Recognizing Your Resiliency: Female Workers Overcoming the Pandemic’s Impact
According to the National Women’s Law Center, since February 2020, women have lost over 5.4 million net jobs due to the pandemic crisis. Some women had unemployment insurance to help with living expenses, a partner to assume costs, or they were scrambling to find work. Another challenge was dealing with burnout, something working moms with jobs out of the house or working for businesses that allowed them to work from home experienced. Lack of schools, childcare, and daycare left mothers experiencing exhaustion if they were taking on a disproportionate amount of childcare, homeschooling, and household responsibilities, on top of working. As we are in the recovery phase since the vaccines are showing a decrease in Covid-19 infections and businesses are opening back up, this experience has affected everyone and many of us are needing and/or exploring how to recuperate not just financially and professionally, but also mentally.
Here are three ways to recognize your resiliency after surviving a dark period, and why it’s so important to celebrate YOU.
Not everyone was financially able to quit jobs or be lucky enough to find a family-friendly job that understood the pressures of handling work, home life responsibilities, and offered the same salary. Working moms needed to get creative to find a way to balance work and personal life. Children needing to participate in homeschooling brought on difficulties and anxiety as moms had to find time to be tutors, parents, and manage their professional responsibilities. Moms had to figure out a schedule to make it work the best way they could. For those who didn’t have access to childcare, they needed to create separate working spaces to be out of the sightlines of their children so they could get work done.
Yet those who have partners who worked outside of the home, or they didn’t have partners or any support system to divvy up time with their children, that wasn’t an option. Consequently, depending on their age, they gave their children self-directed activities that provided limited time to work, or moms had to wait until the children took a nap or went to sleep to complete job tasks.
If you experienced exhaustion from doing your best to juggle work while taking care of the children and/or handling other household responsibilities, acknowledge that you did it. Look at the pressures you faced, taking it day by day. It might have been hard, you might have had to outsource help, you might have felt like you could do better, or didn’t know how much more of this “new normal” you could take, but you survived!
We can be so hard on ourselves if things aren’t going as smooth as we like, things aren’t going according to plan, others seem to have their life more together. Whatever it is that tells us we should be doing better, if you’re tearing yourself down, don’t do that to yourself. You don’t deserve to beat yourself up. Have comfort in knowing you navigated your way through everything that was put on your path. That’s what we do in life. We have a plan or figure it out. We face problems and solve them. And we face obstacles obscuring our path and we find ways to get through them. With each day we learn what solution is working or figure out alternative approaches to reach a resolution. For that reason, remember what you have accomplished and what you’re capable of.
The pandemic brought on feelings of fear and hopelessness with the heightened uncertainty, emotional distress with life changes and new challenges. As a result, people are left with what to do next. Through all the heartache from loss of life and managing new circumstances, if we allow ourselves to find lessons from this it helps to build our resiliency. Being aware of our capacity to manage and overcome adversities, along with being open to having a growth mindset where we uphold an outlook in recognizing what ways we have changed for the better fosters resilience. So, think about what you learned. Did you learn. . .
- how important relationships? To cherish loved ones more? To express how much you care about them, spend more time with family and friends? Or be accepting to new friendships?
- to work legitimate side hustles and save money to plan for the future or prepare for unforeseen tragedies?
- how to make changes to the way you run your company that is going to be more efficient for you and your customers moving forward?
- you want your children to continue homeschooling?
- you learn new skills?
- how to manage your patience in making adjustments to your life?
- strategies to maintain your health and build your immune system?
- about telehealth to have access to a therapist from anywhere in the world that can give you the support you need?
Whatever you learned embrace the lessons that will allow you to improve your life moving forward.
Last on this list is self-care, but it is not the least important. We’ve heard how important eating healthy and exercising is great for boosting mood and maintaining physical health. Yet, there are several methods out there that can be beneficial to practicing not just during hard times, but consistently to maintain your wellbeing for the long term. Find what approaches are best suited for you. Doing so will help you ease your fears, have peace, and create and maintain enjoyment or fulfillment in your life.
Self-Care/Staying Balanced Suggestions: Ongoing practices for maintaining overall wellness
- Therapy and/or support groups
- Medication and/or natural supplements
- Eating healthily
- Meditating and/or praying
- Spending time outdoors
- Creating art
- Participating in intellectually stimulating activities
- Participating in activities that are important to you
- Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family
- Volunteering: helping others brings happiness because it offers a huge boost to your sense of self-worth. It builds a sense of belonging, and you can meet people and make new friends while making a difference.
Coping Method Suggestions: Short term self-care methods that provide temporary relief
- Go for a walk or long drive
- Take a warm/hot bath or shower
- Read a book
- Take a nap
- Clean (it helps to be comfortable in an organized space and can also declutter the mind)
- Watch happy videos, movies, or TV shows
- Listen to music
- Cook or bake
- Be in silence (find a quiet place to just breathe)
- Hug a loved one
- Perform acts of kindness
To conclude, as you acknowledge your ability to be creative in finding solutions to your challenges, your process to learn from adversities, and your will to practice self-care, that deepens your resilience. And that’s something to celebrate. Celebrate you. Celebrate your capacity to manage and overcome this dark period carrying with you the mindset to move forward with decisions that are best for enriching your life.
This guest post was authored by Hailima I. Yates
Hailima is the CEO and Founder of Luv Mrk, a coaching company that provides customized workshops, events, and multimedia productions on self-empowerment; social, emotional, and mental wellness; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her clients include nonprofits and national and international companies embracing positive self-identity, recidivism prevention, and an inclusive and equitable work environment. In 2017, Hailima founded Luv Mrk to inspire others to recognize their power to transform themselves in ways that positively impact their life and their community. Learn more at www.dissolvingtheanchor.com