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Fiona Tate | May 22, 2018 | Photograph by: Kinga Cichewicz

Self-care is one of those buzzwords that’s heard everywhere and has probably started to get on your nerves a bit.  And that’s fine. You can just call it something else.  The important thing is that you’re practising it, no matter what you’re calling it.


How important is self-care really?

Well, that depends.  How long do you want to live?  Do you want to enjoy the years you have in front of you or do you want to spend them complaining about your aches and pains?  How about wrinkles?  Are you looking forward to them?  Depression?  Does that sound like fun?

We all know we should take care of ourselves, we’re told often enough.  Usually by self-help gurus and beauty brands, or our mothers.  There’s a reason for that.  You cannot function at your best, in any area of your life, if you have no energy, enthusiasm, or brain power.

Sure, you can get away with eating rubbish and partying every day of the week when you’re younger, but at some point, you’ll realise that you just can’t do that anymore.  And that point will come a lot quicker than you think.

Take a closer look at these celebrities who are still looking slim and gorgeous at 60 plus years of age.  When they were younger, they and their publicists, took great pains to convince you that they didn’t have to work at it, they just had good genes.  Now, however, they’re a little bit more willing to admit that they had to work hard to retain that youthful looking skin and svelte figure.

You may not aspire to be the next Sharon Stone or Michelle Pfeiffer, but if you want to live a long, happy, and productive, life, you need to work self-care into your daily schedule.


What exactly is self-care?

It’s far too simplistic to say that self-care is looking after yourself, we need a tighter definition than that.  According to Psychcentral, self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

These activities don’t have to be time-consuming or monumental.  It can be something as simple as stepping away from the computer and stretching every hour or so.  You can choose to eat the salad sandwich, rather than the double chocolate and cappuccino muffin, that you know is going to keep you bloated and wired for the next three hours.

If you think about how you treat yourself, and your body, when you’re recovering from an illness, that should give you an idea of what looking after yourself looks like.  Or your best friend.  If you saw her working herself to the bone, forgetting to eat or to do anything even remotely like fun, you’d sit her down for wee chat, wouldn’t you?


Some simple, yet effective, self-care techniques

  • Sigh deeply – every now and then
  • Laugh – as often and as loudly as you can
  • Eat – when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re satisfied
  • Monitor your self-talk – would you talk to your bestie that way?
  • Take at least 10 minutes every day to do something you love – read, dance, sing, whatever calms your soul
  • Sleep – when you need to and for as long as you need to


Ultimately, you know exactly what self-care techniques are going to work for you.  (You also know which word you prefer to self-care).  The hard part is letting yourself be still for long enough to hear what your intuition wants you to know.

And the extra bonus that comes with listening to your intuition?

It’s the best form of self-care there is.




Natalie Hughes founded Miss Independent in 2017, to educate and mentor women and help them make their best career and business decisions. Natalie is an experienced business woman and non-executive company director focused on organisational design, strategy, growth and innovation. Her goal is to help you think differently, work differently and feel in control of your own destiny.

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