May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is the ideal time to discuss what many women have been covering up or ignoring for far too long: burnout. More than a year after one of the most uncertain and stressful times the world has ever seen, women have managed to juggle shifting family needs, educational requirements, and professional careers all while attempting to salvage some sort of social life. It is incredible. And, it is exhausting.

Why Do I Feel So… Meh?

We all see Wonder Woman kicking butt and taking names. She’s awe-inspiring and confident. She gets in, does her job with a perfectly applied smile, and gets out. But, what is she like at home? Does saving the world day after day ever get old?

According to research, it absolutely does. It has long been accepted that women shoulder the brunt of “second shift” work at home. They may work full time, then come home and still be expected to perform most domestic and caregiving tasks at a notably skewed ratio to their male counterparts. Therefore, while the home may be a safe-haven for men to relax and recover, it is often a source of yet more work for women. The resulting burnout can lead to physical exhaustion, loss of creativity, and disengagement. Wonder Woman’s lasso gradually glows dimmer and her superhuman strength becomes much more… human. All that giving, providing, and performing has left her cup empty and though she may not be clinically depressed, she is certainly not thriving.

In other words, as the lines between work and home remain blurred and the pressures of each continue to weigh heavily, women may find themselves languishing. Trapped somewhere between flourishing and depression, languishing can be seen as a general lack of well being and it’s affecting more women than ever.

How Can I Stop Surviving and Start Thriving?

We all know the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, but how can we refill our dwindling stores of motivation and creativity while still fulfilling the seemingly endless needs of our careers, friends, and family? Hera Hub has spent the past 10 years working towards answering this question.

To begin, you don’t have to do any of this alone! Ask for help. Even if your village cannot be physically present, take full advantage of the virtual support they can provide. Let others pour into you! Hera Hub provides over 15 virtual meetings a week that cover everything from supporting mental health, to your personal career goals, to social change. Being surrounded by other women who share similar experiences can reduce the overwhelming feeling of being alone.

Secondly, give yourself permission to not be all the things all the time! You simply do not have to provide a home cooked meal every night — or even often. Or have an organized calendar and spotless home. Or anything that takes from you without pouring back in. It’s ok to be less than your ideal self from time to time.

Finally, create easy wins! Completing tasks feels good and reduces stress. Find tools that make this easier (e.g., a cool planner, a team organization app like Asana or Trello, a grocery shopping/delivery app like Instacart, accountability groups like those Hera Hub). Take a little time to turn the dozens of tasks you complete each day into goals so you can track the amazing results of your hard work and — feel even better while doing them.

These tips sound simple, but may take work to implement. Burnout and languishing are a silent epidemic and can make moving forward feel overwhelming. Hera Hub is here to support all women, wherever they are in their personal and professional journeys. Contact us to learn how membership could help you thrive. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month, Wonder Women.