Self-Love February: Simple, Proven Self-Care Practices To Try At Home
Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I’m just glad I'm all set for Palawan to be with my big sisters. We're doing it to escape my least favourite “holiday.” Even when I was in a relationship, Valentine's was always a cause of unrest; fussing on what to get him, where to eat, how to make it special. Now that I’m single, I do feel pressured to go on a date to avoid feeling “unloved.” God forbid I don’t get to post a bouquet of flowers this year!
It seems that it doesn’t matter if I'm dating or not, I still get sucked into this unhealthy obsession to showcase “love” every February 14. So I figured, if I'm going to fall prey to a totally unimportant and over-commercialised day of hearts, I might as well make it about ME.
Not the “I'm so full of myself” kind! Not a selfie moment. Just simple, authentic self-care practices. I did a poll on my social media and asked my connections to share what ordinary things they do to make themselves feel special. Hope you love their answers as much as I did:
"Turn-on the sprinkler in the backyard, put on a bikini, mix an ice cold Campari spritz in a stem glass, put on Bob Marley and catch-up on book reading in a comfy sun chair with a soft plush thick beach towel and most likely daydream." —Eileen Juan, Owner - The Picture company
You don’t have to go far. Lounging in your balcony, your backyard or even a nearby park works just as well. While you’re at it, have a picnic; some trail mix, a couple of fruits, maybe a sandwich and a glass of red while you watch the clouds, or maybe the stars? Getting out to feel the breeze calms the mental chatter in our head. Our feet touching the earth, and being around trees grounds us to the present moment where anxiety and depression doesn’t exist.
"After a tiring day of work, I would always find myself taking a warm bath, doing my skincare routine, applying a clay mask and putting on a comfy pair of PJs, (sometimes onesies) while binge-watching nature documentaries." —Philip Gejon, Manager, Red Apple Travel
Nothing spells self-care better than a 7-step skincare routine right? I personally like to use jade rollers and do gua-sha for a facial lymphathic massage. Blogger Mirabai Sebastian (of The Healthy Pinay) gets more elaborate by adding a Prana mat (accupressure mat) and dry-brushing her body (for the lymph nodes) to the routine. Soaking on essential oil infusion seems to be a go-to for a lot of people like Mae Sabater, Senior Barista at Starbucks. Of course, theres the regular home-massage, which I like to overdo because it's just so affordable here in the Philippines!
Turn up the sound.
"Sit on an easy pose, close your eyes, take long deep breaths. Play sound music like Om, chanting, singing bowls, binaural beats and other healing frequencies." —Dana Marquez, Reiki Healer and Music Producer
Sound healing makes use of frequency to sooth brain waves. It can involved listening to music, singing along, playing an instrument, dancing to rhythm or meditating to sound. Classics and instrumentals are popular tracks for relaxation, and playing the guitar like Spark Web founder Mheo Soriano is a great jam too. It’s wonderful on its own, or as a background while reading, bathing, cooking or even sleeping.
Thank you strokes
Journaling gratitude is a mindfulness practice that keeps the mind from dwelling on future fears and past resentments. Erika Aquino, Director of Ininity-O Foundation swears by it and takes it to the next level through calligraphy. Write down what you’re thankful for—be it things, people and even feelings. The act of scribbling brings attention to the thought better than just wondering about it.
Wash it away.
Even Men like travel blogger Nico Dino knows that a long, soothing shower is sometimes all it takes to wash the day’s pain away. Water naturally calms us, whether its soaking in it, swimming around it or just listening to it pour or, stream or wave—remember were 75% water, so it only makes sense that we heal with it.
"I do vinyasa yoga and diffuse my special workout blend: Certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils in my diffuser. Peppermint enhances alertness and stamina while grapefruit uplifts and motivates." —Barni Alejandro, Owner, The Sexy Chef
Sweating is proven to reduce stress-levels, tire the mind and relax the body. Yoga teacher and professional surfer Correy Wills does bed time yoga to unwind. I see a lot of my neighbours jog after dinner as well, and although it’s not really my thing to work-out before bed time, I regularly stroll to help me gather my wits and shake off excess tension.