Here is a guide to better self-care for the year ahead
Carving out time for self-care and wellness activities has never been more important. It’s been a rough start to the new decade and many of us have been spreading ourselves too thin, sacrificing our energy levels and general well-being as a result. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can improve that. From regular meditation practices and scheduling vacation time with your loved ones to outdoor play and changing sleeping habits, here are 10 easy-to-adopt tips to take care of your well-being and make it a priority in 2020.
1. Schedule time off
While international travel might be off-limits for now, there’s no reason you can’t schedule a domestic holiday that allows you to disconnect and recharge. A fresh change of scenery can help elevate your mood. At a loss of how to spend your downtime? Why not be a tourist in your own city and book a staycation at a trendy boutique hotel, pull up a stool at any of its cool coffee spots, or organise a weekend jaunt to a destination in Malaysia you’ve always wanted to visit. Another option is to pack up the car and explore the country on four wheels. Whatever you decide, taking time off can help you recharge, and reduce the likelihood of burnout from the stresses of work and home.
2. Stock up on these stylish face masks
With the pandemic set to persist for the foreseeable future, the use of masks is here to stay, and you might as well get comfortable and stylish with yours. One option to check out is Durio. Made in facilities that adhere to stringent hygiene standards, the Malaysian brand’s affordable disposable face masks use melt-blown filters, an electrostatically charged, non-woven fabric manufactured by Durio that is highly effective in filtering small particles without compromising on breathability. The mask’s long nose strip ensures a more secure fit, and its flat ear loops eliminate any discomfort. What’s more, Durio’s three- and four-ply offerings are available in a rainbow of colours to match all sorts of outfits.
3. Download a meditation app – and practice daily
If the pandemic has left you feeling uneasy and anxious, you’re not alone. Thankfully, meditation can help with that. While there are workshops by licensed practitioners you can sign up for, there are also plenty of free tools ranging from apps and YouTube channels that offer guided meditations for beginners.
4. Get rid of body aches with physiotherapy
Contrary to popular belief, physiotherapy isn’t just for stroke patients and athletes with sports injuries. It can help prevent heart disease and diabetes, alleviate body aches and migraines, and restore misaligned spines. A great places to visit for such treatments is Grand Care Rehab, an award-winning rehabilitation centre with three outlets in Malaysia, which offers a holistic approach to rehabilitation, making sure to assess underlying issues and educate patients to adopt healthier practices. Founded in 2016, it combines Eastern and Western techniques to provide a range of non-invasive treatments, including acuphysio (acupuncture and physiotherapy), cupping therapy, moxibustion and specialised massages for infants, seniors, pregnant women and scoliosis patients.
5. Start your own indoor garden
The pandemic has certainly planted the seed for a new interest in indoor gardening. It’s not surprising, given the calming and therapeutic impact of having plenty of leafy greens in your personal space – somewhere we are spending far more time these days. Try growing your own micro-greens using beginner-friendly starter kits, start your own hydroponic garden or swing by a nursery to pick up some potted plants. Having greenery in your living space has proven to boost your well-being and moods.
Read more: How to grow your very own hydroponic garden at home
6. Incorporate these health drinks into your daily routine
Start each day with a dose of Salus Haus’ herbal blends, a tasty yet convenient way to maintain a healthy diet. Among the crowd-favourites are Floradix Formula, a fruity, iron-rich beverage mix that contains vitamins C, B1, B2, B6 and B12, and Saludynam, a mix of roselle flower extract, orange and mango juice that’s high in calcium and magnesium. Find these products and more at BHB Health, the brand’s exclusive distributor for Malaysia and Singapore. The retailer, which was founded in 2003, also stocks Udo’s 3.6.9 Oil Blend, an organic, plant-based mix of flaxseed, sunflower seed, sesame seed, evening primrose seed, rice bran, oat bran and coconut oil, packed with all the essential fatty acids the body needs.
7. Upgrade your mattress for a better night’s sleep
Getting good sleep is the key to better physical and mental health, but without the right mattress, you could still wake up groggy despite clocking a full eight hours of sleep. Try Takeaway Bedding’s high-density memory foam mattresses that conform to the contours of your body, while offering superior motion isolation. These made-in-Malaysia models, which come with a 99-day free trial, are also hypoallergenic and protect against dust mites. While the classic Takeaway Ace features two layers of high-density memory foam and support foam, the Takeaway Mix is a flippable model that is made of memory foam on one side and Takeaway’s unique, eco-friendly hybrid foam (which features characteristics similar to that of latex) on the other. Couples will also love the Takeaway Ori, which is composed of two different firmness levels, as well as a top layer of fabric with an icy feel.
8. Get a personalised nutrition plan and online consultations from a certified dietitian
Instead of subjecting yourself to fad-based diets that may lead to malnutrition and the development of eating disorders, work towards making sustainable lifestyle changes that prioritise your health. One way to improve your eating habits is with Medical Nutrition Therapy, which provides you with a dietitian-developed nutrition plan that is tailored to your specific needs, medical history and lifestyle. It is a comprehensive, science-backed approach that helps to prevent and treat diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. It also helps with weight loss and boosting energy, while allowing you to save on medical bills in the long run. Sign up for an online consultation at 27Group, a wellness company founded by Evelyn Chan in 2017. With its Shine programme, you’ll get a bespoke meal plan and personal coaching sessions with a certified dietitian.
9. Sweat it out
Physical exercise, even a short walk, has proven to increase neurotransmitters in your body that help to boost moods and improve cognitive function. There are plenty of big-name gyms in cities like KL where you can sign up. Not a gym buff? From home, give online streaming classes a go or invest in low-cost equipment like a skipping rope. A busy workday shouldn’t be an excuse either; squeeze in a short walk between meetings or a quick yoga session in the mornings. Movement can have significant benefits to your health and overall well-being. If you struggle to get motivated, ask your partner or friend to hold you accountable.
10. Visit an urban park
The flipside to the travel restrictions is that we’re learning to appreciate the bounty of places to be explored at home. Luckily for us, Malaysia has a bounty of stunning national parks, whether it’s the ancient rainforests of Taman Negara or a pristine marine park. Even if you live in the city, there are plenty of urban green spaces you can explore that’s located within or just a short drive away. In KL, the lush and beautifully landscaped Perdana Botanical Garden is a well-trodden spot among locals for its beautiful hibiscus garden, gazebos, sprawling lawns and picturesque jogging paths.
With thanks to our partners: Durio, Grand Care Rehab, BHB Health, Takeaway Bedding and 27Group
Read more: 8 beautiful urban parks in Malaysia we can’t wait to revisit