Self-care Fridays

I skipped a post as I was in Portland last week! (And I’m late by a day this week! But baby steps, guys, baby steps.) Travelling for me is basically self-care in motion – walking around,  seeing new things, meeting new people and connecting with them are all really renewing activities for me. So it was definitely a really pleasant way to spend my birthday week!

  • Just say namaste

This week, I went for yoga again (yay me!). Overcoming inertia is a big thing for me. Right before I’m supposed to go, I lie in bed thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn’t (oh it’s too cold outside, I’m too sleepy right now, I have a backache, my period could be coming, is that a twitch in my ankle that I feel…) Basically, my sly mind tries to trick me into staying inert. Sometimes, it tries to play a movie reel about all the arduous future steps I’m about to take, and I exhaust myself in the process. Then it’s just like, Alright, that’s it, I’m just going to lie in bed all day now. Luckily, good sense (almost) always prevails. I just try to remember that euphoric feeling after every session, and how at the end of it, I never ever regret going. So I’m learning to shut my self-sabotaging mind up and just move.

What really helps: there was a post on zenhabits (a really great site in general) about breaking down a habit to the tiniest step – e.g.: putting on those shoes (if you say you’re going for a run). You don’t even have to actually run. You just need to put on those shoes. But the trick is, by the time you do it, you’ve already entered a different zone psychologically – and it really works! The moment my yoga gear is on, I’m good to go, and in the zone. The first step is what matters.

Focus on Starting. The only thing you need to do is start. That’s the part of the habit that matters in the first month or so. Later on, you’ll run a marathon. For now, just put all your effort into lacing up your shoes and getting out the door. If you’re meditating, just get your butt on the cushion. If you’re eating healthy, just get your healthy snack (carrots & hummus?) in front of you, and take the first bite. If you’re writing, just close your browser, open a text document, and type the first sentence. Just start.

It’s magic.

  • Giving myself another chance

I’m picking up French again – and this week marked the start of my 8-week course. The point isn’t really the language – which I do still love, for no particular reason – but the fact that I’m approaching this differently. In secondary school and junior college, I remember the various attitudes I had about my classes: boredom, taking it for granted, wanting to perform for the sake of grades… Basically none of it was about being in the moment and just enjoying the process of learning. (I think that probably sums up almost my entire experience with formal education, in general.) But this time round, I go to class with a sense of openness and enthusiasm, and I’m revisiting the entire thing with a different perspective. And it feels really good – to learn when you want to learn, and without the anxiety of performance that used to plague me, especially in JC. I’m really enjoying it so far.



It helps that the walk to class is such a pretty one, I’m already in a good mood when I walk in.

  • That new magazine smell

I bought magazines. There’s nothing better than a quality tome (or three, in this case). I sorely miss Kinokuniya – it was my sanctuary back in Singapore. The closest equivalent here is a Barnes and Noble. It’d have to do for now!


  • A good brunch, by myself, just because.

On a Thursday morning, it was grey and gloomy and I had no mood whatsoever to get down to work. Solution: I had Belgian waffles with maple sugar, eggs over easy,  and turkey bacon. It was delicious, and I enjoyed every bite of it. The great mood boost and ensuing productivity was worth every calorie.

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