A British coach is breaking the self-help mould by telling women to stop dieting and stop trying to be perfect, because it’s making them miserable.
Mum-of-three Jaelithe Leigh-Brown (38) started writing ‘The Happy Woman: What You Can Learn from Kids, Dogs and Men’ when she was up during the night, feeding her daughter Eden (now 3). The book shows women the small changes they can make to break away from life’s pressures, so they can be happier each day.
Jaelithe explained: “The modern woman is a master juggler. From our partners to our children, our friends to our career, life is more demanding than ever. Expectations on us are even greater. And we’re supposed to take it all in our stride and smile. There’s too much pressure on women to be someone they’re not and it’s getting them down.”
In fact, between 60% and 90% of people with Seasonal Affective Disorder are women and women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem.
Using observations, insights and recognised life coaching techniques, Happiness Coach Jaelithe Leigh-Brown shows women how it’s still possible to be everything to everyone without sacrificing the single most important thing – our own happiness. And it starts at home, with a look at some of those closest to us: kids, dogs and men.
Jaelithe said: “I got the idea for the book when I realised how unhappy women can be, due to the pressures they feel are on them. We’re told what size we should be, what beauty is, what a good wife is, what a perfect mum does, how tidy our house should be and there are demands on us at work too. The list goes on and on and I’m sick of it! Women don’t realise they’re good enough just as they are. It’s what I teach my daughter and it’s my message to women.”
Women can learn so much about happiness from kids. They wake up and immediately want to play. They don’t try to change who they are. They want to play even when they’re ill and they just do what makes them happy.
Dogs play up to what they’re good at and can easily live in the moment – a key to happiness, since they don’t have the same concept of time as humans do. They’re better at visual communication than us and can read body language – something women can do to be more confident within themselves and their relationships.
Men generally are better at taking ‘me time’ and switching off to the pressures or ‘to dos’ that life can throw at them. They’re also better at believing in themselves and in their abilities.
“I had three kids in the space of four years, and despite being a positive person, found it easy to get bogged down with my business, the housework, trying to be a perfect mum, wife, daughter and friend. I also had a personal bereavement and was told I’d end up in a wheelchair by the time I was 45, due to damaging my knees. My self confidence took a beating and I noticed every other woman I knew was feeling down, whether they had children or not. I wanted to change that and let women know that they can be happy by accepting that they’re good enough – just as they are.”
*SAD stats from psychcentral.com
Mental health problem stats – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-men-and-women