For many women, the stress that has been brought about by these uncertain times has also impacted their personal lives. One of women’s top concerns is low libido brought on by stress, fatigue and low mood.
The pandemic has had a detrimental effect on all of us, for many different reasons, but the mental health impact is sometimes easy to overlook. The lockdown measures in effect across Wales, and in fact the whole of the UK, has clearly taken its toll on our mental wellbeing, and women’s in particular.
COVID STRESS SYNDROME is a real thing now, and not at all uncommon during a crisis like this. It comes in five phases…..
- Fear of danger from COVID-19 and getting infected by different means.
- Worry about the social and financial impact of the virus.
- Marked concern of the spread the disease from other countries.
- Related symptoms of traumatic stress.
- Compulsive checking and seeking reassurance.
Research shows that 61 per cent of women are finding it difficult to stay positive during these times, compared to 47 per cent of men. Meanwhile, another significant factor is that the majority of frontline and health workers are mostly women, which further adds to the mental strain of women when having to work closely with patients during a pandemic.
Covid-19 has also had significant negative economic impacts, and as a result, more jobs have been lost for women, which is likely to have increased the level of uncertainty and emotional stress. Financial insecurity was common among women before the pandemic but has now increased dramatically following companies making thousands of employees redundant.
But women are more likely than men to have done something to help others:
- 44% of women say they have contacted someone lonely or vulnerable, compared with 33% of men;
- 78% have checked in on friends and family to ensure they are ok compared with 63% of men;
- 21% have delivered supplies to someone self-isolating, compared with 16% of men.
While women and men broadly agree on what would make them feel more optimistic, women are more likely to say that visiting a selection of friends and family would help (77% of women and 68% of men).
When the Welsh Government eventually eases the lockdown:
- Women are slightly less likely to say Government should prioritise the health of the economy over people’s health (9% vs 14% for men, although a majority of both genders put public health first).
- And women are more likely to be uncomfortable with lifting the lockdown, whether that is sending children to school or using public transport.
We’ve been talking to Victoria Steele, Chief Superintendent pharmacist at Lloyds Pharmacy to get more advice on how to look after your mental health and well being.
For now though, all we can do is help and support those who need to chat, find out information, or simply get some reassurance. There are many places you can do just that.