Self-Care Interview with Natalia Toborek
" Self-care is the ongoing practice of putting myself and my needs first. It means believing that I am worthy of rest, care and attention, and putting that belief into practice. When that self-belief sinks in, it’s such a powerful feeling. "
Natalia is a copywriter, content creator and serial coffee drinker based in Dublin. She has a blog, What Now, Nat? , where she writes about all things mindset, planning and personal development. On her Instagram @whatnownat, she shares photos of her travels, book recommendations and her everyday life as a copywriter.
If you are looking for the best copywriter, check out her website Storylign.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care is the ongoing practice of putting myself and my needs first. It means believing that I am worthy of rest, care and attention, and putting that belief into practice. When that self-belief sinks in, it’s such a powerful feeling.
Over the years, I’ve come to realise that I am at my best when I take time to practice self-care every day. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated — it can be as small as enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a few pages of a book.
Has your perception of self-care changed, particularly with the events of last year?
I used to think self-care meant having a pamper day on a weekend. Now, I realise that it’s so much more than that.
Last year, I launched my copywriting business, Storylign, in the middle of the pandemic. I threw myself completely into work and developed some really unhealthy habits. Towards the end of the year, I basically had no sleeping routine, and hardly went outside during the week! Honestly, it didn’t end well — I ended up feeling burned out, and both my physical and mental health suffered because of it.
This year, I’m prioritising balance over hustle. I’ve learned to treat every day as an opportunity to start over. Self-care has made the biggest difference to my work-life balance, because it encourages me to be kind to myself, and look out for myself just like I would with a friend or a loved one.
What are some of the misconceptions around self-care?
There seems to be a misconception that self-care is selfish — especially if you lead a busy life. But putting yourself first really means filling your own cup before you give your time and energy away to others. And as any pretty Instagram quote will tell you, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Taking time every day to look after yourself allows you to be more present with your family and friends, and makes sure that you’re not depleting your own resources.
What are some of your favourite self-caring activities/self-care routine or affirmations?
Some days, self-care means Netflix, other days it means meditation. I don’t have a set self-care routine, but I do enjoy doing at least one thing for my mind, and one thing for my body each and every day.
Journalling is one of my favourite self-care activities because it allows me to connect with my inner voice and check in with how I’m feeling. Sometimes I like to follow prompts to explore specific emotions, or topics such as growth and goals. Most of the time, I free write and let my thoughts spill out onto the page. It’s so therapeutic!
I also like to incorporate some movement into every day, whether that means going for a walk, practicing yoga, or having a dance party alone in my flat. Even if I really don’t want to exercise, I always feel better afterwards.
How do you make sure you’re regularly prioritising self-care?
I used to wait for the perfect moment to squeeze in self-care — the weekend, a quiet evening, or a day off. But the perfect moment never comes unless we actively reach for it.
These days, I see self-care as a non-negotiable part of my daily schedule, so I make time for it. I make sure to do at least one thing I enjoy before I start work in the morning, and after I finish for the day. On extra busy weeks, I actually block out time for self-care in my calendar to make sure that me-time is sacred.
Why is it so important to keep going even when you’re feeling better in yourself?
A regular self-care practice sends a powerful message: that you’ll always be there for yourself, no matter what.
When your mental health dips or you find yourself stuck in a rut, it can be really difficult to find the motivation to pick yourself up. But with a solid foundation of self-care habits to rely on, looking after yourself and showing yourself kindness will already be second nature. Finding your way back to a healthy and positive mindset won’t be quite so hard.
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