Welcome to our new website!
Nov. 30, 2022

Monica Lowy - Self-Care for Resisters and Procrastinators

Monica Lowy - Self-Care for Resisters and Procrastinators

Are you a female entrepreneur who finds that self-care is the first thing you need but the last thing you do? Are you among the many female entrepreneurs who experience burnout, fatigue, and dissatisfaction?

This week on the Wellness and Wealth podcast, Monica Lowy of BodyLink Speech Therapy and Speak Your Peace Holistic Life Coaching shares why you are avoiding self-care. She’ll also share how to find what works for you and be accountable to yourself without being overwhelmed.

In this episode, Monica Lowy answers the following questions:

What is the definition of self-care?
What is the meaning of balance?
How does a lack of self-care hurt oneself?
How do you break the non-self-care cycle?

Are you a female entrepreneur who finds that self-care is the first thing you need but the last thing you do? Are you among the many female entrepreneurs who experience burnout, fatigue, and dissatisfaction? 

This week on the Wellness and Wealth podcast, Monica Lowy of BodyLink Speech Therapy and Speak Your Peace Holistic Life Coaching shares why you are avoiding self-care. She’ll also share how to find what works for you and be accountable to yourself without being overwhelmed.

In this episode, Monica Lowy answers the following questions:

  • What is the definition of self-care?
  • What is the meaning of balance?
  • How does a lack of self-care hurt oneself?
  • How do you break the non-self-care cycle? 

Guest Offer: Free Initial 30-Minute Session

Guest Link: ​​https://www.speakyourpeace.net/firstappointment.html

Connect with Wendy Manganaro:

Connect with Wendy Manganaro:  


Monica Lowy

[00:00:00] Wendy Manganaro: Hi everyone. My name's Wendy Manganaro and I am the Host of the Wellness and Wealth podcast. I'm so happy to have you find us. And if you could take a moment and hit that subscribe button, I'd really appreciate it. This is the podcast where we believe when you show up better for yourself as a woman business owner, you show up better for your business. 

So sit back, relax. And learn from the practical to the woo-hoo, how to best take care of you. Have a great day. Stay blessed. And leave a review when you're done listening to the show, thanks so much. 

[00:00:38] Wendy (2): Hey everyone. I want to introduce Monica Lowie. I'm gonna read her bio and we're going get started from there.

She is a New York state and New Jersey licensed Speech Language Pathologist, certified Holistic Life Coach and Integrative Body Worker. She's dedicated to treating the whole person in supportive and caring environments. She encourages her clients to see themselves as she does, which is whole and complete no matter what challenges they face.

She's also the author of Self Care for Resistors and Procrastinators. This book is for anyone who has difficulty focusing on self-care, particularly healthcare professionals who are often notoriously bad at putting themselves first. I want to Welcome you to the show, Monica. 

[00:01:31] Monica: Oh, thank you. I'm really happy to be here.

[00:01:33] Wendy (2): We're gonna talk about self care, but I do know that you work with those in the medical field.

Although the show is geared toward female entrepreneurship. I think those in the wellness industry sometimes, forget to do self care. So this is great. So I'm curious, how do you define self care?

[00:01:51] Monica: That is a huge question, but if I were to break it down, anything that gives you peace balance that feeds your mind, body, spirit, and actually is necessary. And I have a great quote from the poet Audra Lorde about that. She writes, and I have to read it. I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent.

Caring for myself is an act of survival. If we do not care for ourselves, we will not have enough to give to others to give to our professions, to give to our families. You have to put the focus on yourself. 

[00:02:45] Wendy (2): I love that. And I've never not heard that quote before, but that's a great quote because I think so many of us think that they're in survival mode.

They think doing all the stuff is having them survive. Not realizing that surviving is making sure you take care of yourself. We might have the meaning of surviving wrong then.

[00:03:11] Monica: Survival to me means balance. And I feel in our culture, you get kudos for working yourself into the ground and putting in as many hours as you can and not really paying attention to what feeds you. And I feel that has created a real problem. In our culture, that lack of work life balance and the fact, as I mentioned a moment ago, that you get a lot of support for pushing, pushing, pushing.

But I don't think that ends up putting you in a great place. 

[00:03:55] Wendy (2): Yeah. And for myself, I know that idea of this hustle attitude, if I do more, if I be more, and you can, but I don't even know if you do that, if you know the accomplishments you were getting anyway because you're so quickly onto the next thing.

It's almost like an addiction you forget the last high you had cuz you're moving to the next thing. 

[00:04:18] Monica: I agree with you completely. I feel that pushing is an addiction. That's why they have workaholism. Addiction can cover a lot of ground.

It can be food, alcohol, overwork, et cetera. But again, as I mentioned before, I feel the addiction to overwork is supported. In our culture, and I would like to ask people who are pushing, pushing, pushing, how do they actually feel at the end of the day? Where is their head? Physically, where are they and what happens if the work is taken away?

 Who are you then, if you've been focused that much? And you know what, it isn't only about work. It is about how much people are caretakers, not only in the health field, but parents, people taking care of their parents and that sandwich generation feeling as if they don't do enough, something really bad's gonna happen.

[00:05:27] Wendy (2): As somebody who takes care of their parent, I understand that and I don't think anything bad's gonna happen. I feel like it's a blessing, but it's an added some days stressor when you're trying to fit it all in. You brought up the word balance, which I love, so I would almost like to further explore that because I think that even in itself is a misconception because I think sometimes people hear the word balance and they go, I'm supposed to have this rigid schedule of balance, but balance is a lot of things. It could be mentally, spiritually, physically, it could be all of those things, I'd love to hear your idea of balance. 

[00:06:04] Monica: I think, each person has their own idea of balance, and I don't think balance is necessarily what you mentioned for people having like, okay, at nine o'clock I go here and then at 12 here and then three there.

I think it's being aware of what you're feeling and what you're processing in each situation, and if you feel that your gas tank is running low, Rather than putting your foot to the pedal to get it to go faster is to take a moment. In my book, self Care for Resistors and Procrastinators, one of the first things I have people do well, there's a whole bunch of things that people do first when they have to examine their core beliefs about self care, but when they're further into the book and they're deciding they wanna try it, they have to write down a list of what drains and what feeds them. So if you see what feeds you and if you can find ways of fitting that into your day, it doesn't have to be for an hour. It doesn't mean going for a Mani-pedi or taking an hour long bath, or what people tend to think of as self care, being very specific about what might make you feel balanced.

But you have to identify first, what it is, what are the things that I can do in little portions of my day that will give me some more energy? Make me feel, as I mentioned earlier, a little bit of peace, that feeds me. That is more of what I see as balance and I think again, it is different for everybody.

I really believe that, but I also believe that balance, in order to have balance, you have to include it a little bit each day. It can't be like weekend warrior type thing. I've pushed the whole week, I'm exhausted now. Okay, I'm gonna go get my pedicure done. That is not balance. 

[00:08:29] Wendy (2): That's interesting you say that because when you, as soon as you said that I was, it wasn't about the pedicure, but it almost brings me back to deserve and worth, right?

Because when you have that weekend worrier attitude, it's like, I deserve to do this. Now that I put in my time. Now I can take care of myself. 

[00:08:45] Monica: You hit the nail on the head. I talk a lot about that in my book. And I'm creating a six week program for that too, for self care.

Really identifying what's your, not only your core beliefs, but what resistance do you have? Do you feel there isn't enough time that you're not worthy? As you've mentioned that a lot of people feel if I do it, it won't make any difference, or, how will I get everything else done if I'm doing self care?

[00:09:18] Wendy (2): Time's a another big one. Time is because they feel like, goes back to that how am I gonna fit it all in? And instead of self-care being a good thing, it becomes a another task to complete.

[00:09:29] Monica: That is exactly right. And a lot of people do feel that way.

You're asking me that to do self care, but I remind people you do self care every day. You brush your teeth. You take a shower, you wash your face, you feed yourself. And it doesn't mean that you, that your self care has to take long, but it has to be specific to you.

But absolutely, those are the areas that people really have to examine. Their core beliefs about what self care is, what it isn't, how could you do it? And, these are the areas that I dive into a lot. They're important because a lot depends on too, your core beliefs often come from how you were brought up.

And I know that from my own experience and if you are not brought up with that being in the forefront, you're gonna develop a few thoughts and feelings about it. 

[00:10:36] Wendy (2): Absolutely. And depending on what generation you were brought up in, really honestly, self care wasn't the top of the list. So, what was your self-care journey?

[00:10:46] Monica: it wasn't even on the list in my home. My self care story is a long one, but I'll try to keep it short. Growing up, in my household, my father was a workaholic, a very successful doctor who had a rather traumatic past. My mother was a very charismatic, smart woman who did not work.

She had things that she did activities outside the home, but she was completely dependent on him financially. And neither of them were happy people to begin with, but the lesson I learned, I never wanted to be dependent on anybody, and I ultimately viewed my father's way of work, work, work, work, work, work, work.

Never take a vacation, never do anything enjoyable, that ultimately, I saw that being the better way because even though it wasn't perfect, at least you were making money. You made a name for yourself, et cetera, et cetera. And I carried that into my adulthood. And to be honest with you, I had actually, prior to being a speech therapist, I'd had another career.

I was an actor and a singer, but when I went to school, I went to school in my early thirties. I worked extremely hard and I worked very hard in a hospital for years. I never thought about self care. I mean I always exercised and, all those things that we do, during that time I learned about body work and I became a body worker.

But I began my private practice in 2005 because I realized that I wasn't living the life I really wanted to live, but I was still not completely in the self care mode. And as the years went on, I actually recognized more and more. What I needed and I changed a lot in my practice and then even becoming a coach.

And I've now created something that feels more like self care to me because I'm focused on doing what I truly want. And it doesn't always mean it's easy and that they're not bumps, but it is much more of the life I want to live.

And I also on a daily basis, I incorporate what I like for self care. I don't go to a list on Facebook of what I should be doing. I won't guilt myself into, oh, I should be doing that. No, I have to do my own internal search. What makes me happy, weird things can be self care.

 I mentioned that in the booka couple of years ago I used to be commuting every day into Manhattan, and I was learning French during my commute because that made me happy. It took me out of that environment and when I got off the train, I felt energized.

I felt like that is a good start to my day, and it was only 15 minutes. And it was time, otherwise not well spent, by being on the train. So that's kind of the arc of my self care. 

[00:14:13] Wendy (2): I love that. And I think something that you're saying there in your story, which I think is common to those who eventually are open to the fact that there's something wrong, and my mom's side were workaholics. My mom very dependent on that side of her family cuz of the divorce.

And my father, who was God, love him the exact opposite. He worked but didn't really like to work. So, being raised by the workaholic side I thought seven day a week work days were normal. I thought 14 hour days were normal and you don't, and then it was like this big lavish, vacation and you starved yourself throughout the year to go to that one vacation.

So you had to work really hard to get to that little time to go back to work really hard. So, I think what happens is you get older your body will fight back.

[00:14:58] Monica: You can't do it anymore. 

[00:15:00] Wendy (2): And you get exhausted. You don't know why. You're walking around tired all the time. And to your point, I came home to start my company, because I wanted to take care of my son. And then because I had learned entrepreneurship, from, my grandmother.

I had to learn, I didn't have to work every weekend. I didn't have to work every night. I didn't have to cuz then I started feeling guilty I wasn't with my family, which is for me how I recharged.

 And that's one of those things of once you get tired enough. You go maybe there's another time. 

[00:15:30] Monica: I think a lot of entrepreneurs start because of that and what you mentioned not having enough time with family. I've noticed out there maybe this generation is different in a good way, that a lot more, young, particularly a lot of female entrepreneurs who are doing that because they're young moms.

They still wanna work, but they want to be with their kids. And it isn't that being an entrepreneur is a walk in the park, but ultimately it is about priorities and thinking about self care. I think what we have seen in the pandemic, About a lot of people refusing to go back into the office.

 They're more productive at home. They're not exhausted from the commute and they're also not exhausted from office politics. And I feel sometimes it takes a big deal like Covid to show up of an actual worldwide pandemic to make people reassess what the heck they're doing. And it shouldn't be that way, but sometimes it is.

But if it creates more space for people to live lives that are in a more, in accordance with what they want while still being productive, more power to that. 

[00:17:04] Wendy (2): Exactly. And that I do believe that. I also think Covid showed many nine to fives, for lack of a better term that it's not as secure as they think their security was. Oh. I think it showed them, yes, some companies that you can work from home and everything and there that work life balance, self care, because people who were not used to doing this were all of a sudden I have no break because they weren't used to it.

Where Entrepreneurs I feel got this because we've been doing this for a while and I think there's a whole secondary generation of people going, I need to learn how to do that break to not have it run all the way through. But I wanna do this because I'm realizing that I could be more secure in what I do for myself than depending on something that I'm suddenly seeing is not as foolproof as I thought it was.

I'm curious too because like you said, you work with a lot in healthcare and wellness, especially during Covid. I have friends and family members who were nurses during that time and they were lost in it.

What do you think lack of self care, define how do you think it really hurts? Like an entrepreneur or somebody in the wellness field? Because I can't imagine, I had a family member who passed away at the right when vaccinations were coming out.

And for me being in that environment, being able, at that point to be able to go to the hospital, I don't know how from the ptsd, I'm sure many of our healthcare professionals have to relearning how to do self-care.

[00:18:40] Monica: I don't think they ever learned it to begin with.

I actually wrote a blog post about that. I'm gonna get to your answer in a moment, but I wrote a blog post about that a few years ago, and my husband and I were actually in the emergency room and I was watching them and I thought, when do they ever get a break? And having worked in a hospital, same thing.

And nurses in particular, Who have really crazy schedules, but I think this has been a long term endemic problem way before Covid and Covid just amped up into the stratosphere, and I know that a number of nurses have either become traveling nurses because they get paid a lot better, or they have left the profession.

And essentially when it comes to that, what we're dealing with here, no brainer here, is burnout. Absolute burnout, fatigue, the dissatifaction and not even knowing who you are anymore. In the midst, your body can only take so much. And as you mentioned, ptsd. That is no small thing amongst healthcare workers, whether it's a nurse, a doctor, EMTs, this is why addiction is so high in the healthcare professions, because the training in those professions is that, obviously you have to be focused on the patient, but insane hours.

And also not always great pay. Nurses particularly the pay is not very good considering what they do. So burnout, and as you mentioned, ptsd, and I'm not throwing that term around lightly That in terms of entrepreneurs and, it's not only healthcare workers, women in business, women, particularly women in entrepreneurs, they really ha feel like they have to juggle it all.

And part of the problem with this is that people, whoever you are in these fields do not ask for help. And if you don't ask for you're not gonna get help. And the assumption always is going to be, particularly if you appear strong, the assumption is that she can do it. He can do it.

Oh, that person, no. They don't need help. I see that they've got it handled and in the meantime, internally, they're crumbling. 

[00:21:26] Wendy (2): People don't do that as often or say it as often cuz I changed the way I am. But for a long time, especially when my son was young Ask Wendy. She can add one more thing, that's what happens, especially for female entrepreneurs. I think other people see you as the person who can get the task done. Person who can do the management of it.

As opposed to us saying, because many of us, especially in the beginning of entrepreneurship, have a problem saying no. So until you go no, I'm okay with not doing that, but there's that certain, because you want to be successful, and that goes hand in hand in most early businesses until you learn to say that it's okay

because you need things like self care. You need things like break time and so on and so forth. So I agree with you a wholeheartedly that people look and they forget that they would need help and hence why so many of us, I think is still fight the idea of collaboration .

[00:22:22] Monica: I have two things to follow up on what you just mentioned. Or spoke of, no is a complete sentence. No is a complete sentence. The other thing, and I think this is particularly for women who go into healthcare, but for women in general, I feel that many as children, many people learned to care take particularly if there was any kind of dissension in the home. Bad marriage addiction, where a child then has to take care of a younger sibling, feels that they should also take care of their parent if the parent is depressed or unable to work or whatever, and they get kudos for that.

That is how they developed their sense of self in the world. By giving to others, making sure but never finding out who they were in that equation. And that goes into, again, asking for help. They were the caretakers, the caregivers. That happens a lot. 

[00:23:38] Wendy (2): Yes. And the other side of that is, especially for what I've seen is that those in the caregiving industry, they do it at home too, so they don't get a break.

[00:23:46] Monica: Do you ever see that mom who does all the school activities while carrying a full-time job? And taking care of her home? 

[00:23:55] Wendy (2): Oh, I was that for a while. That's why I know I know her well.

Cause you know, many of us start out like that until you go, Yeah. That's not going to answer everything. And Part of that is learning you don't have to be all things to all people. That's a very big lesson. One more question if somebody is going oh, other than what you mentioned, the daily basics, I'm not really taking care of myself or I didn't realize how much, or maybe I didn't know, , I'm in that mind of. It takes five hours to take care of me, or it's Manny and Petty, or it's on the weekends.

What's a step or two to break that cycle? Because I know it's taken me years to learn how to break it, but I had to. A. Wanna break it. And B , I sought help. But how, what's the first thing that they should do?

[00:24:37] Monica: What I mentioned earlier, I think the first thing, I want them to look at their core beliefs about self care and what feelings come up for. When they think about self care, it could be guilt, it could be shame, it could be anything to look at that and then dive into, if you're gonna start any kind of self care program, what I mentioned before, look at what feeds you and what drains you.

Then you're going to think about. Okay. What is one thing self care wise, spiritually, that would help me? And it doesn't mean religion, it could be anything that resonates for you or physically. Okay, so mind, body, spirit, what, in each of those little categories, if you could even come up with one thing.

And it could be, like I mentioned, it could even be learning French on the subway. And then I have people pull out their calendar. Pick one little thing, pick one time every day that you know you would have Five minutes, even five minutes, maybe more. It depends on what your day is like.

And have it on repeat. And again, not to guilt anybody, if you miss a day. See how that day went for you. How did it feel? You didn't journal today. Okay. How did that feel? Did you feel like things were off a little bit? You didn't go walk around the block first thing in the morning instead of looking at your phone with the 18,000 work emails . And monitor, how you feel when you do it versus when you don't. Then the other thing is to tell whomever, your family, your friends, I actually need a little support here. So if you're the one who's been cleaning up everything every morning after breakfast or you say, look, I'm taking this time for me if you have a partner. Five minutes, you do it. And also accountability. Checking in with yourself. Did I do it today? I didn't do it today. Again, what I mentioned before. And essentially if they're having trouble establishing a self care blueprint to reach out to somebody like a coach and if they can't go see a coach, talk to a friend.

 That friend may be struggling too. See, you could have a self care buddy.

[00:27:13] Wendy (2): And I think that's key I was talking about Money Mindset particularly the other day, is that we don't talk about money enough, but we don't talk about self care enough with our friends either. Because let's not even get into that hole you're selfish if you self care thing, that's, that could be a whole other show in itself. But that's the 

[00:27:29] Monica: core belief.

[00:27:30] Wendy (2): Right? Exactly. So I think those are the reasons why we tend to Steer clear as opposed to just making it a common conversation. Which I think is really super important in today's age and part of the reasons why I started to change is what was I gonna teach my son? Was I gonna teach him? Because I don't want to replicate it. Cause more than what I say, he watches what I do.

And I really started to realize, that would had to be the catalyst of why it had to 


[00:27:59] Monica: Absolutely. And think about it, what do you want on your gravestone, your tombstone, she could have worked harder? I would prefer she loved a lot. I would prefer that to she could have worked harder.

[00:28:14] Wendy (2): Absolutely. That is a good one. I can't believe this, the half an hour always sneaks up off . But, I know you have an offer for our audience, so I'd love for you do, and then how people can get in touch with you.

Sure. I offer a free 30 minute clarity. And you can go directly to my website, www speak your piece.net. It is there on the page. I also offer my book Self-Care for Resistors and Procrastinators for free. You don't even have to sign up to one of those email lists. You just download it right off the website.

They can also call me directly to schedule if they'd like at 9 1 7 5 3 8 7 1 8. 

Thank you so much, Monica. This has been fantastic. I really enjoyed 

our time together today.

I did too. Thank 

[00:29:10] Monica: you, Wendy. Have a great day. You too. 

[00:29:13] Wendy (2): For all my listeners, we'll catch you next week. In the meantime, have an abundant day week and enjoy your time.


Monica LowyProfile Photo

Monica Lowy

NYS and NJ licensed Speech-Language Pathologist/Certified Holistic Life Coach/Integrative Bodyworker

I am a NYS and NJ licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Holistic Life Coach and Integrative Bodyworker. I am dedicated to treating the whole person in a supportive and caring environment, I encourage my clients to see themselves as I do--whole and complete, no matter what challenges they face. I am also the author of Self-Care for Resisters and Procrastinators. This book is for anyone who has difficulty focusing on self-care, particularly healthcare professionals who are often notoriously bad at putting themselves first.