CEO Thoughts: Resilience is a woman's thing
This week I’ve read about resilient women in the COVID-19 crisis.
Each of us are balancing some combination of kids, parents, work, finances, cooking, cleaning, not to mention PMS, increased anxiety, weight gain, trouble sleeping? In perimenopause and post, these symptoms are par for the course, only now they’re amplified by the stress of COVID 19.
But in times of crisis, our health takes a back seat as we step up to take care of others.
Consider that women make up 52% of all essential workers as reported by the N.Y. Times. That includes 77% of health care workers, 78% of social workers and more than 2/3 of grocery store and fast-food employees. And we’re really good at crisis management.
Yesterday, Elizabeth MacBride of the Times of Entrepreneurship wrote about how women have moved into “tend-and-befriend” mode, in her article titled Women Business Owners Are The Economy’s Hidden Power And Vulnerability.
What is tend-and-befriend? The act of putting aside your own needs to tend and befriend others. She references a Harvard Business Review study that demonstrates how in moments of crisis, women gravitate towards helping others instead of looking out for their own interests. And they may not even be aware how much energy they’re gifting to others, while robbing themselves.
We contributed to her theory of women putting their needs second through our March read-out of the Gennev Menopause Assessment. Out of 10,000 women who completed the assessment in March 2020, we’ve seen “…women report less anxiety than before. While they are reporting the same symptoms as prior months – fatigue, weight gain, anxiety and hot flashes – they also said those symptoms (aside from weight gain!) had a lower impact on their quality of life.”
How are women able to do so much without even “feeling” the impact on their quality of life? Resilience. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, or toughness. Women have it. LOTS of it.
But do we take “resilience” too far?
We can be blinded by our feeling that everyone else’s care is our responsibility; that we must create some sort of normalcy in the chaos, and in the case of essential workers, that we have to keep doing our job as healthcare provider, grocery store clerk and social worker.
I’m deeply grateful for resilient women. As I sit in my safe, home office working away, I am deeply humbled by the frontline workers, bravely serving others. But as I write this, I am guessing you’re resilient in your own way.
What’s my responsibility to resilient women? Tend and befriend. Especially since you’re likely taking far better care of others than you are of yourself.
Tend: With Gennev’s resources, we can offer telehealth-based medical services – both for gynecology and primary care. This week we interviewed Gennev physicians on how they’re supporting women’s health during the COVID-19 crisis. We can offer lifestyle support and accountability for anxiety, sleep, nutrition, and exercise with the help of a Health Coach and Registered Dietitian.
Befriend: And if all you need is a supportive community to get you through the tough days, join us for weekly webinars and discussions about women’s health in COVID-19.
And most of all, if you’re in a financial bind right now and need help, text us at 424.272.8360 and we’ll comp your services to help you get through the difficult times.
I’m guessing that you’re a resilient woman. So hang in there. Be the caregiver and the wage-earner that you need to be. But don’t forget about you.