take your time back, breaking the cycle of mental load

By Spardha Learnings | 

Take Your Time Back, Breaking the Cycle of Mental Load

“One winter afternoon, I thought about making myself some tea. On my way to the kitchen, I noticed the overfilled laundry bag sitting in a corner, judging us. So, I took the bag and put the clothes in the washing machine.

We were running out of detergent, so I took my phone to add detergent to the list of things I needed to order. I also added some room freshener and mosquito repellent to the list. Since I was ordering stuff, I also began to brainstorm gifts we needed to present to our friends at the New Year’s party...

My tea couldn’t be made.”

 A working woman is a tautology,” writes Caroline Criado-Perez.

Meaning: ‘Working Woman’ is a repetition. A woman is either paid or unpaid for her work, but there is no woman who doesn’t work.

The more we spoke to women about their inner lives, the clearer the endless work became - physical, mental and emotional.

And it is often the mental and emotional labor that goes unnoticed... - what to prepare for breakfast/lunch/dinner that is nutritious and liked by all, - when is the kid’s exam, - taking updates with parents about their well being and the list goes on!

Mental load is this invisible labor that keeps a family fed, functional and fulfilled.

Does this work ever get acknowledged? When advertisements show women with multiple hands like superwomen - taking care of all chores with a smile… But in this case, the ads celebrate our labor.

Research done on the comparison of free time between men and women show that women’s leisure time is considerably less than men. From 1994 to 2021, the gap in the free time has reduced, but the margin is still enormous.

So then what about your health, our health?

Ladies, it’s time we put our foot down. It’s time to make a change.

Why don’t we take some time off, nurture ourselves minus the laundry list of domestic chores?

We propose a solution in the form of a 30 minute challenge!

For this entire month, take 30 minutes out of your day, just for yourself.

Do an activity - make tea for yourself, work out, watch something, sing, dance, paint, play an instrument.

The only condition is that for these 30 minutes, shut all other tabs open in your head. Don’t think about grocery or housework. This is your time to rest, to invest in your personal development and leisure.

PS: If you want to start a conversation around mental labor, check out ‘You Should’ve Asked’ by French artist Emma. If you think this article is relatable and does the job, share it with your friends encouraging them to take the challenge too.

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