Are Women Putting Extra Pressure on Themselves at the Holidays?

A woman feels broken by pressure at the holidays

She is stressed at the holidays. Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

In the majority of cases, I think the answer to this headline is “yes.” As a woman, I often try to live up to societal expectations of me at the holidays. Let me give you a personal example from this year and then look at some of the articles I found online that show some disturbing stats.

Speaking From Personal Experience

I have already been to several holiday parties this season. I even co-hosted a Christmas dinner. Each time I went to a party, I bought a gift for the host. Not just any gift. I searched for the “perfect” presents, which in hindsight makes no sense as there’s nothing perfect in the world. Not only that but what’s wrong with giving something that’s not perfect? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

While thinking about this notion I realized, well, I was never asked to bring a gift to any party. In fact, one of my friends said just showing up was gift enough. I bought a present, regardless. I took it all upon myself. Oh, the pressure. I felt stressed. I lost sleep thinking about what to get as the present. All for what was supposed to be a fun Christmas party.

And don’t even get me started on figuring out what to wear to each party. Would a dress, a skirt, or a nice pair of pants be appropriate? But then what about the hair? And I would have to wear makeup, of course. Again, today, I ponder about all of this.

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Beauty

“Beauty is kindness. Doing something for others, without needing any recognition or reward. Being brave. Having a huge heart.” Indeed! Here’s a great post from a blog I just found called thebrunetteinthepinkscarf
~Wishing you a beautiful day,
♥ Christy

thebrunetteinthepinkscarf

For most the word means an attractive physical attribute. A certain hair color. A size. Measurements. Brand named clothing. Pounds and pounds of makeup.

But beauty means something different to this blue eyed brunette…

Beauty is kindness. Doing something for others, without needing any recognition or reward. Being brave. Having a huge heart. Spending quality time with friends and family. Appreciating those who are always there, in good and bad times. Persevering through difficult times and having hope that all the hard work will be worth it, because it is. Honesty. Openness. Having patience. Encouraging others to be the best they can be. Respect. Loving with your whole heart.

A truly beautiful person is becoming extraordinarily rare these days, but if it is found – don’t let it go. Beauty comes from within. Looks are not everlasting. A bond however, it lasts a lifetime.

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Guest Post: How to Get Your Blogging Spark Back and Inspire Community

Hi everyone! Today I have blogger Felicia of Thoughtful Minds United over for a visit. Please help me welcome her! I hope you enjoy her advice for how to get your blogging spark back. Her words are inspirational and ones you can start to apply today in your own writing, if you feel it needs a bit of a boost. Let’s get to it! 🙂 Here’s Felicia:

Since you are most likely a writer, author, or both, by now, you may have heard this spiel- “Tell your story, your voice is important!”

typing

Actually, this may be one of the reasons why you blog here on WordPress. But sometimes, even on this platform, it can be hard to remember that, right?

The longer we blog, the harder it can be to remember why you started doing it in the first place. It can be hard to remember that you aren’t doing it for the likes or comments but because you like connecting and having your voice heard. Maybe exposure for your projects came second for you.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Around 2014, I began Thoughtful Minds United (TMU) which became a community for writers.

However, as time progressed and my blog began to grow, I forgot the romance and became incredibly selfish.

I became more concerned with the amount of views or writers we had on board than with voices being heard and the quality of work we produced. All I knew was that we had to push content and get writers now.growth 3 plants

Gone was the excitement of getting a new writer. Gone was the excitement of a simple comment. I even lost the concern to inspire others in my space which is what I set out to do in the first place.

All I cared about was how many viewers we had and how can we repeat that. Slowly, but surely, I lost the passion that I had for TMU and began taking more time off from blogging and working on the site.

Eventually, I decided to shut the site down. We had a following of a little over 800 people following and approximately 13 monthly writers. But I lost the drive to run it.

While I do believe that leaving was the right thing to do, had I kept my motives in the right place, I might not have shut it down. TMU would probably be much larger now as I begin the process of re-opening it.

So, who cares? Why does this even matter?

As I have recently returned to the blogging scene, I’ve noticed that more bloggers have left and for good reason, I’mconnect the country sure.

But if we leave, we can miss a huge opportunity that is unique to us on this platform.

Do you remember why you started your blog? Did it have something to do with using your voice, sharing your opinions, or even sharing your life with others? Maybe it included promoting your newest creations and receiving the support of others.

The things is, a lot of new (and older) bloggers have started their blogs for the same reasons! This means that our opportunity to positively impact them as well as each other is limitless!

It doesn’t always take money or a bunch of time. Sometimes the options are simple!

Check out this small list of ways you can inspire and help someone in the blogging space:

authenticity

  • Writing honest posts about your life and what you learned (fiction or nonfiction): These posts that outline the journey of your life, can allow others to insert themselves and see where the path they are taking leads. Or your perspective can prompt others to seek to understand the lives of others. This leads to less fear or maybe even hostility because people begin to understand the “human-ness” of those they once did not understand.
  • Giving others a shout out or a place to speak in your space (examples: thoughtful re-blogs and shares, awards, guest blogging, permanent writing space on your blog): By giving them a piece of your place, even for a moment, you can lift up their spirits and encourage someone to keep at their craft and at their dream.

clasped-hands-541849__180When I have had the privilege of hearing back from these people, it has been one of the most amazing (and tear jerking) moments that I have had.