Being a woman isn’t easy. It has never been, and as we welcome the full extent of the digital world, the harder being women has become. Are we digressing? With all our worlds progression surely the stigma and pressure of being the ‘ideal women’ should no longer exist or at the very least have decreased? The picture and requirements for the ideal women have changed over the years, in fact, that there even is a stereotype for us to live up to is shameful and all round impossible. Nowadays the perfect woman can juggle a family, a career, romantic relationships, friendships and can look good and keep fit – all at the same time. They are expected and able to absorb the needs and emotions of everyone around them. This often leaves us burnt out, stressed, anxious and sometimes even depressed as there is never any time for ourselves and we feel like an elastic band which is continually being pulled in all different directions.
We are constantly seeing to the needs of others instead of our own, but it is so crucial for us to designate time for ourselves within each day. These moments are priceless, they are quick and effective and make a considerable difference to even the most intense days. We should try our best to implement these guidelines into our days and watch as we flourish and change the notion of the perfect women.
- Only your emotions are yours. Yes, it is essential for us to resonate with people. To try our best to understand where they are and what it is that they are feeling but try to keep their emotions separate from your own. There is a way to empathize without taking on whatever it is that they are feeling ourselves. Try to distinguish what is your emotion and feeling and what is not.
- Let go. We are not just mom, cook, doctor, wife, friend we are also Jane, Julia and Claire. We are first and foremost ourselves, but with all the labels we seemingly take on we sometimes forget who is under all the multiple hats we’re wearing. Take that hat off once in a while and be you – before perfection, before children and husbands and responsibilities. So pop champagne, dance on tables and take naps – whatever it is that that blows the hair on our heads back.
- Taking short cuts is okay. Women now are constantly trying to be perfect, the perfect wife, mother, colleague, employer, boss, sister, friend etc. – but that often means we feel like taking shortcuts to achieve our end goals is cheating. It’s not – see point above. Utilize the quick fixes that the twenty-first century provides. There is a reason why ready-made meals exist, why we can order lunch online and have it delivered to your door within the hour and why instant shampoo is such a hit it’s because they make our lives easier.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are not superwomen all though we often feel like it but we are in fact human, and sometimes we need help. It doesn’t make us incapable, weak or anything else that we make ourselves feel. Go on try it, ask for help – I dare you.
- Slow down. Seriously if there is anything women should take into account when it comes to trying to keep her head above water in the 21 century, it is too slow down. We spend so much time frantically trying to achieve all the things we need to get done in that we often forget where we are and what it is that we are actually doing – and sometimes we even forget to eat. Eating is important. Knowing where you are and what you are doing is essential. So, we will repeat it. Slow down.
- Be present. Because we are constantly running around unable to tell what’s up from down we often get lost in a time that doesn’t really exist – is neither here nor there. Enjoy where you are when you’re there.
- It’s okay to put ourselves, our happiness and our goals first without feeling guilty apologetic or selfish.
- Less is more. Living in this new instant and digital age we often have the world at our fingertips access and receiving everything and anything we need at the click of a button. The best things in life are the simple ones. We should embrace simplicity. Simple makeup, simple clothes. Simple activities, simple lunches. Simplicity is a precious rarity today and should be treated as such.
- Don’t react immediately. We live in a world where everything is instant, and we tend to react instantly to situations often doing so in the flight-or-fight mode which only leads to heightened stress and anxiety levels. Stop, breathe, take a step back and respond later. This is also relevant to emails, text and DM’s no one can read the intention of your words so instead, save the response for a less manic moment.
- It doesn’t matter what others think who cares what the other PTA moms feel about your store-bought cupcakes for the bake sale, or what your colleagues think about your three-day outfit repeat. All that matters is how you feel about yourself.