May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Virago Wellness is taking the opportunity to let women know why it’s so important to prioritize mental health.
Mental health is relevant to everyone even if you’ve never needed therapy or medication. In the same way that everyone has to pay attention to physical health or dental hygiene, we need to take care of ourselves emotionally.
Women, in particular, are affected by mental health issues in different ways from men.
Women experience violence and therefore traumatic stress at higher rates. Loneliness is an epidemic and as women tend to be more relational they are more impacted more by loneliness. Women have higher rates of anxiety and depression. Women also tend to juggle multiple roles with lower pay which can negatively impact wellbeing. Keeping mental and emotional health cared for allows you to have more time and energy to focus on other important things.
We all have struggled with things from time to time but if you’ve ever wondered if it was time for professional help, here are a few ways to tell.
#1. You’re having a harder time managing on your own.
It’s not that you’re incapable of taking care of yourself, in fact many of the women we work with at Virago Wellness, a counseling center for women in Portland Maine, have a lot of solid self-care skills. Typically what we see is women are coming up against something new and their usual self care isn’t cutting it. Or they have more on their plate that they have in the past. Having someone to talk to during harder times is not only cathartic but you can get new ideas and tips on how to improve on what you are already doing. You don’t have to do it alone.
#2. You’re ready to address something you weren’t ready to before.
You may know there’s something that’s been affecting your life and holding you back but in the past for various reasons, it wasn’t the right time to do that emotional work. Women often come to therapy to address family relational issues, trauma history, or self-esteem issues that have always been there but they are sick and tired of these things negatively affecting their lives. “So what do I do about it?” is something we often hear from women who are aware of what is affecting them but unsure of how to move forward. We can help you sort through heavy personal pieces and create a roadmap for navigating that change gracefully.
#3. You’re over-relying on your support system
Most of us have at least one or two people we can be totally real and vulnerable with. But women often report they don’t want to over burden their loved ones, especially other women who are often emotionally supporting many others too and have their own lives to focus on. Having an objective person whose only job is to be there for you allows you to focus on yourself in ways that you may not have had the opportunity to before. Not to mention, as therapists we are trained to be able to take everything you’ve got and be able to take care of ourselves too. This can take the strain off of other relationships.
#4. It’s taking a toll on the rest of your life
Maybe you’re not taking care of yourself as well, maybe your work is suffering a little bit, maybe you don’t have as much to put into relationships. If you find that you aren’t as on top of your game as you typically would be, it might be time to talk to a professional about what’s been going on.
#5 You feel like it could help
It really comes down to what you feel like is best for you. At Virago Wellness, we work extensively with our women clients to help them develop the ability to identify what they need and act on that intuition. These are skills that positively impact all areas of your life. Whether it’s deciding to leave a job or a relationship, or making smaller life changes, the ability to decipher what’s best for you is invaluable. Now is the perfect time to start exercising that muscle. If you’ve considered therapy could be helpful, why not find out.
Contact us today to set up a free phone consultation to determine if one of our therapists is right for you.