The Silent Struggles: High-Achieving Women and Mental Health

There is a catch 22 of success and a Psychological Ripple that want to avoid. Jessica Dalby looks into what are the silent struggles behind High-Achieving Women's success and how it affects their mental health?

Have you ever wondered what lies behind the smiles, composed demeanour, and impressive achievements of high-achieving women? All too often, those who celebrate the success of these women overlook the silent struggles they hold within. This is a reality check on the pressures, the harrowing expectations, and the seemingly impossible standard of ‘having it all’. It’s time we address the often-overlooked facets of success – the impact on mental health and the importance of inclusive self-care measures.

The Catch-22 of Success and Its Psychological Ripple

There’s a tall tale that many women have been led to believe. It’s the story that assures them they can effortlessly juggle unwavering career dedication, homemaking proficiency and personal growth. However, the concrete norms of humanity often get overlooked. Every individual has their limitations; you too, need self-care and space to breathe.

Shouldering a multitude of responsibilities leaves little room for self-care. Women are expected to put in 9.5 percent more time than men in unpaid care work by 2050. This constrains their advancements in education, employment, and leisurely pursuits.

Despite efforts towards gender equality, the gender gap in leadership persists, potentially imposing high-stress levels on women leaders.

The Silent Crisis: Mental Challenges Among Achievers

If you are a high-achieving woman, chances are you tread on a thorny path. Stressful circumstances breed emotional and mental discomfort, sometimes leading to conditions like depression or anxiety. A global mental health crisis is unfolding – disproportionately impacting girls and women. It’s high time to act and eradicate this duality of crises: mental health and gender imbalance..

Self-Care: The Commandment for High-Achievers

Are you caring for yourself enough? If not, it’s time for self-nurture. Paving the way for self-care requires setting pragmatic expectations, safeguarding boundaries, and balancing professional tasks with personal life.

Resting is not akin to laziness, but rather a vital ingredient for wellbeing. Eating healthily, maintaining physical activity, ensuring ample sleep – all these seemingly minuscule factors contribute significantly to mental health. Mindfulness practices and meditation aid in managing stress and cultivating tranquillity.

Opening Up: The Strength of Self- Awareness

If you find yourself on the brinks of mental instability, there’s no shame. Reach out to professional help. Through therapy or counselling, you can unravel personal difficulties and establish coping mechanisms. The stigma around mental health needs dismantling, especially amongst women who are expected to always stay strong.

Fostering a robust support network can offer invaluable help and understanding. Peers encountering similar pressures can offer empathy and encouragement. Mentorship programs can guide high-achievers through their unique, sometimes isolating, journeys.

The Quiet Betrayal: Society’s Expectations

It’s vital to acknowledge the silent battles of high-achieving women and how societal expectations add to their woes. The fancy notion of ‘having it all’ often unravels into a psychological conundrum. It’s crucial to counterbalance this with pragmatic work-life approaches and self-care tactics. This involves advocating for systematic shifts that tackle the core of the gender gap in mental health.

Addressing the mental health of successful women is a complex journey involving societal change, self-care and easily accessible mental health resources. As a society, we must tear down unrealistic expectations and foster a culture that prioritises mental well-being.

Navigating the path of high achievement is not a bed of roses. But knowing that you are not alone in your struggles and learning to prioritise your mental health are powerful steps forward. The journey to success need not come at the expense of your mental wellbeing. Recognising and confronting these silent struggles paves the way for a healthier, more balanced approach to success.

Remember, there’s no shame in seeking help, setting boundaries, or taking time to care for yourself. After all, as a high-achieving woman, you, too, need the freedom to be human.

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Jessica Dalby
Jessica Dalby

Jessica Dalby, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, is deeply committed to mental health advocacy. Her humble beginnings and a decade of service in the US Army have shaped her understanding of resilience and the importance of mental well-being. As the founder of Jessica Dalby Brand Media, she's dedicated to elevating brands, from startups to major corporations. Outside of her professional life, she is the proud mother and grandmother of 7 children and 3 grandchildren.

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