No-Guilt Self Care for Busy Women

             Women's Self-care
Guilt. This is the feeling that many women have when thinking about making time for self-care. It’s time to let that feeling go. Without self care, you will inevitably be left overwhelmed, unmotivated, depressed, and burned out. Self care can no longer be a last resort when you’re at your breaking point. Self care is not selfish; it benefits everyone you interact with or who depends upon you. It is most effective when woven into your daily life, so start putting it onto the calendar!  

What is Self Care? 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, self care is “taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve your physical health and mental health.” It is different for everyone and depends upon what recharges you. The type of self care you need changes day to day. So, let’s look at your options.  

7 Types of Self Care and How to Recharge 

1) Emotional self care: healing, nurturing and processing feelings

~You may need emotional self care if you have difficulty controlling your emotions and feel strongly affected by the mood of others.   

     Recharge with:  

  • Journal every morning. 
  • Practice mindfulness.  
  • Schedule a therapy appointment once or twice a month.  
2) Practical self care: tasks that you complete that fulfill core aspects of life that help to prevent stressful situations 

~You may need practical self care if easily overwhelmed when trying to accomplish everyday life tasks, i.e., getting ready for the day.  

     Recharge with:  

  • Pick out work outfits for the week. 
  • Organize your workspace. 
  • Organize your personal and/or work email inbox. 
  • Create a budget. 
  • Declutter your wardrobe.  
3) Physical self care: getting basic exercise, hydration, and nutrition practices that improve physical health and well-being 

~You may need physical self care if you feel low energy or are physically sore.  Self-care hydrate

     Recharge with:  

  • Exercise three times a week- you may start small by going on a walk after work. 
  • Practice sleep hygiene. 
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.  
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. You can start by eating more salads.  
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs in excess.   

4) ​Mental self care: activities to improve the way we think and the things that we occupy our minds with influence our psychological well-being  

~You may need this if you feel brain fog.  

     Recharge with:  

  • Read a book you enjoy 
  • Listen to a podcast on an interesting topic 
  • Do a puzzle  
  • Learn about a fascinating subject or choosing a new hobby, learn more here
5) Social self care: strengthens and nurtures positive social relationships in your life

~You may need social self care if you are feeling lonely or disconnected from others.  

     Recharge with:  

  • Facetime or call loved ones. 
  • Spend quality time with friends: game night, paint night, candle making/cooking classes.  
  • Go out on dates with your partner.  

6) Spiritual self care: doesn’t have to be religious and allows you to develop a deeper sense of meaning and understanding by nurturing your spirit and thinking bigger than yourself

~You may need this if you feel scattered, distracted, or going through a difficult time in life.  

     Recharge with:  

  • Practice meditation 
  • Pray and/or attend church if you have a religious affiliation. 
  • Go on a nature walk 
  • Create a vision board 

7) ​Professional self care: actions that support having a healthy work-life balance

~You may need this if you’re feeling burned out from work.  

     Recharge with:  

  • Use your vacation time. 
  • Turn off work email/ work phone after working hours 
  • Leave your desk during lunch break and eat lunch outside on a nice day.  

When juggling the many demands of life, caring for oneself often gets placed on the back burner. That is why so many of us are in a place of constant burnout. I have offered just a few tips on what you can do to start making your self-care a priority. I encourage you to brainstorm other ways to effectively take care of yourself.

Try to not feel like self-care is a big “to-do.” Put it on your calendar so it naturally becomes a part of your life. Start with one or two areas to focus on at a time, come up with your own ways to perform self-care, and start to break free from constantly running on empty. You’ve got this! 
Ashley Harris
Ashley Harris, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC practices at Foundation Collaborative Care in Nashua, New Hampshire. 

Posted: 5/20/2024 by Ashley Harris, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC of Foundation Collaborative Care