The world has embraced February as “the month of love”. It sets the stage for elaborate expressions of affection and romantic gestures. It is a time dedicated to appreciating the love for your partner, the love of your life, that person you fell head-over-heels for. Just the mention of February brings to mind images of red hearts, chocolate indulgences, and roses of course. If ever there was a time to pamper your ‘person’, Valentine’s month is it.
Yet, one can only offer love from their own reservoir if their well of love is full. We often find ourselves continually giving without allocating time to replenish our source of love. Therefore, we propose that February be rebranded. In this month dedicated to love, let the focus be on self-love. How? Over the next five weeks, we will break down five fundamental self-care practices that you can gradually incorporate into your routine. There’s no need to pressure yourself—simply engage in what feels comfortable for you.
Self-care Basic #1: Journaling
Journaling is known to help one destress in difficult times. A 2006 study showed that journaling decreased the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Another study showed that writing about what stresses you might even increase your antibodies, therefore journaling has a positive effect on both the mind and body.
Joshua Smyth, a distinguished professor of biobehavioral health and medicine, said, “Journaling is a tool to put our experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and desires into language, and in doing so it helps us understand and grow and make sense of them.”
However, if you don’t feel comfortable jotting down your deepest thoughts and feelings, you’re not alone. Statistics show that about 40% of the human population feels the same.
Here are some journaling prompts to initiate the process:
- What do you look forward to every day?
- What is a lesson you had to learn recently?
- When do you feel most like yourself?
- What causes are worth fighting for?
- What is your favourite spoil?
There you have it. We will be back next week for self-care basics. Until then, happy journaling.