Why You Need Self-care
I've noticed there are 2 camps of people in this world: (a) those who understand the importance of self-care and (b) those who don't give a hoot.
What we do here at Super Farmers isn't trying to convert people from the latter group; We're focused on providing support to those who already understand the importance of self-care and are beginning to or are already on a journey of practicing self-care.
So, I reckon you're reading this because you're curious about where to begin. Firstly, let me tell you I'm so glad you're here. :-)
I've spent the last seven years consciously practicing self-care. At one point, I was even running a kids' organic food catering business to help fellow busy mums who have no time to cook healthy fare for their children. I truly wanted to help fellow Singaporeans big and small to live healthier and happier. I'm still doing that now, albeit through a slightly different platform of education and programming.
I'll like to share with you my personal self-care regime as this could give you a better idea of why it is important to practise self-care. My regime is split into two categories - Emotional/Mental Health and Physical Health, and I did not follow any prescribed systems of self-care; I created my own to fit my needs and goals.
(a) Life coach
I see my Life Coach twice a week, without fail. Even when I'm overseas on the days we're supposed to meet, we would communicate through Skype. There is no excuse to miss a session because, my life depends on it. This is my proudest achievement because I have been conscientiously showing up for the past seven years, for the sake of my own emotional and mental health. Without my Life Coach, I wouldn't have the bandwidth to trudge this demanding life journey of my many roles and responsibilities.
(b) Mondays Off
I've paid my dues with enough Monday Blues in the corporate world, and decided to eradicate that by not working every Monday. To make it special, I created #mondayswithmum, a sacred day to spend with my mum. When mum was diagnosed with cancer, she relied on people around her to serve her medical needs. However, she felt miserable being stuck at home in between chemotherapy and radiation sessions, so I decided to take every Monday off to bring her out to re-discover Singapore. We pretend to be tourists, attend cooking classes and driving to the farthest ends of the island to discover less known spots. This is our fourth year, and there's still so much to discover! (who said Singapore is boring?!) As mum felt rejuvenated by our Monday adventures, I too, felt joy from my bringing her joy. I strongly believe bringing joy is a form of self-care.
I practise daily meditation. Again, I do not follow any religious or spiritual systems; I simply allow my thoughts to be felt and acknowledged, and using the method of 'Stop and Breathe' (as explained in my last post), I manage through whatever difficulties or obstacles there are in my daily life. I meditate when I'm driving, when I'm stuck in a traffic jam, when I'm in the middle of feeling gripping anger, when I'm feeling an avalanche of emotions crashing over me, when I'm met with an inconsiderate driver, when I think I've messed up, when I am reeling in joy, etc. Meditation is a label for being conscious with your thoughts, and this is something that transcends cultures and religions, genders and age groups. To me, Meditation simply is the discipline of not running away from your feelings and thoughts, and instead, to acknowledge their existence before letting them go - it is a powerful way of creating mental freedom and paradigm shifts.
I am so lucky to have my tribe, a closely-knit group of friends on the same life journey as I am. We're all entrepreneurs who fiercely believe the same life values and share the same humour about life. Having this group of friends to share experiences, to support each other, who are completely authentic towards each other, is a dream come true. Prior to meeting them, I was feeling so lonely and scared on this entrepreneurship journey because no one else understood the overwhelming challenges I was facing. I cannot emphasize enough the need to form your own tribe of people who would elevate you, not undermine you.
(a) Happy Place
Do you have a happy place? A physical spot which brings you an immense amount of joy when you're there? Mine is by the Singapore River, my go-to place whenever I need to recharge after a long day at work. I also like taking long walks around the river at sunrise and sunset, because the beautiful views of the waterway and its relaxing vibes bring me reprieve. I would go there at least twice a month for walks or just sit around to people-watch and do nothing.
(b) Labeling Food
Living with labels is something I'm not quite for, much less about diets. We live under a constant barrage of labels : Gluten-free, Vegan, Atkins, Raw Food, The Zone, Paleo, Blood Type, Mediterranean, etc. People like to eat according to what's trending, and lose their inherent ability to feel what is best for their own bodies. I'd prefer to eat according to what my body wants - when it needs iron, it communicates through a craving for meat. When it needs Potassium, it communicates through fatigue and restlessness. When it needs Magnesium, it communicates through spasms and twitches. Instead of following what's popular, I prefer to follow true nutritional knowledge to keep my body healthy.
I find silence very therapeutic. Silence is free of mindless chatters, songs and noises. Silence gives me space to meditate and face my own thoughts. Whenever possible, I drive without the radio on, and I take strolls without any music blasting through the earphones. I strongly encourage everyone to be in silence at least during their daily commute or during meal times. Give yourself a chance to experience the saying 'Silence is Golden'.
Self-care is an intentional and continuous effort by a person to stay healthy and happy. To me, it's a daily effort, and not just a trip to the spa or going on a holiday. Self-care doesn't need to cost anything and it doesn't necessarily require external intervention; You can create your own self-care regime by simply understanding what your physical, mental and emotional selves need.
And when you do, you will notice changes in your thoughts, reactions and the capability to keep on going in spite of the challenges ahead.
Super Farmers provides a safe and cozy environment for the participation of self-care programs. We believe in healing the natural way, with a balanced dose of lifestyle changes and paradigm shifts.
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