Do You Ever Feel Spread So Thin You Have No Time To Focus On You?
Are you feeling exhausted and weighed down by life’s demands? Perhaps you feel worn out by responsibilities at home, by the expectations of your spouse or children. You might find yourself in a kind of family manager role 24/7, always having to keep track of everyone else’s needs and never having time for your own. Or maybe you’re a highly-driven, career-minded woman, and work has consumed your life so much you feel like you’ve lost yourself along the way.
In a world that expects women to do and be a million things at once, it’s easy to neglect your own self-care. Perhaps you want to focus on yourself, but you feel guilty if you do. You might feel like there’s a running checklist of never-ending obligations in your head, and your partner leaves you to do all the work alone. Or maybe the self-neglect stems from other factors. For instance, if you have unaddressed trauma in your life, it may be causing you to seek too many distractions and ignore your mental health. Feeling betrayed by a spouse or loved one can also lead to self-neglect. Betrayal makes you feel like you’re the problem, like you’ll never be good enough no matter how hard you work. As a result, you may end up neglecting physical and mental needs, eating poorly, sleeping too little, or even avoiding social time.
Thankfully, with our empathetic approach to counseling for women, you can find room for self-care amidst the hustle and bustle of life. You can learn to step aside from the running checklist of demands in your head and make time to focus on your mental health.
Why So Many Women Struggle To Make Time For Self-Care
Being a woman is not just hard—it’s exhausting. Society expects us to do the dishes, hold a job, take care of the kids, keep up the mommy blog, and still find time to eat right and look pretty. Our children often act like we have ten arms. Our bosses may expect us to work even when the kids are home sick. Our spouses might expect us to keep track of all the household necessities, go to work, and still find time to care for the kids. Put simply, everyone seems to think we’re Wonder Woman—and we often expect the same from ourselves. Why?
In a world that considers women caretakers, we deal with “mental load” more than anyone. Basically, mental load refers to the implicit share of responsibilities placed on women, particularly wives and mothers. Not only are we expected to be the ones cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing, we’re also expected to care for the emotional needs of our spouses, friends, and family. Sometimes we internalize this checklist of demands without even knowing it. We become experts in “self-martyring”—we’re so used to taking care of everyone, we do it at the expense of caring for ourselves. Put simply, we become everyone’s caretaker.
Not only does this mental load stress us out, it also leaves us with a profound sense of guilt. We might tell ourselves: “I have a good life, so I should be able to handle all this and be happy.” If you’re a new mom, for instance, you might find that as much as you love your new baby, you miss your old life. You want to be grateful, but motherhood means new demands and obligations, and they aren’t always fun. This lack of gratitude often leads to self-shaming; after all, roughly 70—80 percent of new mothers experience baby blues or postpartum depression. Whether it’s the challenges of motherhood, a relationship, or the workplace facing us, it’s hard to drown out the voices in our heads that say we’re not good enough.
Here at Monarch Family Counseling, however, our goal is to teach you how to silence these self-shaming voices and find the voice that is authentically yours. We want you to be able to step back from the busyness of life and find time to focus on you.
Therapy for Women Gives You A Chance To Feel Validated And Seen
Counseling for women offers a safe space to explore the expectations and beliefs that have shaped your identity as a woman. This is a time specially set aside for you, where you can unwind from all the pressures at home or the workplace and focus on self-care. It’s a chance for you to find your real voice—the voice you can trust—and quiet the ones saying you’re not good enough.
We don’t offer a set treatment plan; rather, the process is uniquely tailored to you and your needs. You can expect to learn healthy boundaries, find a strong support system, establish the right work-life balance, and adopt skills to strengthen relationships. If you’re in a relationship where it feels like you’re doing all the work yourself, for instance, we will teach you how to better communicate your needs to your partner. If you’re a new mother dealing with baby blues, we offer postpartum counseling to help you combat shame and develop positive strategies for adjusting to your new lifestyle. Ultimately, we want to help you find confidence in your authenticity and drown out the self-shaming voices that hold you back from doing so.
We specialize in many different approaches, but we have three that are near and dear to us: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and the work of Brene Brown, an American research professor known for her revolutionary studies on the psychology of self-shaming. We use CBT to identify and challenge negative thought patterns that are holding you back. EMDR therapy, meanwhile, is a research-driven method of alleviating trauma symptoms through the use of multisensory stimuli. Brene Brown’s work heavily informs our approach to the healing process by exploring your sense of shame, vulnerability and courage.
Our hope is that, through counseling for women, you will feel supported in your goals and validated in your struggles. To quote Brene Brown: “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” Every woman wants to feel worthy of love and belonging, but the busyness of life often gets in the way. We rarely have time to stop and smell the roses, to appreciate all the hard work we’ve done or feel rewarded for it. In our therapy for women, we want you to find time to stop and smell the roses. Most importantly, we want you to feel validated and seen.
You may have some questions and concerns about counseling for women…
I don’t have time for self-care.
You might feel like you can’t find time for therapy with all the other demands life makes on you. You may even feel selfish for neglecting those demands to focus on yourself. The important thing to remember, however, is self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary. After all, we make time for the doctor, the dentist, and the hairdresser—therapy is really no different.
I don’t want to spend the money on myself.
When you invest in yourself, you’re investing in more than just you. The benefits of self-improvement trickle down to your spouse, your family, and co-workers. If you better your own self-esteem through counseling, for instance, you’ll be more equipped to help others find ways to better their self-esteem. The empowerment you gain through counseling will give you the tools to empower those around you.
If I just work harder, I won’t need counseling.
You might think: “If I just make my husband happier, do more crafts with the kids, or exercise more, I’ll be fine.” As women, it’s easy to self-martyr, to work so hard and sacrifice so much we neglect our own mental health. But no matter how hard you work, your mental health needs won’t disappear. This is why therapy for women is so vital; with our loving help and support, we can set aside time to address those needs.
You Can Find Support And Empowerment Through Counseling
If you live in the Herriman or Lehi area of Utah and are ready to begin your journey of self-discovery, therapy for women with Monarch Family Counseling is here to get you started. Currently, because of COVID-19, we offer therapy both online and in-person (we plan on switching to in-person full-time when the pandemic ends). We’re open to whichever option you feel comfortable with. To contact us, you can call the office at 801-349-9606, email us, or message us on our website.