What do you do when u feel blue? Do u watch reruns of the GE, and tickle yourself with scenes that warm the cockles of your heart? (Curiously I heard all cockles have been sold out since Sat morning) =P Or maybe you would bury yourself with work, go out for a lung bursting run, stuff yourself silly with Hai Di Lao, or laze in your hot tub peppered with roses, lavendar essential oil and a nice tub of Haagen Dazs Rum and Raisin?
Post Covid, with a Great Depression threatening to cast a HUGE-ASS shadow on our lives. Singapore’s GDP dipped an unprecedented > 40% last quarter… And this Quarter is expected to be worse…
It is often in such trying times where we feel the most vulnerable… And when we are at our most vulnerable, we are also the most critical of ourselves. That inner critic named the punisher will be every ready to pounce on our mistakes and shame us. Then feelings of anxiety, stress, guilt, shame which have been lurking in the shadows of our childhood soon manifest itself. What can we do to help ourselves in such dark times?
Self care and be divided into the following components.
Emotional Self Care
Self comfort| The ability to pamper yourself and just relax. Over the years, I find many high achievers lacking this ability to relax. They like to busy themselves from morning to night, and pack their to-do-list until the tasks become scribbly scrawny letters.
Self Soothe | I learnt this soothing technique from my current fav K drama of all time. U guessed it. Its okay to not be okay. Presenting… the *Butterfly hug* So yes, I am not afraid to admit, when I am stressed, I soothe myself with Korean dramas and a tub of Baileys, topped with original Soju lol.
Validation | Validating emotion is a very crucial skill to providing yourself with much needed self love. How do you validate your emotions? You start by asking yourself why you feel this way. You proceed to understand yourself more… Its not an instant eureka moment… Its a lifelong journey. Some people never understand themselves because they dont look deep enough. For others, the time is not yet ripe… So take the time to journal your thoughts, feelings and behavior and feelfree to speak to friends or professionals (As advised from my friend, a trained Psychologist).
Physical self care
This is my personal favourite. Being a go-getter, I can literally work non-stop. I take pleasure in doing, acomplishing and finishing things. So for me, the key here is to accept and just *BE*. Of course easier said than done. People go for long sabbaticals, travel the world, explore new cultures and meet new people… I feel, that what many of us really need is to be in the here and now. To be PRESENT.
- Savour and appreciate the simple things in life | *Close your eyes* When you drink your morning coffee, do you first savour its rich aroma, the roasted beans, then hold the cup firmly in your palms. As u take the first sip, do your taste buds identify the rich combination of flavours, the acidic, bittersweet taste…
- Mindfulness Meditation | Youtube has a host of great videos. I advocate the use of 3 basic ones which form the foundation of mindfulness. 1. Breathing 2. Body Scan 3. Walking
- Run + Gym | Give your heart muscles a workout they never forget! I recommend HIIT and TABATA for the diehard fans.
- Footy with your Kakis| Needs no elaboration!
Spiritual self care
Music | You know they say music soothes the beast. There is a beast in all of us, not in the Jekyll and Hyde sense, but more in terms of an inner child. I like to listen to Yiruma. What about u?
Purpose | What is your purpose in life? What kicks you up from bed every morning? What motivates you, rain or shine, day in day out?
Gratitude | Oprah is a firm and strong advocate of a gratitude journey. And research has shown that identifying 3 things we are thankful of each day, goes a hell of a long way in making us feel better about ourselves.
Deep down, all of us need to feel appreciated, valued, connected and loved. I long learnt that our purpose has to be bigger than ourselves, in order to grow beyond ourselves. My purpose in life is to help other look and FEEL better one face at a time. We all need to think deep and hard about what gifts we were blessed with, and how we can use them. Then, and only then, can we truly make the world a better place, for generations and generations to come.
Dr Daniel Chang
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