COVID-19 has been implacable with our health, our economy, with our natural way of socializing,, even with our little daily banalities – such as going out to have a drink at the corner store. This is something that today we learn to value. We are also experiencing this impact at every moment from our daily life and from our diverse way of feeling and being in the world as women.
The methods we have adopted as a society to face this crisis, have brought a series of difficulties to us that alter our health and physical, emotional, and mental balance. As we engage in preventive isolation and social distancing and encounter with feelings of uncertainty, fear and vulnerability make the home a possible scenario of tension and highly stressful for all its members, and for us women, especially in those periods where, naturally, we are more receptive and sensitive to external stimuli. Even more so, when the overload of responsibilities related to the roles commonly assigned to women has increased incredibly: to assume more frequently the domestic and care duties. This, in the current circumstances, translates into an increase in time, resources, and energy geared towards domestic chores that, due to the closure of educational institutions and the adoption of telework, coexist in many cases and simultaneously with responsibilities in the field. labor and academic. In other words, now more than ever domestic work, professional work, education, and care of the older or younger are mixed.
All this represents a complex scenario, and the tension can take us to the limit of our possibilities, and even decimate our ability to positively manage our emotions in order to fully comply with the expectations and responsibilities imposed from outside.
What can we do about it?
• We can promote and practice self-care. It is important to recognize and accept any of those emotions or feelings that arise in this situation; let them be and, more importantly, let them go… Observe and understand them perhaps as indicators that we are out of step with our own needs and priorities.
Writing our thoughts and feelings in front of something concrete is an exercise that, in addition to being liberating and relaxing, it can help us recognize our emotions and enhance creativity. It can even help us find solutions for this particular situation.
• Generate, as far as possible, spaces for dialogue, cooperation and co-responsibility with the members of the home, in relation to domestic tasks or in relation to new circumstances that may arise due to the situation. We can share thoughts, fears and expectations, or simply express our support with a word of encouragement or a hug.
• Claim our right to recognize and express our limits. If you feel that the situation is overwhelming you, do not hesitate to ask for help. We already mentioned it in the previously we express it again now, because we believe in the power of mutual support and contact with our community; connect with our support networks in friends, family or close friends, find groups of your interest or contact our community. We will surely find people with similar situations or life stories in which we will find support, advice, and knowledge that will broaden our perspective.
• Take a break from social media and news.
It is a strategy that can greatly decrease our levels of anxiety and stress; constant exposure to visual stimuli and saturation of information (negative, in general) will make us be in a state of alert and prolonged fear. We could invest this time in making a video call to someone we esteem; exercise or do some crafts, we can even integrate the rest of the family if they dare.
• Practicing leadership and solidarity among women
The current situation, although complex, is also a fantastic time to rediscover ourselves, connect with our bodies, our emotions, and also with each other; resume our hobbies, or strengthen our skills. Perhaps what will happen is we will face such a level of stress and find support in colleagues who go through the same thing, or perhaps we realize that, in the midst of the crisis, we have sufficient creativity and capacities to create spaces for participation, support, and solidarity. among the women around us, becoming agents of positive impact on our environment through actions as daily as are the chats in WhatsApp groups, the creation of interest groups on social networks or those gatherings between neighbors where they share feelings, experiences and advice of that popular wisdom that make life more pleasant and problems more bearable. In scenarios like these, we implicitly discover ourselves, support each other, and celebrate ourselves as equals and, at the same time, incredibly diverse.