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08 May, Saturday
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Be Better With Self-Care

Get yourself some you time

By now, you’d probably heard about self-care. A phrase people threw around during the brunt of the Circuit Breaker. Even now, we still don’t know what happens next, and that’s scary. How do we even begin to cope?

Well, before we go on to fix the world around us, let’s start with taking care of ourselves. There may be a lot of things that we can’t control, but we can control how we can take better care of ourselves. So here’s Tropika Club’s guide on self-care.

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Self-care: Demystified

It sounds like a broad concept – because it is. There are plenty of definitions out there. But, we’re going to take it from a local source. HealthHub SG defines it as “Self-care is a broad concept which encompasses any action you take for your physical, mental and emotional health.” And you can see how extensive the breadth of self-care can be in the definition by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – it covers disease prevention and control; self-medication; health promotion;  providing care to dependent persons; seeking hospital/specialist care if necessary; and even rehabilitation including palliative care.

Basically, it’s about creating a time and space where you can experience life in the present.

The key thing to realise is that self-care not like a one-size-fits-all Uniqlo t-shirt. Whatever you see on Pinterest, Instagram, or Tumblr may or may not work for you. Other’s idea of holistic wellbeing may not fit with yours. 

That being said, it’s also important to understand the difference between self-care activities with unhealthy coping mechanisms. It’s not just about making yourself feel better in the short term. The idea is to achieve better health outcomes. There’s no need to jog 5km or have salads for lunch every day, but it may be a good idea to have a walk once every few days.


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5 Easy Steps to Better Self Care

You don’t need a lot of time, or money, to make self-care your priority. So, let’s get to finding your happy place with these self-care practices.

Social Media Time Out

The juice cleanse is out, but the digital cleanse is in. According to a 2019 report by HootSuite and We Are Social, Singaporeans spend around two hours and eight minutes a day on social media. In fact, just by unplugging from social media is a form of self-care. After all, you’re avoiding all the side effects of social media on your mental health. And, just imagine all the extra time you’ll get for other self-care regimes too!

Have Healthier Meals

Again, we’re not suggesting you have a salad for lunch every day. Besides sticking to fresh ingredients for healthy meals as best as you can, the idea here is to nourish your body because our body needs proper nutrition for it to function properly. And, it helps to give you a sense of balance in your life too. Here are three easy rules you can follow to make sure your body has all the nutrition it needs: 

  • Have more colours in the food you eat – so you get nutrients from diverse sources
  • Eat regularly – so your body gets its fuel throughout the day
  • Adopt the 80/20 mindset – sticking to your nutrition goals 80% of the time, while indulging mindfully the rest of the 20%

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Get Better Sleep

There’s the oft-heard rule of sleeping at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day. But the challenge is to increase the quality of your sleep, rather than just how much you sleep. To start, try to sleep around the same time every day. You could try aromatherapy to help you relax too. Essential oils such as lavender, jasmine, bergamot, and ylang-ylang can help you ease anxiety. Our next tip might help you get better sleep too.

Get Moving

Another cliché, but only because it works. By having an active lifestyle, you get to reduce stress and manage anxieties and depression as your body releases endorphins. It can help with your mental health too, just by being in a different environment, its easier to take your mind off your troubles. You can also find new avenues to vent your frustrations and anger in your workouts, such as taking up weight training or martial arts. You can start small, like a walk in the park in the morning every day.

“…it’s about creating a time and space where you can experience life in the present.”

Set Regular Times for Emotional Self-Care

Besides taking physical self-care, emotional self-care can be easier to neglect as we go through our lives. When we have short-term troubles, we usually just grit our teeth. As the uncertainties we face extend, we have to acknowledge that our lives have been disrupted. So by setting aside time to process our frustrations, we can find better ways to regulate our emotions, rather than suppressing or ignoring them.


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Reminder: Self-care Is Not Selfish

We can’t emphasise this enough, because your wellbeing matters. Small lifestyle changes can have big effects. Once you’ve established a self-care routine and follow it on a regular basis, you might be feeling less stress, improving your immune system, and get higher self-esteem. Don’t know what’s the first step to take? Why not try this self-care assessment before making your own self-care plan.

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A curious wanderlust at heart, Benedict is always out to explore the world around him, and share his discoveries.