Seeking Peace in a Post-Pandemic World
Dr. Mirriam Knight-Wilson wants us to stop, to take a breath, and to take a break. She wants us to heal from a year that has pushed many women to their limits. That’s the message she will share when the Jennasis Speaks podcast launches its third season today. Jennasis Speaks is a place where women share their stories and create a supportive community. And after the past year—our pandemic year—women need that support more than ever. The pandemic has been hard on us all, but it’s been particularly hard on women.
The numbers tell the story.
Between March and April 2020, more than 3 million mothers living with school-aged children left active work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau study “Moms, Work and the Pandemic.”
In some cases, the jobs women held, particularly in service industries, were lost. In other cases, women had to choose between work and childcare.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Bureau of Labor in March 2021 reported 2.5 million women left the job market since the beginning of the pandemic—compared to 1.8 million men—as they needed to take on more responsibilities related to homeschooling and everyday parenting.
Women who stayed in the workforce reported carrying a heavier workload, according to Deloitte’s Women@Work survey. At the same time, Deloitte found 66% of women surveyed took on the heavy lifting on the home front and more than half of women surveyed reported that they manage most of the childcare duties.
Women have also had to bear the brunt of the pandemic’s emotional fallout. Verywell Health reported on a CARE International survey that showed nearly three times as many women than men have struggled with their mental health during this time, living with the stress of financial insecurity and worrying about how they will care for their families.
Mirriam knows these stories. She heard them in her work as a therapist for a local non-profit organization. She heard them in the women’s ministry she founded just before the pandemic hit.
As she listened and empathized, she realized she had something in common with women in her ministry. Like them, she was exhausted. She had emotional wounds that she needed to heal before she could heal others.
“You cannot afford not to stop. I think so many of us are on the verge of literally dying. Because we’re not stopping. We’re not healing,” Mirriam says. “We can only function to a certain extent with the level of pain. What we don’t process emotionally, mentally, spiritually, our bodies will process for us.”
By the way, taking time to heal doesn’t mean stepping away forever. It means making time to understand who we are now, and who we hope to become in our own post-pandemic world.
The pandemic has altered our personal horizons. For example, Forbes reports more than 60% of women surveyed by the professional women’s network Allbright aren’t going back to jobs they lost to the pandemic’s impact.
One in four women surveyed has decided they want to take control of their careers and plan to become entrepreneurs. Other women are weighing the benefits and burdens of resuming their careers and wondering if now is the time for a significant change. The pandemic has changed the world, and it has changed women.
At Jennasis Speaks, we know many women struggle in silence with their personal challenges and their pain. That struggle is one of the reasons we launched the podcast. We want to give women a safe place to share their stories.
We believe that now, more than ever, women need that safe place. Now, more than ever, women need to know there is a place where they can take time to heal.
That’s why we’re dedicating our third season to stories of women empowering other women, starting with Mirriam’s story. Later in the season, we’ll talk about taking stock of our lives as they are now and what we want them to become. We’ll be talking about taking chances and making changes.
We hope you make time to join us.
To learn more about Jennasis Speaks, visit our website and tune in to our weekly podcast where women share their empowering stories.
Jennasis Speaks is a platform that empowers women to safely share their stories, promoting healing and growth through the power of collective vulnerability and acceptance. Believing that “every woman has a story…and every story matters,” founder Jennifer Malcolm hosts a new guest each week to tell her story on the Jennasis Speaks podcast and invites listeners to connect and find their own paths to passion and purpose.
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