Self-Care for Women in Business: It’s Not Selfish—It’s Survival

~3 min read
Doreen Ashton Wagner in front of a flag

COVID-19 has introduced scary physical, financial, mental, and emotional realities. Many factors seem out of our control right now. As women in business, we’re used to challenges, but this pandemic is testing our limits. Right now, physical and mental self-care is crucial — to ourselves and our businesses. Thankfully, for women in business self-care is something we can control.

I know it’s not easy. I can be an emotional eater. Through these Covid months, I find myself bingeing late at night when my mind is too active to want to sleep. Plus, despite having space to roam in the country to remain active, I struggle with motivation.

Self-Care Is Not Selfish

Recently, in a Facebook Live event, I interviewed Marie-Andrée Ouimet, also known as Coach MAO. Originally from North Glengarry, but now living in Hawkesbury, Marie-Andrée is a health and fitness professional who started her career as a Phys. Ed. teacher. We talked about so many things, from her mission to help women live their best life, to the mindset that holds us back at times, and even touched on small-town jealousy and the stigma of multi level marketing sales.

One of the lines that stood out for me in our interview is “self-care is not selfish.” This was true before the pandemic and it’s true now. Marie-Andrée and I shared how our own weight loss journeys became essential after we had put self-care on hold for too long.

In my research on the resilience of women business owners during this pandemic, I am hearing your struggles about managing family needs and business needs. It seems there is even less balance than there was before! Often our self-care practices are put off, deprioritized, or maybe even ignored as we’re scrambling to keep afloat.

Tip: Lighten the Load and Ask for Help

What I have noticed from your stories and my research is that the more resilient among us are the ones who ask for help.

As independently-minded women, we sometimes find this difficult. But it’s time we learn to ask for help, re-evaluate roles, and examine our responsibilities. We can let our partners step up to handle more parental care and household chores. This may be the best opportunity we have to equalize the mental and emotional load of caring for our families.

And we can look beyond our partners. Our kids can step up and help out. There is plenty of positive evidence that children benefit from being held accountable for age-appropriate chores. Children will feel accomplished and connected when contributing to the family’s well-being. We can also examine our larger support networks and reach out to them.

Let’s Hear from You!

How has COVID-19 changed your self-care practices? Have you done anything with your partner or your children to create more self-care in your life?

Please share here so that our business sisters can learn from your experience.

As always, thanks for reading!

Doreen Ashton Wagner
Doreen Ashton Wagner
Founder | Fondatrice

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