With the increased dissatisfaction with life, most women today feel that life is a struggle they cannot overcome. But have you ever wondered why we simply wade from one day, dreading the next one?
Here are 13 reasons why we struggle in every aspect of our existence, with a life which was once touted to be a gift.
The elusive work-life balance
What any modern Indian woman wants the most today is to get a handle on that elusive work-life balance. Like, a mythical creature, it evades us, and we end up face first on more fronts than one. But is work-life balance even real or achievable? Are we running after an impossible goal for ourselves?
This one feels like a struggle that women have brought upon themselves. When they fail to match the tasks they have set for themselves, it makes even other big achievements in our life insignificant.
Women are burning out sooner on emotional and psychological level
Feeling exhausted and tired all the time? It isn’t that you are tired from physical exertion, but that you have burned out on an emotional or psychological level. Women have a tendency to over-think situations. We put too much mind in everything from crucial decisions to our everyday failures. We make so much mental effort to keep everyone happy that we end up with a tired brain. The result? Our exhausted brain makes easy tasks look harder. We must give some serious thought to the words of former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, “Women can’t have it all.”
Isolation in real world
The extent of our social media indulgence is such that we cringe at the thought of mingling with real people.
We would rather meet and greet friends on social interaction platforms, then hang out with them in real life. This has cut us off from real people, real smiles and real conversations. We feel awkward and restless when we are at a social gathering. We develop anxiety over appearances and making a simple chat, when we bump into a social media acquaintance in reality. But mostly, isolation from real people mean that we have lesser confidantes.
WOMEN HAVE A TENDENCY TO PLACE EVERYTHING ABOVE THEIR HAPPINESS
- Women are too busy mourning the battles they have lost, then celebrating those they have won.
- They put too much mind in everything from crucial decisions to their everyday failures.
- Also due to preference to digital socialisation, we are all cut off from real people and real conversations.
Low physical activity
With increased travel time to reach our workplaces, the slithering threads of red tail lights and sitting in front of various screens, our level of physical activity has seen a drastic downfall. And this isn’t just about sweating it out at the gym. We are more sedentary in general than ever before. We shop online, instead of running from one shop to another in busy bazaars. Not just that, we have also traded weekend activities like hiking and picnic with digital entertainment. And we no longer even bother to take out time for a simple recreational walk. The result is that even an hour of exercise today is not enough to cover the deficit of our decreasing physical activities. It makes us sluggish, dull and unhealthy.
Not enough sleep
The body needs to recharge so that it can function properly. The recharge here is an ideal stretch of eight-hour long sleep on a daily basis. But long work schedules and overly long list of to-do things means that most women cut back on sleeping hours. Add to that the post-midnight social media expeditions and binge-watching web series well into the ungodly hours. Our mind and body get very little rest in one stretch, and no, afternoon siestas or power naps cannot make up it.
The researchers who conducted world’s largest ever online sleep study noted that this could be causing more than just tiredness in the morning, as 70% of UK respondents admitted they could function better at work if they slept better, while 76% recognised that their personal life would benefit from better quality sleep.
The slump in our sex lives
The millennial men and women are having lesser sex than their predecessors. Despite having access to numerous dating apps and a much less conservative social set-up, their sex lives are in a dump. Blame it on physical and mental exhaustion or that we would rather engage in digital action than between the sheets. Jean Twenge, a member of the research team behind the General Social Survey, has said, “Online dating apps should, in theory, help millennial find sexual partners more easily. However, technology may have the opposite effect if young people are spending so much time online that they interact less in person, and thus don’t have (much) sex.”
Especially in India, a majority of married couples live with parents and children even today, while the size of their habitats keeps continually shrinking. There is a lack of privacy, and energy for sex because of the mound of unending duties which couples face in Indian households. This slump in sex lives, often makes women feel unwanted, unattractive and lonely.
A healthy sex life ensures that women’s hormones stay in shipshape and help them lead a healthy life.
For women in our country self-care means a facial or hair spa appointment. Most of us correlate self-care with looking good. But it is more than that. It is nurturing our body into a better state than it is. Self care means that one thing you do for your body which makes it feel loved, nourished and replenished. It could be as grand as booking a spa appointment every month or as routine as eating soaked almonds every morning. This is that one act that is just for the well-being of your body. How many of us do that?
DO WOMEN IGNORE THEIR BODY’S WELL-BEING?
- Self care basically means that one thing you do for your body which makes it feel loved, nourished and replenished.
- Women need to sleep more. Our mind and body get very little rest in one stretch these days.
- With increased travel time to workplace, the slithering threads of red tail lights and sitting in front of various screens, our level physical activity has seen a drastic downfall.
No mastery over the art of giving a damn
Women spend way too much time obsessing over what others think or say. Why must it bother us if someone thinks we are too lazy or not good cooks or homemakers? Why do we obsess over other people’s opinion about the way we dress or speak or chew or breath? Life would be so much easier if we train our minds to tune out this unnecessary criticism.
The eternal battle between being sanskari and doing as you please
Social dictates get hammered into our heads with such ferocity, that when we finally face real life and it’s numerous “temptations”, we feel at crossroads. Whether it is a choice between being a working woman or a homemaker, to having sex before marriage or not and even to wear clothes which are frowned upon by elders at home. Our conscience is always caught in a tussle between the tutoring on ideal conduct we received from our elders and what we want to do. Even when we chose the latter, the ensuing guilt keeps nudging at our conscience forever.
Diminished role of self among all others that we play
There comes a time in every woman’s life, when she needs to limit her physical and emotional contribution to both the society and their families and concentrate on her own bliss instead.
Women are so caught up playing an employee, a mother, a daughter and spouse or a guardian, that they have ended up diminishing the most important role – of being themselves. The constant neglect that they show to their own existence and let other aspects of their life takeover, is making it a struggle for women to find happiness in marriage and jobs. Who are we? What do we like on the individual level – our hobbies and our choices, what brings us peace, etc? When women fail to address these questions and continue prioritising other roles, it only leads to more dissatisfaction.
Being sacrificial is finally taking its toll on us
For generations, women have carried the responsibility of being the sacrificial one of the two genders. From sacrificing education or job so that a brother or a husband is well-tended to at home, to skipping lunch if there is a shortage of food on the dining table. Indian women always give up their privileges and rights, to keep others content. But the modern women are not content anymore with being the sacrificial lamb. Years of giving back and receiving nothing is finally making them question whether it is worth it or not and rightly so. However, it is their inability to ditch this tendency to sacrifice, which is making our daily lives a big struggle.
Denying ourselves rewards
When children perform well in a sport or in exams, we tend to reward or appreciate them. However being women, we are conditioned to strive for excellence in every task. So being able to cook is not enough, you have to be a good one. We must be good wives, homemakers, mothers, etc, and we think that excelling in these tasks is our job. The result is that we don’t reward ourselves for doing a great job. We eventually begin to lack the motivation to do well, because where’s the fun in that? All we need to get through the day is titillation of a reward for a job well done. It could be something as small as a cube of your favourite chocolate after dinner every night. Or a no kitchen duty day once a week or so. Little things like these could make struggles of life seem a little more bearable.
NOT PUTTING OUR INDIVIDUAL DESIRES FIRST
- Our conscience is always caught in a tussle between the tutoring on ideal conduct we received from our elders and what we want to do.
- When women continue prioritising other roles, it leads to more dissatisfaction with life.
- When we don’t reward ourselves for doing a great job, we begin to lack the motivation to do well.
Picture Credit: theodysseyonline.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own
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