For Women, By Women

Posted on Monday, July 13, 2020

Self-acceptance during the time of COVID-19 and beyond

1st for Women Insurance recently spoke to award-winning journalist, Iza Grek, about the importance of self-acceptance during the time of COVID-19 and beyond. She shares her experience and insights below.

COVID-19 is our new reality presenting both challenges and opportunities. It comes with an unprecedented impact, leaving chaos in its wake.

As women we are often centre stage in our roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, companion. Whether single or married or in a family with children, the constraints of lockdown have had a severe impact on living conditions and the psychology that goes with it.

Our ‘normal’ has been upended and we have been forced to confront a new reality, like it or not. The level of severity of your ‘stay-home’ status may have varied from a drop in workload to an increase in workload or no work at all, being the hardest with the greatest potential for mental health challenges. Going off your rocker after more than 60 days, would be a normal reaction in these most abnormal of situations.

As lockdown eases, we face the next challenge of re-socialising  and needing to confront and communicate eyeball to eyeball with other humans. After months of lockdown, are we prepared?

Grooming is most likely the biggest casualty in this for many of us. It is for me, and although I shower and get dressed every day, my hair looks like rat’s tails, and that’s not just on my head. A leg wax is way overdue and my make-up  tray is collecting dust. A lick of mascara is all I can manage if I absolutely must go out to the shops, but even then, it’s an effort to even bother.  Fortunately, I  have a small frame and have made exercising a must during this process, yet I fear confronting the kilos that have climbed upon my hips never to budge, and a bigger number on the scale when I do get back to gym.

Usually, super multi-taskers, with less to do we may be taken off course by multiple webinars, Netflix and other electronic distractions which can occupy hours of our time. And it’s okay if that’s where you’re at right now. No one is demanding more. Check-in if there are feelings of guilt, ‘ordering’ you to achieve as much as you do normally. We are all programmed with a sense of drive and deliverability and when it’s not there, our sense of worth dissipates.

It’s important to accept ourselves as we are and to look inside for self-worth and be reminded that our worth is not demonstrated by how much we do, or how well we clean-up. Our worth is our intrinsic value as women and what we offer in our relationships both personally and professionally.

“When we're self-accepting, we're able to embrace all facets of ourselves—not just the positive, more "esteem-able" parts,” says Dr Leon F Seltzer in his article The Path of Unconditional Self-Acceptance in Psychology Today. “As such, self-acceptance is unconditional, free of any qualification. We can recognise our weaknesses or limitations, but this awareness in no way interferes with our ability to fully accept ourselves.”

Lockdown, isolation – this forced withdrawal from life as we know it, is tough on all of us, with no end in sight. We have nothing to prove and should not look to be acknowledged from anyone other than ourselves. Be kind, and give yourself all the pampering you crave and deserve when it becomes available. You’ve come this far, and that deserves a nod of approval from yourself to yourself.

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