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Image by Annie Spratt


Food Fabulous

Notes from midlife

Why self-care is essential in perimenopause and beyond

self-love chair swing

One of the things that I find myself talking to nearly all my clients about is self-care…

In the very broadest sense, self-care is what is at the opposite end of the spectrum to health care, where you might seek professional help for long-term or acute conditions or major trauma. Edging nearer to ‘self-care’, you have things like managing your own minor ailments like colds and flu and even brushing your teeth. But what I mean by self-care is replenishing your spirit by taking care of your own happiness – that’s right, taking a little time every day and dedicating it just to YOU.

Sometimes when I start on this in clinic, they're a few eye rolls. Here’s why it’s SOOOO important.(In fact, I think it's so essential for women as they get older, which is backed up by all the science, so I created a programme called The Self-Care Fix (find out more at the end of the page).

You are in charge of your happiness

Self-care is the recognition that only YOU can make yourself happy and that, if you make sure that you dedicate some time EVERY DAY purely for your own enjoyment, you will have more fun, you will be more fun to be around, and you will have far greater reserves to deal with the stresses of everyday life.

It works, believe me. I can always tell when I’ve not done enough self-care. I find myself getting wound up by the smallest things to the extent that even my own family annoy me (and I know I’m not alone here). With the right amount of self-care, I stop worrying about all those things around me (including other people) that I can’t control and enjoy life a whole lot more.

woman in tune with her body

Are you doing self-care really?

Now, before you think you have this already taken care of, I challenge you this: have you? Really? Are you doing AT LEAST three things EVERY DAY just because they make you happy?

If you aren’t, then you might like to consider upping your self-care. Here’s how:

Self-care is a skill and it is a discipline. It is something that can be very easy to do (which is why it is something we often don’t bother to do). So, this week’s challenge: make a list of at least 20 things (even really frivolous things) that you LOVE to do just because they make you happy or they delight you. Just so you know, housework will NEVER be self-care, however much you like a nicely pressed sheet.

I’ve got all kinds of things on mine. Some take hardly any time; some take a little longer. You don’t have to spend long for this to be effective. Some snippets from my self-care list if you need some inspiration: taking a lovely hot bath, sitting in the sunshine, reading a good thriller, ice skating, watching my favourite comedy show, singing along to my favourite songs on Magic FM (don’t judge), or catching up with a friend. These are all things that feel good in the moment (rather than going to the gym, which is pretty hellish at the time but gives you a warm, smug glow afterwards).


“But I don’t have the time,” you might be saying to yourself as you read this. I thought that too, but truly, when you make some extra time for you, suddenly more time appears in the day as if by magic, which I can only explain by way of saying that, when I focus on my own happiness AS WELL AS my job, my family and so on, I have a much more positive, can-do attitude that gets things done more efficiently.

I implore you to give it a go. If you can’t trust yourself to find the time, why not schedule it? There are some great free downloadables if you Google them.

If you're a woman thinking, this is all very well but when would I have the time to do that in my actual life... I created just the thing for you, The Self-Care Fix. It's a 21-day mini programme online (and also podcasted so you can follow along anywhere) that gives you daily prompts to audit where you are now and look and see where little improvements can be made over time that have a big impact. Check it out here - It's one of my favourite programmes!


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