Women & Mental Health by Bianca Danielle Guidry

Ask 50 women today to name all of the things they love. How long do you think it would take for them to say that they love themselves? What is the percentage of women who recognize that they need to be loved as much as the next person, even the people for whom they provide care? Because the majority of a woman’s genetic makeup is to nurture, she will often take care of everyone else first. It’s time to discuss the importance of self-care and why women need to let go of the Superwoman—“I-don’t-need-any-help”—complex.

mentalHolding a BA degree in Psychology with a focus on trauma and crisis, I believe in the power of taking care of self. Self-love is one attribute I push every day for myself and for those around me. I find that I am so wrapped up in those around me that I often neglect my own needs. The Superwoman complex held by many women often inhibits our ability to view self-care as selfless. We tend to view taking care of ourselves as being selfish. The responsible and selfless thing to do is to take a self-inventory, focusing on the things we need and making sure that we are fulfilling those needs daily. Too often I hear from women who feel they are less of a person if they take time to fulfill their own needs. A self-care routine helps women not only avoid burn out but also manage their mental, physical and emotional health.

More than 2/3 of Americans who suffer from some form of mental health live in a community and live a productive life. It is very thought provoking to know that the majority of these Americans are women. Mental illness can affect anyone of any race, age or socioeconomic status. Unfortunately, most people do not recognize the symptoms of mental illness right away. I suffered in silence for many years, fearing to speak out about my struggles. I became so tired of hearing people around me say, “It could be worse”; but this was my “in the moment worst”, and I wanted my moment to connect with myself and drive through it.

Generally, the way things appear is only temporary but it is important to give yourself the time you need to deal with the situation. Taking self-inventory of your needs becomes a crucial tool to address your feelings and to acknowledge your needs. If I may share with you, the “best of me” came out of the “worst of me”. “Now what do you mean by that?” you ask. This is what I mean: I had to sit myself down and thank myself for being a super hero for myself. I couldn’t allow my mess to deter me from my destiny. I could not allow my negative thoughts to make me forget whom I belonged to, which is the King. I could not allow what was happening to me in the “now” change who I would be in the future. I say all of this to encourage you to allow yourself to grow through what you are going through. Nothing can change what God knows about you: you were created in Him. Allow yourself to LOVE YOURSELF, APPRECIATE YOURSELF AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

Written by Bianca Danielle Guidry



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