Mental health and business are inseparable. But all too often, we end up neglecting one in service of the other. In the “can’t stop won’t stop” mentality of business, we end up losing track of our emotional wellbeing and justify it by telling ourselves we’re too busy “growing” our business. The consequence of this oversight it not only emotional, but it can impact your bottom line in a big way too.

As a psychotherapist, personal trainer and holistic health coach, it is my belief that self-care is not selfish, it’s self-less. The more you care for yourself, the more people around you benefit. And your business does too. If you’re moody, your business decisions will be inconsistent. If you’re tired, your business decisions will be impulsive. If you’re stressed out, your business decisions will be erratic. Taking care of you IS taking care of business.

Here are my top 5 Self Care Guidelines for busy women —

1) Establish boundaries.

You can define your boundaries in whatever way suits your needs. What are mine? I don’t answer business calls when I’m hanging out with my kids. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message. Do I miss out on some business this way? Probably. But it’s a lose/lose situation for me to be “on call” 24/7. I would be completely fried which just isn’t worth it – for me, my family or my clients.

2) Have a daily vent session.

This is a purposeful conversation meant to vent stressors and receive validation, NOT to find solutions. I know what you’re thinking, What’s the point in that?!This conversation is meant to help you clear the emotional deck so that decisions can be made from a rational mindset. Vent first. Decide second.

3) Don’t forget snacks.

Don’t leave the house without mood management snacks. Getting hangry on the job is not the look we’re going for in business, am I right? Being hungry and irritable makes for a moody and impulsive mindset. Pack healthy snacks and water so no matter what the day throws at you, you can eliminate hanger from interfering.

4) Learn to say NO.

If you’re like me, you pressure yourself to accommodate all requests for your time. I always want to fit more into the day than is really reasonable, and anytime I’ve done this, it backfires on me. Practice saying “no” sometimes, and you will realize how powerful it is. It puts you in control of your day, your week…your life.

5) Create a weekly incentive.

Starting, growing and maintaining your business is hard work. Make it worth it by giving yourself a little kick-back of gratitude. What’s mine? I take myself out to lunch every Thursday before taking the train home. It’s the only lunch of the week that’s slow, calm, and business-free.

Talia Filippelli, LCSW, CPT, CHHC, is the founder and owner of Starr Therapy, a private mental health practice in Hoboken. She is known for her solution-focused therapy approach and fearless mission to make seeing a therapist something that people brag about! In addition to seeing clients, Talia is a public speaker and contributing writer for several online publications. She lives in Bergen County with her husband and two adorable little boys. For more information on Talia + her practice, check out her website.