This article was written by Kristen N. Hubbard.
Mental Health Resources: Why Working Moms Need Them
It should go without saying that working moms have it hard. Working moms are expected to be breadwinners, then go home and work the ‘double shift’ of chores, homeschooling, and childcare. They are suffering from burnout due to a lack of support at home and in the workplace. Because of COVID-19, many working moms have been forced to reduce hours at work or drop out of the job entirely to care for their children. Other working moms cannot leave their job due to financial restrictions. Some working moms must balance working from home with childcare and chores. The real question is what working moms can do to maintain a healthy mindset whilst facing all this stress. In this article, working moms will find mental health resources. Working moms can utilize these resources if they feel overwhelmed, anxious, or in need of support.
List of Mental Health Resources: Selfcare
Maintaining mental wellness requires vigilance and self-care. Good Housekeeping offers a list of self-care routines that are perfect for those lacking time and money, aka working moms in today’s economy. These activities range from lifting weights while watching TV to staying hydrated by refilling the water bottle every hour. Many of these routines are simple and inexpensive. The lack of money or time involved makes them harder to put off with excuses.
Maintaining mental wellness through self-care is hard for working moms. Working moms often take on extra work at home and at the office because they feel like they have to. One of the best things working moms can do for themselves is learn how to say no. Harvard Business Review offers valuable advice on how and when to say no at work, offering some possible ways to refuse a task without burning bridges.
For getting people to do more at home, apartment therapy offers some psychological tips for getting family or housemates on board. The burden of the double shift is harmful to work moms. Finding non-argumentative ways to make their families more receptive to housework will allow them the time they need for self-care. The advice given in the article is from licensed family therapists from Andrea Cornell Marriage and Family Therapy.
Working moms have an abundance of stress in their lives. Ergo, it’s important that they have access to someone to talk to. Preferably someone who is not a significant other or a family member who has developed a certain view of them. Psychology Today allows people searching for a therapist to peruse an online directory of professionals within their chosen area. Utilizing the ‘Verified By’ system, Psychology Today makes a reasonable effort to ensure that therapists are listed under their proper identity, that their license is valid in whatever state they practice in, and that they are not subject to any license stricture.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made in-person therapy a bit less possible. Luckily, Psychology Today has that covered as well with a roster of telehealth therapists that have the ‘Verified By’ seal. Because of COVID-19. Therapists who don’t normally offer telehealth may be making exceptions. Working moms should take their time when they’re looking for a therapist. Being thorough in their search helps working moms find the person who fits most comfortably into their lives.
Working women sometimes find themselves becoming working moms. During and after pregnancy, it becomes especially important that working moms look after their mental health. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that perinatal disorders affect 15% of pregnant and postpartum women in the United States. Postpartum Support International is on a mission to disseminate information and resources to promote awareness and aid in the prevention and treatment of pregnancy-related mental issues worldwide. PSI runs a helpline that connects callers to a crisis center in their area. The volunteers call and text back during business hours. Because it is not 24/7, the resource is useful, but it’s not the best route for immediately life-threatening emergencies. PSI also provides informational material and links to additional postpartum resources.
For those mental health issues which prove immediate and extreme, there is the Suicide Prevention Hotline. According to Panagiota Kitsantas, Ph.D., the lack of research in the field and the exclusion of suicide from the definition of maternal death has turned maternal death by suicide into an unrecognized public health issue. Deaths of new mothers are often deemed ‘accidental’ or ‘incidental’, implying that maternal mortality rates are higher than the data suggests. Setting aside perinatal mental health issues, the sheer amount of stress working moms are under can put them at increased risk of suicide. Feeling overwhelmed is a leading reason for suicide amongst working moms, so they should not hesitate to call the SPH if they get to that point for any reason.
Practice and Patience
Even small changes will take some getting used to before they are routine. Working moms will have to fight their need to please at home and at work when they begin saying no to extra tasks. They will have to make themselves vulnerable to a stranger if they seek therapy. They will have to admit that they need help before they make calls to services like the SPH or the PSI. Even non-time consuming inexpensive acts of self-care will prove challenging. Working moms are used to constantly moving, so it will take practice on their part. Still, all these changes will be for the better, as working moms who take better care of themselves can ultimately take better care of who and what they love.
Hopefully, this article offering mental health resources for working moms will prove helpful to them.