Women go through a lot daily, from the thinly veiled gender-biased dismissals of our opinions to choking anxiety about our threatened safety. To make matters worse, avenues for us to relax and have fun, such as movies, books, and even social media, are full of triggers. Yes, the world hates women. We know. We don’t need to be reminded every waking moment; we are just tired.
Although worries are part of life, fretting about how to make ends meet, an upcoming deadline, or a first date is very different from constantly worrying about things one cannot control. However, when it gets constant and out of control, there is a problem. Constant worrying about the worst things that can happen ends up interrupting daily life and causing anxiety.
Overthinking and anxiety can affect mental health negatively. Constantly worrying about things you cannot control stresses you out. The mind is fragile, and persistent negative thoughts that are emotionally and physically draining could increase the risks of high blood pressure and coronary diseases, panic attacks, insomnia, chest pains, and digestive disorders. These can make it hard to focus and interact with people.
Several activities bring women joy, some of which I will highlight below. It doesn’t matter how insignificant an activity might be. The most important thing is for women to feel joy amidst all we regularly go through. We deserve it.
Take Time Off from Social Media
With social media always within reach, we can see things happening worldwide in real-time, which has advantages and disadvantages. Social media is a part of our lives now, and for many people, it is irreplaceable because it is the medium through which they relate to others. However, like with every other thing in life, moderation is key. Scrolling through social media daily for hours on end has harmful effects.
With unfiltered user-generated content constantly being fed into social feeds, it is easy to internalise a lot of trauma and get triggered. If you begin to feel this way, you may need to take a break.
The importance of taking time off from social media when it gets overwhelming cannot be overemphasised. Several studies show that taking breaks from social media can reduce anxiety and depression. But it doesn’t need to get overwhelming to necessitate a break. Breaks could last for days, weeks, or even months. They are beneficial because we must always prioritise ourselves.
Get a Confidence Boost
A while back, I watched a video of a woman stating how wearing makeup and posing in front a camera boosts her confidence. Intrigued, I did background findings and found the research by Business Insider . The article explains the positive impact makeup has on women’s mental health. Many women attested to this in the features available in the article.
But the benefits of wearing makeup is not entirely the point. After reading the article to the end, I picked an underlying message. Make up aside, it’s essential to find an activity or hobby that keeps the mind excited and in good shape. Doing this can boost serotonin levels and in turn boost the body’s well-being.
Shop Till You Almost Drop
Retail therapy is undefeated. Studies show that shopping gives a feeling of control, eases stress and anxiety, and lifts moods. Shopping is fun. We have to buy new things, and even though debit alerts will follow, we have to look great nonetheless. It will be worth it. It is refreshing to try on clothes and imagine what occasion you will wear them for. The mood boost is not usually momentary, and it does not matter whether it is online or physical shopping; we usually feel better.
One of the most effective ways to lift one’s spirits is exercise. These days, most people live sedentary lifestyles, which is detrimental to their overall well-being. Workouts help the body release hormones that boost one’s mood and inhibit hormones responsible for anxiety and stress.
It is not compulsory to engage in highly demanding physical activities. Walking, jogging, and stretching reduce anxiety and are not very strenuous.
Journal About Anything and Everything
We may feel like talking about how we feel may be a burden to whoever is listening. No one likes feeling like a bother, so writing is more suitable in situations like that. Journaling is an excellent way to release all our emotions, thoughts, ideas, concerns, and aspirations on paper, thus improving our moods. It also helps us to be more conscious of our thoughts, identify triggers and learn the best ways to deal with them. Even if it doesn’t make sense, just write. You can write about your day, no matter how mundane it is.
Journaling may not be easy if you are just starting out, so you might want to find a journal prompt online that will guide you on what to write. Also, some journals come with prompts in them. Journaling helps us relieve stress and discover ourselves. After journaling, it feels like a burden has been taken off, and self-reflection is easier to do.
Go for Nights Out with Friends
Nights out with friends are exciting and full of pure laughter and good vibes. The bliss that comes with planning, picking outfits, making up, catching up, and taking pictures is unmatched.
Laughter is the best medicine. Studies show that spending time with friends induces laughter. Laughing helps the body produce a neurotransmitter called endorphin, which causes feelings of happiness and suppresses feelings of pain and stress. Spending time with friends also helps us feel like we belong and are loved, thereby inducing the production of serotonin. This hormone improves our moods and reduces feelings of anxiety and worry. Nights out can never get old.
These are only a few of the activities that give women joy. There are many more. We always need to remember to protect our peace. We must see women happy and thriving as well, not constantly down or hurting.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, women are twice as likely to suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Disorder as men. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are more prevalent in women than men. It is common for people with anxiety disorders to also suffer from depression and vice versa.
The world is unkind, especially to women, but we must be kind to ourselves. We cannot predict everything that will happen to us, but we can surely seize the moments of joy that come our way and enjoy them to the fullest.