Recent elections signal a possible shift in the historic tendency for low turnout among young…
Navigating Political Engagement and Mental Health Today
Further Unpacking the She Votes Survey for Mental Health Awareness Month as 2024 Nears
As the 2024 election starts to loom larger on the horizon, there is a notable uptick in political interest and motivation among women across all levels: local, state, and federal. We’re revisiting She Votes’ research in honor of Mental Health Awareness and Women’s Health months, conducted in partnership with Benenson Strategy Group that sheds light on the political perspectives and personal challenges women face in the United States today, as well as sharing some tips to incorporate self-care into everyday life. The same survey from last year showed for the women who said they weren’t following politics, said they didn’t have time because they were too busy working or taking care of their family. In fact, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, women are spending over four and a half hours doing unpaid labor compared to men who work just over two and a half weeks.
The Economic Dilemma
Key findings from the survey depict an increased sense of concern among women. Their worries are primarily anchored in their worsening personal financial situations and rising inflation. Interestingly, “inflation” topped the list of issues women identified as the most significant problem facing our country today. More than half (56%) expressed that their personal financial situation has deteriorated over the last few years—a worrying increase from 39% in 2021 and 50% in 2022.
The Burnout Epidemic
Notably, the survey revealed that women are experiencing heightened levels of burnout, with this feeling particularly pronounced among Black women and mothers of young children. 60% of women overall reported feeling more burnt out than usual—a number that rises to 68% for women under 40 and 69% for parents of young kids.
Political Engagement and Reproductive Rights
Despite these challenges, women are becoming more politically engaged as the 2024 election approaches. However, the increased engagement hasn’t necessarily translated into increased involvement. Two-thirds of women who discuss politics and current events at least monthly claim to be more motivated to get involved in politics on a local, state, or federal level. Yet, only one-third has actually become involved. And in light of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, reproductive rights have become a topic of grave concern for many women.
Coping with Burnout: Self-Care Tips
Our poll’s statistics present a stark picture of burnout among women. But, experiencing burnout is not a sign of weakness, and it’s okay to seek help. Self-care is an essential component of maintaining mental health, particularly during stressful times. Here are some practical tips to alleviate burnout:
- Prioritize Self-Care: Carve out time for activities that rejuvenate you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- Set Boundaries: Learn to say no when necessary and avoid overcommitting yourself.
- Mindfulness Techniques: Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or journaling to reduce stress.
- Regular Breaks: Step away from your workspace for regular breaks to disconnect and recharge.
- Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or professional networks for support.
- Disconnect from Technology: Take healthy breaks from screens and establish tech-free times to relax.
- Engage in Joyful Activities: Allocate time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
Mental Health Matters
Mental health matters every day, but Mental Health Awareness Month provides an excellent opportunity to bring this conversation to the forefront and break the stigma around seeking help. Remember, it’s okay to not be ok, prioritize self-care, and seeking help is indeed a sign of strength. Read the memo here and the press release here. Read more in USA Today and replay the discussion with She Votes.