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Being The Ultimate Woman- A talk with Dr. Ghynecee Temple

Our diverse life experiences are shaped by a multitude of factors, including our economic and sociological backgrounds, age, race, and ethnic group. However, I believe that there's a common thread that unites the modern woman – the pursuit of being the ultimate woman. Now, you might wonder, what exactly defines the ultimate woman? Well, she's the anchor in her life, the one we all rely on. A woman who gracefully juggles multiple roles – daughter, mother, spouse, student, leader and employee, all with finesse. She is always looking her best, oozes sex appeal, never exhausted and always present. The ultimate woman hardly fails, rarely disappoints and is almost undoubtedly perfect.

Being that woman is exhausting, because when you're her around the clock, when do you find the space to be vulnerable and take care of yourself? The reality is that you're pushing yourself to the limit. If you're consistently pouring 120% of your energy into everything and everyone else, how much of that is reserved for you? When do you allow yourself moments that won't leave you sleep-deprived?

woman wearing a power suit

Image by @kellyrowland

I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Ghynecee Temple PhD, a Licensed Psychologist and EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Respect) Consultant about being the ultimate woman. We also discussed self-care, and overall mental wellness.

In our discussion, I dive deep into her definition of the ultimate woman, the effects of overworking and more importantly, strategies for self-care in the pursuit of the ultimate woman.

Dr. Temple:

First, I think it is important to note that “overworking” will look and feel different for each person. For some it could be working more than 40+ hours per week, for others it could be the number of roles/responsibilities they have to manage, or it can include managing a household full-time, etc. Regardless of the specifics, overworking for a sustained period of time can negatively impact our mental and emotional well-being because we are overextending ourselves which can be detrimental to our health. For women, overworking can be attributed to a number of factors and recent research has shown that since 2020 more than 2 million women have dropped out of the labor force due to stress, lack of support, and diminished resources (Physiologist Magazine, 2023). Overworking can leave women feeling like they have failed, aren’t good enough, and even isolated among other feelings.

I can agree. There was a phase in my life when I pushed myself twice as much as my peers, striving for recognition, support, and the opportunity to advance. However, despite my efforts, I often found myself feeling like a failure when I would see my peers achieve their goals with only half the effort I put in, and it raised questions about my own worth and value.

According to Dr. Temple, “common signs of overworking can include

- increased stress

- irritability

- changes in mood

- increased substance use

- changes in appetite (overeating, quality of foods, undereating/skipping meals

- lack of sleep or poor sleep quality

- changes in appearance

- diminished self-care routines.

Each woman is unique, so it is also important to recognize when there are significant changes to our normal baseline behaviors.”

You may have read these last two paragraphs and thought, Yep, this is me, I’m overworked, I do not take care of myself, or I am constantly exhausted. Have no fear Dr. Temple and Adaaba is here.

I asked Dr. Temple to share strategies and coping mechanisms that women can use to establish a healthier equilibrium between work, self-care, and personal life in today's demanding world. Furthermore, her perspective on how therapy and counseling can play a pivotal role in helping women redefine their priorities and self-worth?

Dr. Temple:

To create balance, I would encourage women to consider their values and needs across each domain. Our values inform what is important to us and our needs are a way of operationalizing those values. Once we have an idea of what those values and needs are, we are able to identify the resources we need to keep us nurtured in those respective areas. It also serves as a way to check-in with ourselves when things are becoming imbalanced and helps us understand and address those hindrances. And therapy provides a space for women to show up authentically with no expectations. They are able to have a space that is supportive and non-judgmental and can help them understand who they are and how they want to live.

The work obviously begins with us but the truth is, not everyone has the access to therapy and the other resources as other women do. With this in mind, I asked for Dr. Temple's perspective on what women and society at large should do to challenge and reshape the conventional notion of the "ultimate woman" in a manner that prioritizes mental health and overall well-being.

Dr. Temple:

I think a big piece of the work is creating platforms or utilizing existing ones where women can redefine what it means to be an “ultimate woman” from their own standpoint. This invites unique and diverse representations and allows both women and society to see various examples of how women choose to show up in their lives. Another part of this work is allowing space for authentic sharing and support where women can shed their need to show up as the “ultimate woman” and show up as themselves with no expectations.

Indeed, and there has been a noticeable shift in recent years as both society and women have come to recognize the importance of these supportive platforms. The emergence of more of these spaces shows a growing understanding of the need to encourage women to embrace their true selves and live authentically. It is a positive step toward fostering a more inclusive and compassionate world.


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