Life Lessons We Wish All Women Knew Sooner
As we sit here on International Women’s Day, we can hear the sweet poetry of Destiny’s Child Independent Women play on repeat (OFC, our office is playin’ female anthems), and as we walk around the office, our colleagues beam, “Happy International Women’s Day.” My WhatsApp is full of messages from female friends spreading the love, and we’ve already got our fave female podcast, High Low, lined up for our walk home. What we’re trying to say is that the strong and beautiful female energy is palpable today, and we’re luuuurving it.
But we did start to question: what is International Women’s Day really about? For us, it’s about celebrating women in all of their glory, but also, as writers with a platform, it’s about educating women and reminding them of their true feminine power. So today, we’ve compiled six important life lessons we wish ALL women knew sooner. Get ready for some empowerment!
1. Strong Women Support Strong Women
Our WhatsApp is blowing up RN with celebratory messages of support and love. Honestly, our heart feels so full. Receiving these little declarations in honor of International Women’s Day from women we admire feels so validating and, most importantly, empowering. It serves as just another reminder that there is strength and value when women support other women. Viewing other women as your “competitors” or “rivals” will only bring you or them down. For true equality to occur, we need to uplift and support all women so we can ALL be seen, heard, and valued.
2. Excruciating Periods are NOT Normal
We’re not going to sugarcoat this one; excruciating period pains are NOT normal. Yes, period pains are common, and it’s normal to experience some pain, but if you can’t get out of your bed for three days straight, you vomit or feel faint, that’s not something that should be normalized or dismissed as just “classic PMS.” Severe period pains could be indicative of serious hormonal conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS.
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to contact your health provider. Another tip? Go to the appointment armed with an exact list of symptoms so that the healthcare provider can understand your cycle to make an informed prognosis.
3. Knowledge is Power
The expression “knowledge is power” is super common and is 100% true in so many situations, but we can’t stress how true it rings when it comes to your body and feminine health. Knowing and understanding your body, your hormones, and your reproductive rights, is one of the most empowering things you can do. Not only can it impact the trajectory of your life but how you feel on a daily basis. From understanding what period care products work for you to learning about sex, be proactive and educate yourself.
Wondering where to start? Well, we have tons of info on feminine health, from how your body changes at every point of your cycle to must-have products for menstrual cramps. We also love to follow social media accounts, like itsaugust, that educate and empower women by helping them understand their bodies better.
Finally, if you do experience period pains, don’t feel pressured to continue your day in silence as normal. Take the time to slow down and recover. Fun fact: Spain actually offers paid menstrual leave – we can only hope the rest of the world catches up!
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4. Filling Your Cup is SOOO Important
We often look at women and ask ourselves, “seriously, how do they do it?” juggling so many things, from work to social commitments, not to mention children. As women, we’re so used to doing THE most and just trying to make it work. Often, we mold ourselves to fit whatever the requirement is in that given situation, and while this can be an asset at times, don’t forget to fill your own cup too. The bottom line is: you cannot be the best version of yourself or give back to your fullest potential if you don’t feel emotionally and physically content. So just as you’d prioritize helping everyone else, prioritize yourself.
Schedule regular self-care moments in your day, whether that’s a lil’ coffee break while listening to your fave podcast or taking an extra 10 minutes for your skincare routine to decompress with a candle and face mask. Check out our fave self-care rituals for more inspo.
5. Your Opinion Matters
Your opinion matters. Period. It’s that simple, so don’t be afraid to express it! As long as you express your opinion in a constructive, calm, and kind manner, there’s never a time in which you should feel that you can’t speak your mind. Especially in the workplace! Women who speak up can be mislabeled as “difficult” for simply speaking up and speaking out. Our advice? Just be mindful of what you’re saying and how you’re saying it, and if it’s a valid point, say it!
6. Set Your Own Beauty Standards
Even writing the term “beauty standards” gets us all in our (angry) feels. From such a young age, we’re presented with this set of beauty standards that have been ingrained so deeply within society, often dictated by the male gaze. But honey, we’re here to remind you to smash down those beauty standards! It’s 2023!
Beauty is about doing whatever makes you feel beautiful, confident, and, most importantly, like yourself. One day that may be slaying a red lip; other days, it may be applying a skin-loving serum. Or, it could be doing nothing and being your natural and authentic self. If you ask us, that’s the most beautiful thing you can be…
Happy International Women’s Day! Go out and celebrate yourself and all of the women in your life!