Paging Dr. Friend, Help the Anxious and Depressed Women In Your Life
This month is Women’s History month and we wanted to share some important information about anxiety and depression in women. To start, did you know that women experience both anxiety and depression at a higher rate than men?
There can be various reasons for this, but most likely we see this come about due to hormonal changes and societal expectations placed on women in today’s family units and workplace environments. Women are widely praised as being “superwoman” and while that title can be flattering, it bears an amount of pressure that is often unbearable.
The women experiencing anxiety or depression can be our closest friends, family members and ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard for us to speak up and tell someone how we are feeling, which is why when we find out that someone close to us has been suffering, it can appear to be surprising. The good news is that we can check on our friends and check in with ourselves to make sure that we are all okay.
Here are a few quick tips to help women who struggle with anxiety and depression. Let’s help each other out this month and for the years to come!
- Make a list of your closest friends who are women or identify as women (and family members as well!).
- Set a day and time to check in with them and catch up on their lives at a time convenient for the both of you. To schedule this can be a challenge, we are all so busy. Try this format: Monday- send a quick text message to the friend/family member and see what days and times are usually best for a call to catch up (in person is great too, if you both have the time- the key here is to help feel better not stress either of you further). Send a quick calendar invite so that it isn’t forgotten. Have your call or meet up!
- During your check-in call or meeting, practice active listening. A good rule of thumb is no nearby phones or distractions. This could be after the kids have gone to bed or on the weekend when they are at a friend’s house.
- Set a time to follow up with your friend or family member! The relationship doesn’t end here, set some reminders to check in with them and make sure that they know that they feel valued and loved.
- Explore how you felt after the call or meeting. Did what they say resonate with you? Did you feel you wanted to take your own advice? Make one last appointment for self-care to take care of YOU as well.
This practice is not just helpful for your friend, but it can be helpful for you as well. If you feel as though people don’t reach out to you as much, this will help to connect with them and often a little effort goes a long way. Your friend may be encouraged by you reaching out, and want to make more of an effort as well. Relationships are work, and so is lifting each other up! The more that we connect on the phone and in person, the better we feel mentally and spiritually. Who will you reach out to this month?