The WarriHER’s Playbook on Well-Being and Self-Advocacy

November 28, 2019 - Comment

In this fast-paced 24/7 digital world of ours with all of its pressures and demands, do you sometimes feel as though you’re losing yourself? Losing what anchors you to what’s real and true? Do you question if you can even recognize what’s real and true about your life? About what matters most to you? Do

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In this fast-paced 24/7 digital world of ours with all of its pressures and demands, do you sometimes feel as though you’re losing yourself? Losing what anchors you to what’s real and true? Do you question if you can even recognize what’s real and true about your life? About what matters most to you? Do you harbor concerns about your well-being and question if it can co-exist with high performance? Are you struggling to contain your rage over the daily assault of microaggressions? Do you struggle with how to speak up and speak out for yourself when the gender equity deck is statistically stacked against you? Has your best solution been the same as what women have been “traditionally taught”—to suck it up, to smile and then complain to anybody who’ll listen? How’s that working for you? This is not the day for sucking it up and smiling. And this is not that kind of playbook. There’s no denying that external factors pose great challenges. Sometimes, however, our greatest moments come when we tackle not what’s outside but what’s inside. While we continue to do the collective work of supporting and advancing gender equity, we must first commit to doing the foundational self-work. Ours is not a world that relishes the value of deep introspection and inner conviction. Performance and profit are often elevated above values and character. Many have traded the power of stillness for the lure of busyness. The way women experience the consequences of busyness is informed by our identities as women, as mothers, as daughters, as sisters. Do you bear the primary responsibility for child-rearing matters, household chores, and dinner preparation even though you are in a dual-career relationship? Have you ever been the recipient of “mommy shaming” or felt the burden of “mommy guilt?” Are you expected to be the nurturer of extended family members ? Do you feel conflicted by simultaneous feelings of pride and shame over being perceived as a “super woman?” Have you ever felt compelled to weigh the impact on your career of starting a family? Do you sometimes find yourself so busy that you neglect your need for sleep and rest but somehow manage to take care of everyone else? Because the pressures of busyness in women are exacerbated by patriarchal “norms” and systems of oppression, gender-bias, and discrimination, it results in tremendous internal pressure and stress. Dr. Valerie Rein, a psychologist and mental health expert, refers to this as PSD, Patriarchy Stress Disorder™. She posits that “women in patriarchal society, experience ‘power outages’ caused by micro-triggers that make it feel unsafe for us to be fully present in our full authentic expression.” Dr. Valerie goes on to say that “these power outages lead to us working much harder than we need to, running on a significantly lower power supply than we otherwise would have.” Valerie’s work underscores why it’s critical for women to both take care of ourselves and arm ourselves to take on the larger systemic issues that impact us.This playbook is for women at all career stages and across all industries. The exercises and activities it contains are called “battle plans” and are numbered. Weaved throughout are the voices of warriHERs who share their wisdom and experience and who will help you to stay grounded as you activate your fighting spirit in a war for your very well-being. Ready to get armored up? Okay. Let’s do this!This playbook is your powerful resource and includes dozens of reflections and activities you’ll return to again and again to help you to live strong, live true, live YOU.

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