7 Self-Care tips

Taking care of your wellbeing.

I’m sure you have heard the word Self-Care thrown around so many times, but what exactly is Self-Care. It is setting aside the time to take care of your own wellbeing whether it be physically or mentally and taking steps to ensure your happiness and reduce stress levels.

This year I embarked on a self-care journey where I actively invested time and energy into my self-care routines every week. Saying that self-care changed my life may sound like an exaggeration but it is not. Investing in my self-care made me a more content, healthier and less anxious person and I’m so glad that I did.

Here are a few self-care tips for those wanting to make a positive change.

1) Schedule some ‘ME’ time

The number one tip is obviously to make time for yourself and time to practice self-care. Just saying that you will do your self-care routine when you get the time is not enough. You need to set aside a few hours a week where you and only you are the priority, even if it means writing it into your calendar or phone as a reminder.

Set aside some alone time to drink a cup of tea on the balcony while watching the sunset, or take an evening stroll through the neighborhood while listening to your playlist, or lie on the couch and watch a feel-good movie. Do whatever makes you happy.

This past year I chose one day per week and dedicated 2-3 hours to just my self-care routine. This would usually be during my son’s naptime or after his bedtime on my day off from work. I made it a habit to squeeze in the time no matter what and reminded myself that it was a necessity.

2) Get the sleep you need

With so many things to do in a day and so little hours, sleep is often neglected. Sleep is a vital activity to maintaining your physical health. Your body needs that 8 hour reset in order to keep functioning at its best and keep going the next day. Give your body the 8 hours of rest it needs and it will thank you later.

To maximize on sleep, optimize your room and your body for sleep. Reduce your caffeine intake later in the day and make sure your room is a comfy and distraction-free environment. Set a bedtime and stick to it. An hour to your bedtime, you should start your wind-down process. You can dim the lights, take off the TV, take a bath, drink some chamomile tea and do a quiet activity till it is time for bed.

3) Get moving

Exercise is important for not only our physical health but also our mental health. It boosts our mood and reduces our stress levels. It also raises those feel good hormones, serotonin and dopamine.

Being active gets the blood pumping, keeps us fit and can even help lose some excess weight. Exercise doesn’t only mean cardio, taking a walk, weight training and sports, it can be yoga as well which has the added benefits of deep breathing and calming exercises.

This past year I became serious with my exercising and would squeeze in 3 workouts per week. Of course losing 28 lbs this year was an extreme plus for me, but I absolutely loved how exercising made me feel about myself and my body.

4) Pamper yourself

Take the time to run through your full skincare and haircare routines, get your nails done, take a long warm bath/shower and get a massage. You have only one body, take care of it and show it the love it deserves. Do this and trust me you will thank me later. Not only will you look good but you feel great too.

My weekly self-care routine religiously included a full skincare routine as part of my pampering session. Not only did my skin improve and look better, but I felt better about myself as well.

5) Plan creative activities/hobbies

Look for a creative and relaxing activity to do in your scheduled quiet time. Whether it be reading a book, drawing/painting pictures or writing in a journal. Find an activity that you love doing that brings you peace and joy, and do that activity in the scheduled ‘ME’ time that you should have had from the first tip in this blog post.

This year I reintroduced myself to painting and coloring in my spare time which is quite fun and calming. I’ve also taken up reading books once again and I can’t believe I ever stopped doing it to begin with. I absolutely loved reading books as a child and completely forgot about my love for reading when life became too hectic.

An important side note is that I actually started this whole blog page as part of my self-care. It started off as writing in a journal and soon became a whole blog website just for the fun of it.

6) Learn to say “no”

One of the things that can easily lead to stress is not knowing that it is okay to say no. You don’t have to stretch yourself thin and do things that are too much of a hassle or do too many things in a short space of time.

Learn your limit and try not to cross it. Prioritize your list of stuff to be done and remember to put your own wellbeing first and foremost. You should never feel guilty about prioritizing your self-care.

7) Don’t neglect your mental health

Forget the stigma that the world has of mental health. Your mental health is important and the necessary steps should be taken to take care of it. Too many people suffer in silence with their depression and anxiety. Seek out a counselor or psychologist or someone you can talk to about it. You have no idea how much talking about your fears and stressors can be of help. Bottling it all inside is a no-no and is a recipe for disaster later on.

I hope these 7 tips were helpful to you in some way and I hope one of your new years resolutions will be to take your self-care seriously. You won’t regret it.


My post-baby weightloss journey

How I lost 28 lbs in 6 months.

After I gave birth to my son last year, my body changed so much I didn’t recognize myself. I was almost 20 lbs heavier than I was pre-pregnancy and 30 lbs heavier than I was on my wedding day 5 years ago.

I felt so self conscious about my extra weight, the new stretch marks and the belly pouch. When I was pregnant I always envisioned a snap back to my previous body within 3 months of giving birth, but of course that didn’t happen. I had to keep reminding myself that I just gave birth to a whole human and my body did such an incredible thing and it is ok if it looked and felt different after the ordeal.

Set the goals

In January of this year 2020 when my son was almost 10 months old, I decided to embark on a fitness journey. It started off as purely weightloss goals but then it changed more into a fitness/self love/feel good journey as time went by. In this post I will be sharing the weightloss aspect and what worked for me to lose the weight. In a later post I will cover the other aspects of my fitness journey besides just the weightloss.

My original weightloss goal was to lose about 20 lbs and be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time my son turned a year old in two and a half months. I had a long road ahead of me and it was intimidating at first but I knew I just had to make that first step.

Low carb dieting

Before I started my diet, I researched different types of diets including intermittent fasting, keto diet, paleo diet, Atkins diet etc. I chose to go on a low carb diet and cut out all juice, soda, bread, pasta, rice, sugar and flour for a whole two months. I ate mainly foods with protein, good fat and fibre in them.

So what did I eat for those 2 months? I usually ate scrambled eggs with a cup of tea for breakfast. For lunch, I ate salads I made myself or bought at work and I alternated between baked chicken and fish as my protein of choice. For dinner it varied between baked fish and scrambled eggs most days. If I felt super snack-ish between meals, I ate a portion of peanuts. I also occasionally ate fried plantains and beans for lunch to switch things up.

It was a tremendous sacrifice cutting back on carbs but it yielded results. In those 2 months alone I shed a whole 18 pounds from just cutting back on carbs. I had finally hit my pre-pregnancy weight just in time for my son’s first birthday and I couldn’t be happier. I had reached my initial goal.

18 lbs lost in 2 months

New goals

After reaching my initial goal, I felt like I needed to continue on the weightloss journey. Why stop at my pre-pregnancy weight? Why not aim for my pre-marriage weight? It meant I had to lose just over 10 more lbs.

It was not sustainable to continue such a low carb diet for so long and so I reintroduced carbs into my diet. I still abstained from juice, sugar, bread and soda of course. I now allowed myself to eat carbs like rice and pasta but in smaller portions. I switched my diet from a low carb diet to a more portion controlled diet. I avoided fast food, sugar and snacking as much as possible and I also ate my dinner earlier in the evening to avoid a late night dinner before bed.

I continued to lose weight by eating healthier and controlling my portions. I lost an extra 5lbs over the next 2 months and I felt awesome and motivated to continue with this more sustainable diet. I had more energy and I felt better about myself.


As the months progressed, I fell in love with working out. I loved the energy I felt during my workout. I loved the slight ache of my muscle the next day letting me know I pushed myself hard enough. I even slept better on the days I worked out which was a great bonus.

As my warm up, I aimed to go on 4-6km walks 3 to 5 times per week and most weeks I hit my target with ease. Going for walks outside had the added benefit of the fresh air which was quite soothing to me. I even took my son along with me in his stroller sometimes and he absolutely loved it.

Everyday I made sure to do at least 15 mins of exercise which included a bit of quick cardio followed by a leg, core or full body workout for 10-20 mins. My daily workout consisted of High intensity body-weight workouts that I found on the Nike Training Club app or on YouTube on the Chloe Ting or Madfit channels just to name a few. If I was feeling too tired to do a high intensity workout, I did a dance workout instead. The music alone gave me the added energy I needed. The Yoga by Adrienne 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube was also incorporated into my workout for a few weeks.

The dreaded plateau

5 months into my weightloss journey, I had lost a total of 25 lbs…. 5 lbs away from my new goal. But then I hit that dreaded plateau and no matter how much I exercised and no matter how much I dieted I seemed stuck at that 25 lb mark. I became a bit discouraged and demotivated and at times I told myself 25lbs is good enough and no need to keep pushing myself. Maybe I should just quit.

After a week of eating lots of crap and not exercising, I realised I didn’t feel good about myself after resorting back to my old unhealthy lifestyle. That’s when I realised that my fitness journey should not just be about weightloss and the number on the scale… it should be about being healthy, living a clean lifestyle and being fit. That was the turning point in my fitness journey.

Lifestyle change

It was at that moment I changed my goals from just being obsessed with losing the weight. It became more important to me to just live a generally healthier lifestyle. I made it a point to eat cleaner and healthier and not just diet temporarily. I reduced my consumption of fast food, snacks, soda and sugar and ate more home cooked foods and whole foods.

I also made it a point to remain committed to exercising almost everyday even if it is just a 4km walk or a 10 min cardio or HIT workout that day. I looked forward to my daily exercise to get my heart rate up and get my muscles moving. I couldn’t complain about my increased endurance and strength with the regular exercising.

With these changes I felt fitter, I looked better, I felt happier about myself, my skin looked clearer, my stress levels reduced and as a added bonus I even lost 3 more pounds during that 6th month to make it a total of 28 pounds lost.

These lifestyle changes were the best thing to happen to me this year and I’m glad I embarked on this fitness journey. I plan to continue this fitness journey for as long as I possibly can. I want my son as he grows up to also be a part of this journey with me and learn to live a healthier lifestyle.

For those who are starting on a fitness/weightloss/healthy lifestyle journey, the advice I have for you is

-Set your goal

-Work towards that goal

-Remind yourself why you set that goal

-Don’t give up

and last but not least…

-Love yourself