Women’s Self-Care Is Not Selfish, It’s Self-Actualizing - Mommyato Blog
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Women’s Self-Care Is Not Selfish, It’s Self-Actualizing

women's health

Women’s Self-Care Is Not Selfish, It’s Self-Actualizing

Big changes are made one degree at a time, through small choices every day. Over time, these small changes lead to a 180 degree turn-around.

This year, Mother’s Day kicks off a spotlight week on Women’s Health issues. For many women, stress management is a high priority on this list because it’s often an underlying factor in the development of physical and mental health conditions that affect women’s health.

In western culture, we live in a world that is fast-paced and over-scheduled, without enough vacation time or built-in relaxation during our daily lives. Women are mothers, caregivers to children and aging or sick parents, homemakers, and often the primary breadwinners – all at once. For many women, the last couple of years of the pandemic has put a spotlight on the challenges of caregiving while maintaining a full time income stream.

In the face of these challenges, women’s self-care has never been more important. Self-care is more than just carving out an hour of candle burning and bubble baths at the end of a hectic week. While this is a lovely act of kindness to oneself, self-care is bigger than that. Self-care starts with stepping back and taking a big picture view of your life, asking yourself:

“How is my life functioning as a whole?” 

“How do I feel day to day, week to week?”

If you ask yourself these questions and find that the answer is “stressed, chaotic, non-stop” or “depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, disconnected,” it is probably time to make some changes.  Take this brief assessment to determine if you are possibly dealing with Postpartum Depression (PPD). Learn more about mood and emotional wellbeing.

Managing Chronic Stress: Making Small Changes that Impact the Big Picture

The core tenets of health are: a healthy diet, consistent exercise, quality sleep and human connection. When you invest in these core pillars of health, the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the body align. This leads to evidence and feelings of well-being in life: good physical and mental health. If you know you have room for improvement or need a complete renovation of your life, here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Identify your goals. They may be:  improving your health, more quality time, a career change, getting pregnant, financial security, education, finding a special partner, or feeling happier, calmer, and more grounded in daily life. Whatever your goals are for the next stage of your life, start by identifying what is important to you and what you’re striving for.
  • Identify your stressors.  What are the current barriers to achieving your goals? These may be:  money, lack of quality time, a chaotic family schedule, poor health habits, workplace issues, or a lack of connectedness to self, partner, family or community.You may be off-balance in one or many of these areas. Just tackle them one at a time by giving each item your complete attention.
  • Brainstorm solutions. Some of the solutions may be big life changes, such as leaving an unhealthy relationship, others may be small decisions you make every day that lead to over-arching change over a period of time.


Solutions may include:

  • Review your family’s financial health with your partner. Perhaps it’s time to downsize or reduce expenditures to pay off debt or save for scheduled vacations or early retirement. Perhaps one parent stays home with the children to reduce childcare and transportation costs. Focus on value-added solutions and quality over quantity when it comes to utilizing your hard-earned resources.
  • Create a family schedule where household tasks are divided fairly with your partner and among children – whoever lives in the home should be actively participating in keeping it clean and organized – even the littlest ones can help in meaningful ways!
  • Outsource projects or delegate tasks that can sometimes zap a lot of your quality time and energy, such as cleaning, shopping, or food preparation, unless these things bring you joy! How can you consolidate, reduce steps, or relinquish responsibilities to free up time for yourself?
  • Seek out short term respite care for an aging or sick parent or regular babysitting for a child, so you can get a break.
  • Invest in quality self-care hours and make them non-negotiable. This may mean doing your favorite exercise program, taking a walk outdoors or creating a quiet centering space to practice a grounding ritual – like prayer, meditation, or affirmations – a small reprieve of time to connect with yourself and focus your intentions for the day.
  • Look deeply at your physical environment. Is it disorganized or cluttered? Is your daily flow stagnated because you’re overwhelmed with “stuff”? Do not underestimate how the environment you live in day to day affects your mental well-being and could be holding you back from making meaningful personal changes. Donate, recycle, and discard anything that does not bring value or joy into your life. Streamline your organizational flow.
  • Connect with your creative or spiritual side. Invest in activities that bring you joy and fill your spirit with happiness and a feeling of connection with others. This could mean joining a sports club, dance class, crafting group, being in nature, or regularly attending a support/community/spiritual center. Schedule this into your life and make this a priority over tasks that bring little to no value to your life.
  • Learn to say no. Women are often socialized at a young age to please, always saying “yes,” often at great personal expense. Think of your body, mind and spirit like a sacred vessel that must be tenderly cared for. The energy that goes out and is given away to others/tasks/jobs, must come back in in some other form in order to recharge and rebalance.

Protect your sacred self by becoming intentional with the time and energy you allow yourself to expend, before you must rest and “re-invest” in yourself. Surround yourself with like-minded women who hold these similar values so you can support and encourage each other towards maintaining a healthy balance.

Investing in Your Self-Care Means Becoming the Best Version of Yourself

Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed. Life is not meant for women to struggle with chronic stress or to drown in overwhelming responsibilities. Reducing the number and scope of roles that women take on in their daily lives is freeing, allowing them to self-actualize and live the very best version of themselves. Take control of your health and wellbeing and make the changes necessary to begin investing in your self-care, filling your soul with a sense of well-being and contentment. Without first investing in yourself, you cannot offer the best parts of who you are to others in your life – your partner, children, family and professional growth – and then everyone loses out on who you are meant to be in this life. Learn more about self-care.

Start with re-aligning the core tenets of health: food, exercise, sleep and human connection. Then focus on the other changes you want to make to achieve your life goals; one measurable, achievable goal at a time. Your life right now at this moment is a picture of your choices, choices you have made every day until now. To create a different picture, you must make different choices; small, one degree changes, which over time, add-up to a 180 degree turn-around – an entirely new life canvas! It doesn’t necessarily take a long time –  just intention, mindfulness and consistency.


  1. American Psychological Association (2012). 2010 Stress in America: gender and stress. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2010/gender-stress
  2. Centers for Disease Control (2022). Seven facts to know about women’s health. https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/features/7facts-womens-health/index.html