Welcome to Self Care Stories, a blog series showcasing how different people take care of themselves around the world. In our lives, we often forget to prioritize our own well-being. We hope that by reading these stories, you feel inspired to build your own self-care routines because your own care is important.
What's your background?
I’m a 23 year old Singaporean/Tibetan specimen and one of those millennials with a few “then I moved to country A, and then to country B etc” throughout my life. My mom is Singaporean and my Dad is Tibetan. I was born in London and moved to Singapore when I was 5 where I went to an international school. A couple of months before my 18th birthday, I moved to Bangkok, Thailand (please don’t base it off the Hangover), where I studied at an international college, and graduated with a Bachelor Degree with Honors in Fashion Communications. Two short weeks after my course ended, I was a communications and PR intern at MAC cosmetics in Hong Kong for a few months, and now I’m back in Bangkok, enjoying life and not pushing myself to go into full time employment at the moment.
My hobbies include working out, swimming, checking out new places with my friends, clubbing (although age is making that taper off a bit), reading, and, I’ll willingly admit, binge scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest.
What's your definition of self-care or what does self-care mean to you?
Self-care is a delicate balance of treating yourself well, while addressing your mistakes and least favorable traits, hence believing in yourself that you can be a better person.
Tell me your story. How do you practice self-care in your life?
It all started in my freshman year of college with my main lecturer who took us to public libraries or cafes in the business district for our classes as a way of demonstrating the importance of changing things up every now and then to improve our overall well-being. Since then, I’ve made it a point to check out new and different cafes to do my assignments and personal projects, as often as I can. I live in the central district where most of my go-to places are so commuting isn’t a problem. Even after I graduated, I will always consider her a second mother and an amazing mentor who has been an instrumental part of my time at college.
How I Practice Self-Care:
1. Since the beginning of this year, I've been creating a positivity jar which is full of sticky notes in a mason jar. I first started with a note with a summary of my day, which then later became a week and now a month. I hope to reminisce 2019 on a positive note when I read them at the end of this year (can't believe we're almost halfway through, holy hell).
2. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on how taking care of my skin has an impact on my overall productivity. I start with a tea tree foaming cleanser, followed by an exfoliate with charcoal, tea tree and witch hazel. My post routine includes rose water for balancing the pH, apricot oil for moisture, and pomegranate seed oil for better protection from bacteria, since it has antibacterial properties. I feel that waking up refreshed helps me to get on with my day.
3. My go to dessert is an acai bowl but that changes from time to time because I’m a typical Aquarius who isn’t really attached to anything. I treat myself to one of those from time to time. I had one yesterday with an iced Americano mixed with coconut water and boba, which took a while to finish because it was a combination of bitter and sweet that I had to get used to.
What makes taking care of yourself so important to you?
I didn't take care of myself for a long time. I honestly didn't give a shit about myself. I was alive for other people, and that stayed the reason for my recovery for a long time. That's changed in the last 4 years to where I finally started living for myself, and now I am happier and healthier than I have ever been.
I also advocate self-care to everyone because it can get impossibly bad when you don't take care of yourself. For me, it got to the point of attempting suicide. I don't want anyone else to get there.
If you had advice to give someone else on practicing self-care, what would it be?
I haven’t had the best coping mechanisms growing up as far as my emotions are concerned. There have been a few instances that it backfired on me, which was a wake-up call to learn how to deal with them more constructively. I still have days when I dread the thought of claiming that I'm okay to get through the day. I’m aware that as I get older, it’ll be harder to justify my inability to regulate my emotions. Over the last year and a half, I've had a soft disclosure about my fluctuating mental health with a few, but very well trusted people, as the last thing I want is for it to strain any of my relationships.
Life is inevitably hard, and you’ve got to nourish yourself in order to flourish. Remember, everyone has the right to be selfish once in a while because it doesn’t hurt to put yourself first.
This series was created in collaboration with Self Caid. To find out more information on how to build a self-care routine, check out them out here.