we will offer various tips and tools recommended for women during this very difficult time, in particular as we head into the winter months, with longer, darker, colder days, increased social isolation, and less time to be outside.
To all of you women out there, take some time to read this list and commit to act each and every day. It is especially important that we encourage our fellow women to do the same!
WEEK 1 : Tips + Tools for Physical, Mental and Emotional Health
Let go of the notion that you must be a “superhero” to everyone. Acknowledge and accept that it’s ok not to be ok and to ask for help and support when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Stop expecting absolute perfection in all that you do; during this time, many women have had to take on extra roles; for example, caring for and homeschooling children while also working from home themselves. It is so important to acknowledge that you are doing the best you can and to stop criticizing and beating up on yourself!
Keep a list of the things that you accomplish each day, even the “tiny ones” like taking a shower, making the bed, and/or feeding the kids and pets! At the end of the day review the list and remind yourself of the many things you accomplished each day. This can be very helpful at a time when multiple demands make it more likely that you will end the day feeling that you accomplished very little.
Be safe and stay healthy!
To help support our community, we are offering a 15% discount for new patients that are interested in getting started with tele-health to help manage feelings of anxiety and isolation during this time.
Dr. Elissa R. Gross, Psy.D., is a Clinical Psychologist at Lukin Center Psychotherapy and the mother of two teenage sons who specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults experiencing depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-injury, posttraumatic stress disorders, couples' therapy, family therapy, and issues related to adoption and blended families.
Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Ridgewood, Hoboken, NYC, Jersey City and newly opened Englewood. He has extensive clinical and research experience spanning individuals of all ages, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He specializes in men’s issues, couple’s counseling, and relationship problems. His therapeutic approach focuses on providing support and practical feedback to help patients effectively address personal challenges. He integrates complementary modalities and techniques to offer a personalized approach tailored to each patient. He has been trained in cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavior, schema-focused, and emotionally focused therapy, and has also been involved with research projects throughout his career, including two National Institute of Mental Health-funded studies. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Jersey Psychological Association, Northeast Counties Association of Psychologists, New York State Psychological Association, The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, The New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, the International OCD Foundation, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACSB) and a regular contributor to Psychology Today.