The art of self-care

The art of self-care

Recently, I’ve been going through a bit of a mental funk.

Between rebuilding my life after a breakup, endless working hours, and feeling lost about life altogether, I found it easy to want to just give up and stay in bed forever. And believe me, I did my fair share of doing just that. It felt good at first, of course. But after a few hours, days, or weeks of wallowing, it was time to get out and put my life back on track. This time, I wanted to redirect my focus on one thing and one thing only – myself.

There’s a saying that goes “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” and I have never understood this more than now. During this weird period of time, I found the need to (mentally) pull myself out and learned to appreciate little things more. I started new rituals of self-care that helped me during my sad potato days (and be more in tune with myself). I wanted to share what I did with you guys in case you need that extra motivation, regardless of what you are going through 🙂

Journaling ALWAYS help

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Every time I feel lost, or confused, or sad, my first reaction is to write it out. And 10 out of 10 times, I feel so much better afterward. There’s something therapeutic about writing on a physical paper, just spilling out everything that I’m feeling or thinking. There’s no prompt, no judgment, and no points to make. Just write whatever you want, whether they’re happy or sad thoughts, just get it off your chest.

Later on, when you find yourself circling back to the same thoughts and digging back into the same hole, reread what you wrote as a self-reminder to not go back that path again. Or even better, use your journal as a reflection piece to look back on later. I’ve kept the same journal for a few years now and I find it helpful to look back at old situations to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again.

On the flip side, journaling can also be really great when you are having a great day and are feeling great. I keep a list of good days and happy stories in my journal as a way to treasure good memories. It’s a good reminder of why I’m here and what matters to me.

Take the time to look inward and reflect on your own thoughts and emotions while journaling, and feel the weight get lifted off your mind.

Get your butt off the couch

Photo by Chase Kinney on Unsplash

I get it, working out is not for everybody. Believe me, I’m the most unathletic person there ever is. I’ve never felt the urge to work out, and when I do, I find myself being out of breath immediately – so yeah, this is somewhat surprising coming from me.

But for some reason, I get the urge to go outside and work out when I’m not feeling my best. Yes, it’s super dreadful to do at first, but adrenaline and endorphins are really great. If going to the gym is not really your thing, start with taking a walk around town or try out new workout classes! Workout classes are a lot more fun focused and doing it with people around you make me feel a lot more motivated. There are so many different kinds of programs you can do, but my favorite is Classpass. Classpass is a subscription-based plan where you buy credits and can use that in any class you’d like. My go-to include hip hop dance, Zumba, and yoga. They also have other things like spinning, muay-Thai, boxing, or HIIT too, the possibilities are truly endless.

Take this opportunity to explore all the different kind of classes and figure out what works for you best. Chances are, you’ll feel so much more refreshed and alive after a class.

Also, make sure to play kick-ass energetic music that makes you feel like you can do anything. Check out playlists like this and walk around town like you own the world.

PS. this is not sponsored, I genuinely love Classpass but feel free to use my link so we can both get some free credits 😉

Find your utopia

A friend of mine recently sent me a passage from a book that talks about how a view of a visitor differs from that of a resident. For example, Parisians walk past the Eiffel Tower every day on their way to work – while other people fly across the world to experience the view of the tower.

This serves as a reminder to appreciate where you are living, the places you get to pass by every day, even after the novelty of a new place has worn off. Find a place in your hometown that is YOUR utopia, your place to sit, think, and observe. A place where no matter how many times you have been, makes you feel like you are experiencing it for the first time.

For me, this place is a specific corner of Kowloon Park (shoutout if you know where that is). That is my place to de-stress, my place to journal, and my place to just be. I feel the most relaxed and free when I’m there. I encourage you to go out there and find a place that works for YOU.

Photo by Mark Billante on Unsplash

Take care of yourself

Cheesy, I know. But recently, I’ve found this to be really important.

I’d take myself out on a date,  I’d think about what I want, where I want to go, what I want to do, and just spend my weekend doing that. This could be as simple as going to that restaurant you have been craving or visiting your utopia. Or some days, I’d plan my entire day as if I am on a date, visiting all my favorite places and just enjoy everything around me. It’s a completely different experience, especially for a major extrovert like me, but I’ve grown to really like spending time alone and recharge – especially on days when I feel so exhausted.

But taking care of yourself goes beyond just going places, what you do on your day to day life is equally if not even more important.

When was the last time you took a bubble bath? Or got a massage? Or read a whole book in peace?

It’s so easy to forget to do these things when life gets so busy, but it really is important to be mindful of what you do with your body and your surroundings. Take the time to eat well, pamper yourself with the proper skin care routine, clean your room, or meditate. I swear you’ll feel a lot better mentally too.

Spend time with people that matter

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Lastly, don’t forget to spend some time with people you like, friends, family, coworkers, whoever you like. Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with your own thoughts and the idea of socializing can be extremely dreadful. But it is important to get out every now and then. And honestly, when you are feeling down, that is also when you need the support from people around you the most.

Hang out with people you like, ones that you know will make you feel loved, and vent to them if you need to. Don’t forget to listen to their stories too though, it’ll take your mind off your own things, and you’ll probably learn something new from them.

At the end of the day, one thing I’ve learned in the past few months is that self-care is not a luxury, once in a while thing. It should really be a priority in our day to day life. Spare an hour or two to focus on yourself, and you’ll see the difference in no time. Now go out there, kick some ass, and thrive!

You got this!


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