By Jas K Bhatia & Gurrit K Sethi
Abstract: Women have excelled in all fields. However, many are still languishing for opportunities. The need of the hour is empowerment – not by others rather by self. And for this today many technology tools are available for use! So, as we look after the well-being of the world, time to wake up and recognise our own as well – physical and mental!!
With women rising in both status and recognition across the globe, their multi-tasking abilities are both being appreciated and raised concerns. On top of this, there are eyes everywhere, eyes of expectations on women, by themselves and the world, to not only live but consistently thrive in their super-womanhood, 365*24*7. These demands in this hyperactive and VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world, have shown effects on mental well-being. There is a need to recognise the effects of stress and anxiety on subsistence as well as to enhance the mental strength which is much required to keep pace with the productive environments we operate in today.
However, Mental health is still the minor in the family of health and wellness. It is yet to attain its status of adulthood where it can express itself without an eyebrow being raised. Especially by women themselves! Various researches and figures from WHO have shown that women are twice as likely to be affected by unipolar depression which is forecast to be the second most common source of ‘Global Disability Burden’! One of the biggest issues in the healthcare industry remains the under diagnosing of mental health conditions by physicians. WHO says that more than half of the patients who meet the criteria for psychological illnesses are not identified. Data also shows that the prevalence of serious mental illnesses is almost 70% higher in women than men. This can be attributed to various social and psychological exposures as well as dynamic biological changes through various ages. Exposure to violence (emotional and physical) makes a woman 3 to 4 times more likely to be affected by depression. In UK, one in five women reportedly have a mental health problem as anxiety, depression or self harm. In US, of the 20% adult population treated for mental illnesses, the percentage of women was almost 50% higher as per a 2017 study. Similar trends are visible across other countries. The Covid19 pandemic has only worsened the situation with many countries reporting a rise in domestic violence.
We need to recognise that mental disorders affect men and women differently, with some problems being unique to women because of the triggers arising from hormonal changes:
Perimenopause related depression
We have various stress factors which place higher responsibilities at most times with regards to juggling careers to meet financial needs along with being the primary caretakers of our families. Also, higher instances and proneness to physical and sexual abuse / violence also giving rise to higher incidences of sexual diseases.
Also evident from the data is the fact that women take longer to seek help after witnessing symptoms as compared to men. High time we changed these behaviours
and woke up to recognise and address these needs for ourselves as efficiently as we do for others!!
In todays’ day and age where global knowledge is anything but scarce, there are infinite options to search and get relevant information. From building a bikini body to creating wealth, tools for all are well resourced and well provided for.
We have support today, in the form of people and clusters of people ready to extend their hand as providers for all domains. Till about a decade or two ago, all of us thought that the internet would remain restricted to search and gaming. Look at the world now! It is the only technology that made interaction possible while the entire world went “home” to protect its citizens from the novel coronavirus. It is the netizens who were and still are the flag bearers of community and work, love and leisure in the new world. Technology and its boons are best appreciated in these challenging times.
With artificial intelligence exhibiting natural human intelligence way better than we thought, we could utilise that to our benefit. Mental health for women can be supported through online tools and AI where the balance of work and life can be beautifully dealt with. With house cleaning robots at affordable prices and delegation of work to virtual assistants, life can be a journey of productivity and fun.
With the world getting smaller and smaller and communication, shorter and crispier, the Insta generation has far less attention span than Gen X, 20 years ago. Therefore, another useful tool is downtime. Research show that taking a break in between work boosts productivity and enhances creative abilities. Research by Patel and Lamar in 2013 suggests that the ease of walking may free up more of the brain’s attentional resources for cognitive processes. By joining live classes online to getting inspiration from communities of similar interests, one can introduce breaks and enhance their quality of work.
Plentiful applications on mindfulness and meditation help the tech savvy woman today to augment their sense of well-being and carry on. The forever energetic woman of today has nutrition for both the body and the mind. The advent of the world of meditation on the tech platforms is a huge blessing. Right from the comfort of the office, a meditation can be done at any point in time and with ease, return to work can be initiated.
Cognitive and emotionally intelligent games are now available on the internet. The gaming board and sudoku puzzles online are a great way to support your mental health and the birthing of a few neurons every time you take up a challenging task is a worthy benefit!
Above all, seeing and interacting with loved ones is just a click away. A woman who is a mother, when knows that her child is taken good care of and her house is well looked after, feels at peace and this contentment would naturally increase the quality of work done in an organisation. With the luxury of video calling and having the option of monitoring through cameras, concerns are easily put to rest.
The delicate balance lies in the time to be devoted to these activities. Working to stay at 6-sigma excellence and reaching out to the world of technology to augment mental health are two sides of the same coin; together they make great value wherever they go :).
Special Request - At Miindmymiind, we are striving to understand women’s mental health needs better to enable a specialised ecosystem at our fingertips, without the need to physically run to a mental health expert. Please help us by attempting the survey by clicking this link: https://forms.gle/2Rsd2qU3DYWHEdvp7
Gurrit K Sethi, Founder MIINDMYMIIND, contributes to healthcare by bringing to life new concepts to enhance accessibility, helps providers re-engineer businesses & works on community initiatives with Global Challenges Forum (a Swiss Foundation) on sustainable health initiatives. Through 24+ years of experience, starting from the shop floor to leading businesses, her greatest achievements have been in bringing to life different SMEs and SBUs, under various corporate banners, signifying a change in the Indian healthcare scenarios along the healthcare growth curve.
Jas K Bhatia, Neuro-Psychologist in Coaching and Training Facilitating Transformation & Personal Mastery for Organisations, Teams & Groups and Individuals. Over 15 years, she has touched over half million people (sports people, entrepreneurs, senior professionals) through Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Coaching, Intervention & Change Work, and, Behavioural Training. Her Mantra of ‘Engineer Your Genius’ provides her coaches with simple tools and transformational conversations that lead to an opportunity for performance at the highest level.