Blog post by: Erin Jones, M.A., M.Ed., LPCC, NCC
Original Artwork Design by: © Chuck Ingwersen.
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What does “helping women find balance” mean anyway?
In this blog, I want to explore balance, hope, and healing in your life. More specifically, in this post, I will explore how women can begin to find balance in their lives as it relates to their many roles, responsibilities, and relationships. Once women grasp the complexity of their roles, responsibilities, and relationships, we will explore how these intertwine with the well-being of your mind, body, and soul.
This is so important because as you will soon see, all things matter, and all things are connected! When you find yourself overwhelmed or anxious, responding in your current relationships to past traumas, or struggling with mood, sleeping and eating patterns, it is important to equip yourself with the understanding of what resources are out there to help you navigate the journey.
This could mean considering mental health counseling, nutritional counseling support, spiritual mentoring, lifestyle coaching, or things like neurofeedback.
The first thing I want to bring to attention is the idea of balance.
Let’s face it, Ladies, if you wear enough hats, eventually you will lose balance!
This is an important concept for both men and women, but I hope you will stay with me because I want to specifically explore how this pertains to the complex juggling feat so many women pull off every day without even thinking about it, and the connection between those with lives that are out of balance, in any area, and how this leads to a cascade effect where everything else suffers.
The first step is helping women slow down enough to consider all the amazing roles, responsibilities, and relationships they actually manage in a day! In this face-paced achievement-driven world, women do not often consider all that they are already doing! Yet, this realization can eventually lead to a realistic view of your successes and some potential growing edges.
I want to speak to the women out there who may not even realize all the roles, responsibilities, and relationships that they are managing. Seriously how many hats do you wear on a daily basis?
Do you know which hats you actually need to wear, want to wear, and how to wear them well? Have you taken a moment to consider this and how amazing you already are?
I also want to speak to the women out there who are not only managing many roles, responsibilities, and relationships, but they are doing it while carrying a history of trauma, maybe chronic illness, self-doubt, grief, or a sense of failure, maybe because of the lies that were spoken over you by others in your past.
Let’s look at being a wife/spouse/partner. Without even adding the role of parenting, you will be navigating your role as a supporter, accountability partner, lover, friend, dream builder, communicator, and future planner. Finding balance here can be very tricky. Add parenting, fertility concerns, aging parents, in-laws, career balance, or business issues and here we are again... complex and again potentially anxiety-provoking and overwhelming.
What if you are a professional, health care provider, emergency responder, or spiritual leader of some kind? You still have a normal life at home, right? Now, you are balancing the traumas, losses, tragedies, crises, and sometimes the darkest side of humanity alongside the heaviness of your personal life at home.
Add all this on top of the stigma that has long plagued such roles when it comes to mental health needs or simply needing some kind of support and you can see how things can get tough.
You could take any number of roles and apply similar scenarios and arrive at the same conclusion; complex and likely overwhelming.
Have you been told, verbally or through interactions with others that you are not good enough? Not smart enough? Not slim enough? Not pretty enough? Not tough enough? Not giving enough? Again, the list goes on.
Maybe you have overheard someone you loved referring to you as stupid, trouble, or screwed up? Maybe you are hearing their voices replay in your mind about how you will not or would not ever amount to much.
And... just maybe, all things broken in your family of origin are, or were, made to be your fault because your role is or was that of the family scapegoat.
Now, let’s look at relationships beyond your family of origin. In addition to the relationships with adult siblings, and/or parents, you likely navigate a myriad of other relationships both professionally and personally!
Consider the relationship with that someone special (spouse/partner), your own children, employers, employees, colleagues, neighbors, friends, clients, food, alcohol, or yourself. Yes, women often overlook or put off caring for the self and developing a positive self-concept!
How do you balance all of these roles, relationships, and responsibilities? Sometimes women express concern about self-care because they are just too busy making sure everyone else around them is okay. Some women express a sense of failure if they “fail” in one of these roles, responsibilities, or relationships. Many simply do not know how to carve out any space to attend to their own well-being while many more feel inadequate, ill-equipped, or too overwhelmed to start.
It is no wonder that globally nearly one in five adults experience some form of mental disorder such as anxiety or depression every year, and nearly 30% will experience a mental health crisis in their lifetime, with nearly 20% prevalence over the span of one-year impacting employment, especially among women who are noted to have a higher prevalence overall (Anonymous, 2022; Cebrino & Portero de la Cruz, 2020).
So, we have established the complexity and potential sense of overwhelm in navigating your roles, all the responsibilities they entail, and how relationships can add to the complex nature of balance, and I have not even gotten to the impact of the pandemic, or the stressors and anxiety related to COVID which is noted in the literature to have increased globally by 25% according to an article in the Saudi Medical Journal (2022)!
Much of the work I do centers around these very issues. Your story is unique to you, from your perspective, and you are the one living your life, in your world, with your people. This is why it is so critical to tailor all of your care to your specific needs through modalities that resonate and make sense to you!
Functionally speaking, the main principle in your road to finding balance in your life is that all things are connected. You are more than the sum of your parts, so a holistic approach that recognizes this key principle is the one constant throughout our therapeutic relationship.
Research continues to demonstrate the importance of approaching care from a holistic, integrated, approach that considers this connection. For example, I have noted before on this blog (see: Considering the functional approach to your care, posted 4/27/22) that the brain in your head and the one in your gut are key players in your overall wellbeing. So too are environmental, relational, and emotional factors. They are all connected and they all impact your health and sense of well-being.
Yet, if we do not consider both the internal (emotions, motives, etc.) and external factors (environment, relationships, etc.) we can miss the whole of the picture.
Please hear me when I say that struggling to find balance in your life is not pathological. It is not an automatic disorder. Sometimes life just happens or kind of gets away from us. Other times, well, life can and does literally just blindside us. We all just need some support and objective guidance. Other times, you are simply wearing too many hats (aka: too many responsibilities, jobs, roles!) simultaneously! It takes courage to slow down and consider balance in your life, even if it means admitting you might be taking on too much!
Life is hard, busy, complicated, and can feel overwhelming. Sometimes we all just need a little support to get through it and shine on the other side of it.
If you are finding that you feel this sense of overwhelm and would like to begin discovering balance that leads to more peace, productivity, and well-being, I hope you will call and schedule your free 30-minute consultation today! Call 970.344.9439 or schedule online at yourhealthyhorizons.com!
Read more for references
Anonymous. Supporting workers with mental health problems at work: Challenges and avenues. (2022). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 48(5), 323-326. doi:https://doi-org.csu.idm.oclc.org/10.5271/sjweh.4044
Cebrino, J., & Silvia Portero de, l. C. (2020). Environmental, health and sociodemographic determinants related to common mental disorders in adults: A Spanish country-wide population-based study (2006–2017). Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(7), 2199. doi:https://doi-org.csu.idm.oclc.org/10.3390/jcm9072199
COVAX delivers its 1 billionth COVID-19 vaccine doseCOVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide. (2022). Saudi Medical Journal, 43(4), 438-439. Retrieved from http://proxy1.calsouthern.edu/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.csu.idm.oclc.org/scholarly-journals/covax-delivers-1-billionth-covid-19-vaccine/docview/2661104905/se-2
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All of the therapists associated with Healthy Horizons, LLC are independent professionals with their own practices and are independent wellness businesses, separate from Healthy Horizons, LLC.