Take care of yourself. Now, how many of us dish that advice to others, but never actually follow our own proclamations? This new year, and in line with Celebration of Life Day on Jan 22, forget the grand gestures.
In fact, focus on starting small, by doing little things that slowly but gradually increase the happiness of your everyday. Here are 11 ideas to get you started.
The Scandinavians are masters of creating joy out of grey skies. With winter lasting months and the sun not showing up for weeks, it’s important to keep the gloom at bay.
Think of hygge as an elevated form of self love, which can be anything from enjoying a cocktail alone in a cozy bar to spending the last hour of your day curled up in bed reading your favourite book. There’s no golden rule, except one: To do what sparks joy within.
If you’re not living your best life now, start the realisation process by putting all your dreams and hopes down on a mood board.
Clip pictures from magazines, trawl Instagram for inspirational sayings that resonate with you, make a list of great stuff that happened in 2018, and keep adding to it — before you know it, your dreams may come true.
Sharing (food) is caring, so show your love for your gal pals by footing the bill during the next outing. It doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. Whether it’s utilising your credit card privileges (UOB is particularly good for dining options) or signing up for Beyond (by Burpple, from $9.90 a month) offering one-for-one deals at over 300 restaurants (e.g Park Bench Deli, Sunday Folks, Vatos Urban Tacos), or downloading the Eatigo app to get discounts at restaurants, there’s enough variety to pique anyone’s taste buds.
You could whip out your credit card and jet off to Paris for a week… but where would that leave you 10 days later? Saddled with debt, that’s where. Travel is a splurge that should be planned for.
Start making a list of bucket travel plans, big and small. Whether it’s to learn how to dive, spend a week leisurely exploring the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia or joining a surf/yoga camp in Costa Rica, it’ll feel so much more amazing knowing you saved for it.
Lower your costs by doing your research (accumulate air miles, explore house sitting and couch surfing options) and don’t be above taking on a side gig to make this dream come true.
Whether it’s a $0.70 vanilla cone from McDonald’s – seriously, how good are they – or the latest artisanal gelato flavour from Birds of Paradise, there’s never a bad time to have some ice cream.
An indulgence to be savoured solo as you window shop, or to be shared with friends – remember Swensen’s eight scoop, eight topping Earthquake? – life always feels better after a scoop or three.
Spend a weekend beautifying your space and you’ll never want to leave home. Make your own soy-based candle, purchase some plants or put together your own stained glass pane.
If you’re not artsy, it’s amazing what a fresh set of pillow covers and curtains will do for the room, or just tidy up your desk space with this cool #SKADIS pegboard from IKEA.
No one loves commuting to/from work. Make this daily chore one you actually look forward to by subscribing to a podcast geared to your interest.
Whether it’s true crime or stories about modern love, it’s a surefire way to pass the crowded commute in a more enjoyable manner. Plus, you don’t have to crane your neck to look at the screen. Hit up Anchor and explore your options.
Call us sentimental fools but there’s something about Pixar films that – to borrow a phrase from them – makes us “grin from fin to fin”. While we have our personal favourite (We’re talking about “Finding Nemo”), others like “Monsters Inc” and “The Incredibles” never fail to get us chuckling. If you prefer films which hit you in the gut, “Inside Out”, “Co Co” and “Up” will make you shed a tear or two.
Support the arts while gifting yourself (and a friend) some culture by becoming a W!ld Rice angel for as little as $350. Depending on your donation sum, you’ll receive tickets in lieu and by inviting a different buddy each time, you’ll expand both your artistic horizons and know you’ve contributed to Singapore’s art scene at the same time.
Go to www.wildrice.com.sg/support-us/be-an-angel for more information.
There’s no better way to empower yourself than through the art of dance. Start by learning the art of Tahitian dancing perfected by Polynesian women from a young age.
While it’ll take time to master movements like the tari tamau and varu – the secret lies in one’s hip movements – to the level of instructor Beatrice Caisson, her encouraging, open attitude will keep you focused and determined to learn those hip-tastic dance moves.
Tahiti Dance Fitness is at 46 Southbridge Road, #02-02, Singapore 058679, tel: 8374 8408. Their Tahiti Basics class is on every Weds at 12.45pm and 6.45pm.
Newsflash: Work is not a hobby. Nor is Netflix, which is really just a fun distraction. This year, dare to delve deep to nurture what really interests you. Just like how your parents exposed you to chunks of ballet, piano, swimming, martial arts while growing up, do the same, but this time you’re in charge of sussing out your own interests.
For a start, if you feel the urge to create something tangible with your hands, have a go at throwing and shaping clay at Mud Rock Ceramics, which runs regular classes.
Mud Rock Ceramics is at 85 Maude Road, Singapore 208357, tel: 6291 1186. Classes are $315 for five lessons, Tues or Weds (7pm to 9.30pm), or Sat or Sun (11am to 1.30pm).
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