If you feel anxious before regular day-to-day tasks, you may be suffering from some level of anxiety. Although anxiety isn’t as common in Singapore as it is in other areas of the world, Associate Professor Leslie Lim of the Department of Psychiatry at Singapore General Hospital notes that 10 per cent of Singaporeans suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders. Whether you’re suffering from anxiety or just the standard stress, you can benefit from creating a daily self-love routine for your mind, body, and soul.
Why self-love is important
Deep down, you know you have to take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else. But in practice, that’s not always so easy. We tend to look after other people’s needs and feelings, and sometimes, it’s even at the expense of our own comfort.
But if you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll eventually have some sort of breakdown. Stop taking care of your body, and you’ll eventually experience health problems. Stop taking care of your mind, and you’ll experience poor mental health. And when you neglect your soul, you’ll find it difficult to connect with feelings of happiness. It’s all important, and you can take care of it all with a short daily self-love routine.
How to develop a self-love routine
Everyone has a different idea of self-love because we all have different ideas of what is fun or relaxing. So, before we get started, understand that your self-care routine won’t necessarily be the same as someone else’s. And that’s perfectly okay.
Here are some general rules and ideas to help you get started.
1. Identify calming habits
Stop for a moment and think about when you’re feeling most relaxed. Is it during a bath or sitting solo at the top of a mountain? These don’t necessarily have to be daily habits, but once you identify them, you can add them to your monthly routine. For example, if it’s relaxing for you, maybe you take a bath twice a week. Or perhaps you hike to a mountaintop at least once every month. These may seem like indulgences, but they are crucial to your self-care, so they should be non-negotiable.
2. Try a 10-minute exercise
Try different things to find something you can do in about 10-15 minutes every day. This thing should be relaxing and nourishing to your mind, body and soul. It’s easier to find something like this than you might think.
Let’s take something familiar, for example, like drinking a green smoothie. Take time to appreciate the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you’re consuming to nourish your body. Think about how this drink will nourish your body and soul, and drink mindfully. Take 10 to 15 minutes to drink your smoothie without actively thinking about anything else.
Your daily self-love routine doesn’t have to include a green smoothie, and it can include multiple things, depending on how much free time you have. Just keep it to a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes whenever possible. You may try things like yoga, tai chi, meditation, or reading a book.
3. Stay off social media
This is a time to shut down your notifications. Put your phone on silent or do not disturb during your self-love routine. You want to avoid as many distractions as possible, but social media can be especially problematic. You may start twitching after being away from Instagram for more than 5 minutes, but it’s important to start this practice.
If you find that you can’t get rid of bad habits like social media, it may be time to ask for help. Even if it sounds silly, sometimes we need treatment to get rid of deeply rooted habits that are stealing from our happiness.
4. Spend some alone time
Whether or not you find something relaxing to do, be sure to spend some time alone each day. Again, this should be a minimum of 10 minutes daily where you sit in silence (not watching television or playing on your smartphone). This alone time could be spent meditating or reflecting upon your life and goals. Many people like to spend alone time journaling to reflect on things they are grateful for or goals they have for the future.
5. Set a time
Set a time for relaxation and alone time each day. These two things can be combined, but they should be done at the same time each day. For example, you may meditate in the morning and take a yoga class in the afternoon. Or you can count the meditation time as alone and relaxation time. The more time you have for self-love, the better, but it should be at least 10 minutes a minimum.
Self-love is a crucial part of life, especially in an increasingly stressful world. Take time to actively take care of your mind, body, and soul, and you’ll feel more at peace with the world around you. It’s easy to get caught up with the material life, so this time helps connect us with reality and what’s truly important for happiness.