Written by Devon Funk:  www.stellarwritingservices.com 


Are you sick of being told to take a bubble bath whenever you’re in need of self care? For some reason, the internet believes that laying naked in a tub of water with Epsom salts is the cure for everything. Throw on a face mask and your problems will shrink faster than your pores.

Here’s the thing: if a male business owner was stressed, no one would seriously tell him to light some candles and take a bubble bath.

In Psychology Today, Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D, wrote about five self care methods for men. He points to women in bathrobes, painting their toenails. He says, “The truth is, men need to work especially hard to take charge of caring for themselves. After all, is there anything more manly than being independent in your ability to care for yourself, not just physically, but emotionally and tangibly?”

It’s believed that women practice self care inherently by taking baths, painting their nails, and doing their hair; men need to be told to practice self care. On the contrary, Mr. Lukin, women face the same pressure to take care of everyone else first. And female business owners feel twice the stress because we’re fighting to hold space in a male-dominated arena.

We aren’t dainty, delicate flowers. We’re army tanks that need regular maintenance

There’s no doubt that self care is necessary for every person, and especially business owners.  We stretch ourselves thin in a hundred different directions. But, no matter how many people depend on you, you can’t show up for them if you aren’t showing up for yourself first.

Here are three different self care methods for badass female entrepreneurs, freelancers, and side hustlers. No Epsom salts required.

Delegate and Automate

It’s true, no one can do your job better than you. However, by doing everything in your business yourself, you are doing a disservice to your purpose. It’s not uncommon for female business owners to end up in burnout which can affect their business. Not to mention the key to business excellence and growth is collaboration. Someone will always know more than you about something. Take advantage of brains different from your own.

Here’s how the do-it-all boss can add self care into her routine: automate and delegate.

Automation is the act of allowing software and technology to automatically take over a task. The most common example of this is email marketing. Through services like ConvertKit and Mailchimp, your customers are automatically emailed a reminder of upcoming sales, promotions, or greetings. Some other tasks you can automate are: social media posts and scheduling, invoice reminders, website form responses, and even accounts payable.

Delegation, as I’m sure you know, is when you hand over tasks to a qualified person. This one is particularly difficult for some business owners. If you don’t have in-house staff you can delegate to, consider hiring a virtual assistant through freelance job sites like Upwork. You can vet, interview, and train your assistant to do exactly what you want. Then, send them the task, and only pay for the work they do. Some common tasks you can delegate to a virtual assistant are customer inquiries, scheduling and booking, call fielding, and research.

Give it a try. Either automate or delegate one task this week. By loosening the reigns, you’re giving yourself and your business permission to grow. Allowing yourself to do so is self care.

Schedule Self Care Appointments

This one’s for all the planner-obsessed “being on time means being 5 minutes early” boss ladies. You live and die by your Google calendar- it’s basically your business partner. Ask yourself this, what color is your self care calendar? You don’t have a self care calendar? Well if it’s not scheduled, you aren’t doing it, right?

It’s time to start scheduling self care appointments into your planner. Treat them like very important doctor appointments. If you miss one, you’ll be feeling it in your back later.

Anything that makes you feel cared for is self care. It could be reading a book, taking care of your health, or going to happy hour with your friends. Whatever fills your gas tank can be self care. The trick is scheduling those activities, so you actually do them. Entrepreneurs who use their planner or calendar religiously will benefit from creating physical appointments for self care.

Ditch the Guilt

Feeling guilty for practicing self care is so 2015. Yes, taking time for yourself takes your time away from others. But it’s time to stop feeling guilty about that- you deserve to feel good! You deserve to recharge your batteries and come back stronger than ever.

Unfortunately, for many women, guilt is a constant feeling in the backs of our minds. We’ve been programmed to put everyone else’s needs above our own. Or, because we aren’t always taken as seriously as male business owners, we feel we need to be working constantly to prove ourselves. You aren’t crazy for feeling this way; it’s systemic programming.

Perhaps you felt guilt for starting your day with a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin instead of a healthier option. Then, when you cut your mom’s phone call short because of a work problem, you felt guilt. When you told your team you wouldn’t be working late tonight, you punished yourself for it. Every decision we make can be guilt-inducing if we don’t prioritize our wellbeing.

So, this option for self care is to cut the crap. Stop telling yourself you don’t need or have time for self care. It’s time to own your needs and be unapologetic about them. Standing up for yourself is the purest form of self care.

In Conclusion…

Mr. Lukin says there’s nothing manlier than taking care of yourself. He thinks that self care for women consists of painting our nails and taking baths. As women, we need to reject to this ridiculous assumption that our problems, stresses, and business goals are less impactful than men’s. Just as men can enjoy bubble baths, women need real and concrete self care practices.