No two well-being journeys are exactly the same. After all, we have different needs as individuals, so what self-care looks like to each of us can be very different.
Take media personality and #HerWorldTribe member Jade Seah for instance. As an energetic extrovert, she is aware that she draws energy from doing things and being around people – which explains her intentionally jam-packed schedule. In this chat with Her World, the energizer bunny tells us more about her approach to self-care, and how taking care of her physical body also helped with her mental and social well-being.
What does a typical day for you look like?
There is no “typical day” for me, and this is what I am grateful for every day. My preferred way to start my day would be to wake up early and get a sunrise workout in. I love being outdoors first thing in the morning, because I get to watch the skies getting brighter and roads getting busier as people start their day. I usually go cycling, in-line skating, or running.
Some days I have shoots, so it depends on what the call time is to arrive for hair and makeup. If it’s my own production, I try to start around 10am so I get to enjoy a slow morning – to get a good workout, breakfast, and a nice long shower in. Other days – and these are the ones people don’t really see as they are less documented, because they are pretty mundane – I am in the office writing (like my monthly Girl Talk column for Her World!), catching up on e-mails or finishing up any work that needs to be done.
I play netball two to three times a week, and teach a rebounding (trampoline) class every Wednesday at 7pm. Other than these, I don’t have a regular exercise routine as sports are my hobby. I am generally active and don’t like killing my enjoyment by tying myself down to a routine.
What are some mental wellness practices you incorporate into your daily life, and how do you consciously make sure that you do them?
I make time to meditate daily, even if it’s just for a minute, because something is better than nothing. Like with exercise, I don’t tie myself down to a routine when it comes to meditating. If I manage 10 minutes in the morning, or sometime during the day, I will do it. Otherwise, I meditate before I sleep at night.
I am also very conscious of my energy as well as my happiness levels throughout the day, and I don’t let them dip below a certain level if I can help it. This helps me with being more resilient. For example, if I find myself drained by something, I will make time to replenish my energy and happiness via something else that brings me joy, such as sports or hanging out with loved ones.
Another thing I do, though not on a daily basis, is to journal. This helps me to be more aware of my thoughts and feelings.
How active would you say your lifestyle is? Have you always been like this?
To be honest, I always thought that this was the norm. Before the advent of Instagram Stories, where I show a little of my daily life, I never thought of myself as particularly active. It was only after I started posting and when friends told me that they don’t know how I manage to do so much in a day that I realised: This isn’t particularly “normal”. And it’s really only a fraction of my life that I share online, so I guess you could say that I am pretty active.
What gives you the energy to do so much in a day?
Firstly, I honestly think that I’m just blessed with an abundance of energy in general! I’ve been told that even as a child, I never took naps, and was always energetic and hyper. Secondly, being fit and staying active gives you energy; a sedentary lifestyle can make you feel sluggish and low on energy. Lastly, the older I get, the more aware I am of what drains or energises me, so I consciously try to keep a good balance.
Considering that you lead such an active lifestyle, how does your daily wear play a part in how you feel and perform at your best?
Fit is very important to me. I have realised that even the most expensive pieces don’t look good if they don’t fit properly. Conversely, well-priced pieces can look like a million bucks when they fit well. I really like the lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Tight 25”. The fit is quite flattering – it even gives my lanky frame a little bit of a butt! When it comes to sports bras, I’m quite particular about the fit and functionality – the Invigorate Bra, constructed with breathable and sweat-wicking LuxtremeTM fabric, gives me all the support I need whether I’m working or working out.
Any tips for how to pick functional activewear pieces that also look good – and how to style them for work?
Comfort and style really go hand in hand. When you look good, you feel good. The material of clothing is so important, especially since my days are long – I’m out of the house from morning, and I’m usually in the same clothes all the way till my workout at night.
I like the Align High Rise Shorts 8” for indoor workouts. This collection is made with NuluTM fabric and feels buttery soft, and is quite easy to style – the neutral-coloured ones take me from work to workout to play really nicely, and I just have to switch out my top, shoes and outerwear for different looks. When I need a little more coverage from the sun, I throw on the Serve It Jacket, which is quite lightweight and helps me stay breezy in the heat. Some of the fabrics that lululemon’s tights come in are also really comfortable and keep me cool.
How do you take care of your physical and mental health during this pandemic?
I struggled in the first few days of the Circuit Breaker. As an extreme extrovert, it was hard not being able to see my loved ones. I dealt with it by finding positive ways to expel the negative energy, such as working out.
Thanks to technology, I had workout sessions virtually with my friends. I completed the 60-day Insanity workout with a bunch of ladies, and also participated in Bounce sessions online. This was also a way to “hang out” together, and working out releases endorphins, the happy hormone.
Working out helps you take care of your physical health, and it’s a great way to take care of your mental health too. I also made sure to get out for fresh air and sunshine daily. I would go on a walk or run, and the combination of being in nature and getting some physical activity in was great for keeping me in good shape, both mentally and physically.
On top of that, I practised more meditation, sometimes a few times a day, and focused on being kinder and more compassionate to myself. There were days when I struggled with the isolation – I dealt with it by doing decluttering projects (which I also filmed on Youtube!) or simply calling my loved ones on the phone.
You’re also a positive psychology practitioner. What made you pursue studies in this area?
It started when corporates asked me to give talks, sharing stories of motivation and resilience. After a few of those, I realised that I wanted to speak from a place of greater authority and learning.
What are some things that you’ve learnt from positive psychology that you apply to your daily life?
So many things! Like being aware of and using my strengths, instead of focusing on my weaknesses. Using our strengths energises us, and I’ve become a lot more conscious of what energises and what drains me.
Learning skills and tools of resilience is another. I consciously make time and effort to replenish my internal reservoir of resilience so it never runs empty. This ensures that I will be able to bounce back in challenging times.
I don’t feel guilty about making time for sleep or working out, knowing what an important and integral part they play in our mental well-being.
As a result, I feel happier than I have ever been in my life. I still experience down periods, just like everyone else, but the difference is that I now possess the emotional intelligence and capacity to better deal with them. Life should be lived in a flourishing state, and I hope that we don’t merely aim to survive, but to truly thrive. And that looks different for everyone.
In partnership with lululemon