Human beings are always chasing things in life, be it love, success, money, knowledge, adventure or the bus to work! And why not? They’re just some of the things that bring us joy (okay, except the bus to work).
With so many passions and commitments pulling us in different directions, it’s easy to forget to chase the most important thing: self-love. When was the last time you were kind to yourself, or stopped to really look after yourself in the mad rush of life?
Once you’ve cultivated the habit of taking care of yourself – your physical and mental health, self-esteem and security – you’ll feel happier and more positive about yourself, not to mention more confident about life and yes, chasing your hopes and dreams for the future.
Does it sound like something for the self-absorbed narcissist? Absolutely not. Setting aside time to focus on yourself isn't selfish; it's healthy, supports your overall wellbeing and has a positive effect on your relationships with other people.
Here are some cool self-love practices to incorporate into your life
1. Do the jiggy or just get silly
Whatever your age, dance, skip, dive into your bed or do whatever makes you feel like a child again. Playfulness produces tension releasing feel-good chemicals in the body. The giggles and belly laughs you let out in the process produce a string of wellbeing and happiness benefits, from improved mood and stress-coping abilities to better immunity and blood circulation.
2. Write a self-love letter to yourself
Tell the future you about your proudest accomplishments in life. Recognising and giving yourself credit for your successes, no matter how big or small, helps to boost your self-esteem and confidence.
3. Shake up a mood-lifting tipple
Indulge guilt-free with a concoction of herbal teas, sparkling water, fresh fruits, hints of spice and power ingredients like chia seeds. Be creative. The alcohol-free change is refreshing and your health will thank you for it – consuming large amounts of alcohol regularly can affect your cholesterol levels negatively and raise your risk for heart disease.
4. Take a rainforest bath
This is the Japanese practice of being one with nature, where you walk among trees and take deep, long breaths and open up all your senses to the natural surroundings. It’s believed that trees release a chemical that turns on your de-stress switch. Fun fact: for a small country, we’re blessed with 400 parks and four lush nature reserves under NParks where you can soak up all that goodness.
5. Go for a health check-up and screening test
You’re best able to be there for others and manage all your responsibilities when you’re healthy. Going for regular check-ups allows early detection of illnesses so they can be treated. Ensure you have adequate health and medical insurance too, so you never have to worry about big medical bills.
6. Paktor with yourself
Go on a date with yourself. Watch a movie of your choice, go for a long spa treatment or dine at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. There’s something liberating about having full control of how your day goes, without keeping pace with others or worrying if they’re having as much fun as you.
7. Go unplugged for a day
Put aside your digital devices. Social media and constant news feeds can be overwhelming and even depressing. Spend time reconnecting with loved ones or pick up a new hobby instead.
8. Automate your bliss
To help you remember to have time for yourself even on your busiest days, set your music player to roll out your favourite relaxation music at a fixed time daily. Take that as your cue to have a tea break, cuddle your dog or meditate.
9. Develop your personal bedtime ritual for zzz
Sleep is when your body recharges and rejuvenates, and quality is as important as quantity. Create a sleep sanctuary with plush bedding, scented candles, dim lights and a Spotify playlist of soothing music. Before turning in, have a relaxing shower and warm beverage to slowly detach yourself from your cares and slip into dreamland.
10. Pass your money worries to someone else
Money is a common cause of stress. Having financial security can free you of this burden. Aside from paying off debts and saving regularly, insure yourself against unexpected events. Want financial peace of mind but don’t know where to start or prefer not to handle it? Leave it to a financial adviser representative who’ll be able to customise a holistic financial plan for your future that covers all your short- and long-term financial goals.
Final thoughts on self-love
There are countless ways to take care of yourself, and these are all great starting points. Find something you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine or do that one thing that makes it easier for you to focus on what truly brings you joy.