Beating stress as a busy woman feels nearly impossible. You’re in a groove, living your best life, and then, out of nowhere, a wrench is thrown in your plans. Overnight your once focused energy is redirected in 100 places. After 35, this seems to be a never-ending cycle. To navigate the ebbs and flows, I made a self-care guide just for YOU.
We all deal with stress differently depending on genetics, previous trauma, mindset, and socioeconomic status. Something anyone can do, regardless of circumstances, is self-care.
When you hear “self-care” your mind might go to jade rolling and bubble baths. It is much more than that.
Self-care is what brings you joy, reconnects you to your individuality, and ultimately empowers you to feel like the best version of yourself.
So, where do you start?
The Self-Care Guide for Busy Women
Do a Wellness Check-In
There are usually a couple of things happening in your life that makes you feel out of balance at any given time. I narrowed them down to the six specific areas that are make-or-break, especially for busy women.
To give yourself a quick wellness check-in, look at these six areas in your life and think about the goal you want to achieve vs. what’s going on in your life right now.
Click on the area below to navigate to our in-depth definition. Each one encompasses more than the simplified word.
Let’s use career as our example
Imagine you start clocking in a lot more hours at a job that you don’t really like. Not much time to Netflix and Chill with your significant other anymore (Relationship). You ride your Peloton (Health) every few days and have gotten in a good habit of making home-cooked healthy recipes (Creativity). Somehow you can’t get rid of the quarantine 15 you gained to save your life which led to a decline in your body confidence.
Why is this happening?!
Well, weight gain isn’t the actual issue here. The extra pounds are a symptom of prolonged stress around your job/purpose. Some other symptoms of prolonged stress are hair loss, bloating, and shortness of breath on the physical side. On the mental side, there’s anxiety, frustration, and depression.
If this resonates, there is a chance the prolonged stress has triggered your fight or flight response and has thrown your nervous system and adrenals out of balance. This evolutionary trait worked well for our cave people ancestors who needed adrenaline to respond quickly to dangerous situations like a marauding tiger or dinosaur. For modern women, anything from pushing through the pain of a hard workout or giving a presentation can bring on the same hormone surge. When it happens too often, you start to notice the symptoms I mentioned.
Your end goal, in this case, might be to lose 15 lbs. After 35, a low-calorie input and a class pack at Barry’s aren’t going to hack your stress hormones into submission or make the pounds fall off. In fact, these may hurt them even more. Instead, hone in on your career/purpose and practice self-care in that area. All you need is 5 minutes a day to fall into balance.
As the Gen Z’s say, DO LESS.
Start Healing Your Stress ASAP with This Self-Care Guide
Unfortunately, there is not a magic pill to beat stress. Sure, there are a few supplements that can help but, ultimately, it takes consistent effort.
If you have 5 minutes to spare each day you can beat stress, boost body confidence, and find work/life balance through the power of self-care.
High-achieving ladies reading this, I know you will want to plow through. Slow and steady wins the race here. Pick one area from this self-care guide to work on and nurture it each day.
Think about plants. You don’t water a plant once a month and hope it lives. The seeds are sowed and with a regular watering schedule, it grows into a beautiful living thing.
Even the busiest of women have 5 minutes to “water their plant”. Yes, the plant is YOU! Maybe that’s at 6am when you wake up, Noon when you’re eating a salad at your desk, or Midnight as you’re scrolling yourself to bed.
For example, if your area of home is blaring, here are some unique suggestions:
- Find a go-at-your own pace online course about Feng Shui and watch a lesson
- Read a page from Marie Kondo’s book
- Remove one item from your closet that isn’t “you anymore and start a Poshmark pile
- Transfer your Poshmark money over to your account to pay a credit card
- Set a Zillow alert for your dream home and add them to an online vision board.
Incrementally, these actions become habits. You’ll find more time to invest. The “growth” will lead to inspiration. Before you know it, you’ve built a healthy self-care routine around an area of life that brings you joy again.
Write down one goal and three action steps that will get you there.
Open All Three Eyes
Out of the six areas to find balance, busy women often assume that the area of spirituality is the throwaway slice.
What mom has time for a 10-minute meditation? All 200 things on an entrepreneur’s to-do list are going through their mind in a yoga class, so why go? Aren’t crystals just rocks?
While the word spirituality has become akin to woo-woo in recent years, it’s really just grounding, introspection, and, oftentimes, a way to form a community. Three things busy women with life stress can benefit from.
When I created this six pillar Self-Care Guide for busy women, it wasn’t lost on me that this was the one area they would either be least receptive to or the most curious about.
Personally, it’s my favorite area and usually most fulfilled because I find learning about modalities helps me be the best version of myself. That’s why I was inspired to name this self-care guide Sage Your Life. The journey to self-care is not just body and mind, it’s also the soul.
Your List of Spiritual Modalities
Pick at least one below to do on your journey. Research more and feel free to experiment!
- Reiki Healing
- Tarot Card Reading
- Astrology chart reading
- Guided meditation on Youtube
- Discover your Human Design chart
- Katonah Restorative Yoga
- Walk barefoot in the grass (grounding)
Burning sage is not a nuevo hippie thing
One of the oldest methods of cleansing unwanted energy FAST, dating back to prehistoric times and used in every corner of the world by our ancestors is a smudge stick aka burning sage.
Modern-day scientists have also proven that sage smoke releases negative ions and puts people into a positive mood.
You can (and should) burn actual sage but the name Sage Your Life is just a metaphor for the process you will go through of smudging out the old (i.e. years of chronic stress and anxiety) and ushering in the new.
“Smudge yourself” five minutes a day for 40 days before starting on a second area.
A Wellness Wheel for Busy Women
There are several versions of the wellness wheel on the internet. Each one reminds us that we need to work on different aspects of our lives to increase our sense of overall well-being. The wellness wheel I created for this self-care guide is specifically for busy women, encompassing the areas that fall out of balance most frequently.
Who are busy women?
They are high-achieving, entrepreneurial-minded women balancing life, career, family, social life, and side-hustle. Kids or no kids. Single or married. Big city or small city. They are all in the same boat juggling multiple tasks each day, driven to live their best lives.
This group puts everything and everyone before themselves, neglecting the most important thing – self-care. One of the challenges of post-vax life is making self-care a priority after living with regular stress on top of pandemic stress.
The wellness wheel takes all of that into account, separating your external world (career, relationships, and home) from your internal world (health, creativity, and spirituality). All six pillars come together on the Sage Your Life wheel to holistically empower you to live the low-stress life you deserve.
The Six Pillars of Your Self-Care Guide
Read through each pillar below to uncover what areas in your busy life need balance.
This pillar is more than just finding a job that pays the bills, this is what makes you spring up in the morning.
We are in the midst of the great resignation. Millions of people have already left their jobs in search of more. Others are looking to turn an idea into a business but have been scared to make the leap.
Women who stay home for one reason or another may not have a traditional career path. Like anyone else, they have a purpose. How do you find what that means to you.
Determine the best path forward in maximizing your passions and potential.
This pillar was the most affected in the pandemic. Life is best lived with community, romantic partners, and business colleagues. Since the beginning of time we have relied on our “tribe”. Particularly women. Our necessities cannot be met alone. ::cue Beyonce:: Even if you are an independent woman.
Aside from the pandemic, it can be hard to prioritize quality time with the people you love when you are caught up in the career area. The two go hand in hand. When work is going well relationships seem to be nurtured more. When you’re burnt out, human contact is the first thing to be cut.
Experiences with other humans validate our feelings and thoughts. When you put effort into your relationships, the benefits you receive will be 10-fold. As the saying goes, your vibe attracts your tribe.
At the most basic level, this is about feeling grounded. Assess your living environment and bodily sanctuary to find stability, safety, and strength.
For busy women, stress is a chronic issue that effects their overall health so this pillar is all about calibrating hormones and getting rid of the symptoms that come with a stress-induced imbalance. Those can include insomnia, weight gain, hair loss, fatigue.
My approach is 50% Mindset x 30% Nutrition x 20% Movement. They are not equal and yet one is not more important than the other
If your mental health is facing hardship, all the pilates classes and quinoa bowls on the planet can’t help you?
Think of this pillar as play, fun, and self-expression. In woo-woo speak, creativity lives in your sacral chakra, the space where your reproductive organs are. That is representative of birthing, bringing anything from babies to ideas to life.
You don’t have to be an artist to want to tap into this area. We all have that vital life force inside of us that craves an outlet – outside of work, family, and responsibilities. This is where you let go. When you unlock and expand your imagination, you innovate ways to make your dreams come true.
Revisit your younger years and the activities that brought you joy. Make art for no one but you, dance like no one is watching, and listen to your favorite 00’s playlist.
In our 30’s that look more like starting a garden, trying new recipes, or traveling to a new destination. A big part of this is also exploration of our sexuality. Dig into your desires with yourself or your partner. Whatever you do, express!
As individuals, we seek meaning in life and a knowing that we serve a purpose on Earth. Explore modalities that connect you with moments, self, others, and nature.
Ready to Take Action?
Now that you are familiar with the six Sage Your Life pillars, follow the steps of my self-care guide to learn how to create healthy habits, rituals, and routines for the long term.
Here’s the quick 5 step rundown:
- Check in with the six areas of your wellness wheel for busy women – Career, Relationships, Home, Health, Spirituality, and Creativity.
- Start Healing Your Stress ASAP. Write down one goal and three action steps that will get you there and take action 5 minutes per day in the one area of wellness that you’re honing in on.
- Open all three eyes. Get curious about spiritual modalities that will take you deeper on your mind, body, and soul healing journey. Pick at least one spiritual modality from the list to do on your journey.
- “Smudge yourself” aka taking action steps towards your goal consistently for 40 days.
- Reassess where you are on day 40. Repeat steps 2-5 on a second focus area. In less than three months, go from busy to balanced!
If you’re craving accountability on your self-care journey, book a 50-minute session 1:1 session with me. From mental and physical health to creativity and home, my goal as a health coach is to empower you with ways to incorporate self-care into your everyday life in a way that works for you. Quick and simple! Reframe your mindset and integrate habits that bring you joy. We’ll cover cooking tips and movement that nourish your hormones and brings your skin, hair, weight, and energy back into balance.
Recovering fashion blogger and Founder of NYC-based creative consultancy, Hashtag Lifestyle.