Throughout the month of October, we've been discussing mental health and self-care quite extensively. That said, wellness and self-care all mean differently from person to person. What works for your friend will not necessarily be fit for you. What we can do is find a category of activities that you naturally gravitate towards, especially during these trying times when taking care of your mental well-being is more important than ever.
We worked with clinical psychologist Dr. Annabelle Chow to come up with this quiz to give you a starting point on your self-care journey.
1. When you’re feeling blue, what helps to lift your spirits?
A. I like to organise or rearrange my physical space. When my room is clean, my mind feels more at ease.
B. A quick but tiring session at the gym will do the trick.
C. I’d raid my stash and munch on my favourite food or snack.
D. I’d message a friend or a loved one to ask if they’d want hanging out with me.
E. I prefer a quiet activity I can do on my own like praying, meditation or reading.
2. What do you do to calm down when you are upset?
A. Distracting myself by playing a game, journaling (writing your feelings down) or dabbling in art
B. Going on a walk around the neighbourhood.
C. Listening to music or watching an episode of my favourite sitcom.
D. Venting to a friend or loved one who’s willing to lend an ear.
E. Through moments of quiet reflection or going to therapy.
3. What is something comforting you do every day without fail?
A. I like reading the news, playing a game, or creating music or art — anything that will keep me preoccupied.
B. Any form of physical exertion or exercise, like yoga or even my morning walk.
C. One of my favourite parts of the day is hanging out at a café or coffee shop, enjoying my caffeine fix.
D. Spending time with my friends or loved ones always brings me comfort.
E. I make it a point to pray, meditate or practise gratitude every day.
4. If you could take a break for a whole week without any commitments, what is at the top of your list of things to do?
A. I look forward to spending time alone so I can finally complete a task on my to-do or bucket list.
B. I plan to sign up for a gym class I’ve been eyeing.
C. I want to go somewhere I can walk barefoot and smell fresh air, like the beach.
D. I’m hoping to meet up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.
E. I’d probably spend time volunteering for a cause I believe in.
5. What is something you want to do right now to unwind?
A. I set aside time to read before bed, just to get me relaxed.
B. A good stretch, yoga class or massage therapy does wonders for my mind and body.
C. I take a relaxing shower or a scented bath or cook a yummy meal while listening to music
D. Catching up with a friend or loved one over a meal or beverage has been very fulfilling lately.
E. Practising mindfulness and meditation are my go-to methods for unwinding.
6. If you could spend hours doing something relaxing, which activity would it be?
A. Probably completing a task or mission, creating music or art, or writing.
B. Exploring hiking trails or taking long walks.
C. Listening and/or singing along to my favourite songs.
D. Hanging out with friends or family.
E. Writing or reading poetry.
If your answers are mostly A, you prefer mental self-care activities.
You like keeping your brain stimulated throughout the day with mentally absorbing activities like reading and journaling. Doodling, painting, or composing music are other possible art forms you could explore. Most importantly, your home (or bedroom, if you still live with your parents) is a reflection of your mental state; here are some decor tips to help you turn it into a true haven.
If your answers are mostly B, you have an affinity for physical self-care.
“Get up and go” perfectly describes you, since the primary self-care activities that you gravitate towards are physically engaging tasks. Your workouts are your form of destressing, leaving you with a sense of accomplishment and relaxation from taking care of your body. If you’re open to switching things up with your usual workout routine, we’ve created a playlist you could check out.
If your answers are mostly C, you tap into sensory experiences for self-care.
You prefer immersing yourself in experiences that capture your senses. These include regular pastimes like listening to music and watching movies to indulgences like trying new restaurants. If so, then doing a digital detox would be a perfect way to spend your weekend.
If your answers are mostly D, you’re a social self-care kind of person.
You live by the adage, “No man is an island.” Your form of self-care is spending time with those you love. Your interpersonal relationships bring you joy and peace during times of stress, so you often find yourself refreshed in the company of your friends or family after a trying day. A quick catch-up with a friend soothes your mind, so here are our tips on maintaining long-distance friendships if you're still practising safe distancing.
If your answers are mostly E, you benefit from spiritual self-care.
Based on your answers, you prefer spiritual self-care activities. These activities don’t necessarily contain a religious connotation. Rather, you find it helpful to stay in tune with yourself through activities that let you connect with the inner workings of your mind and body. Practising mindfulness throughout the day in small ways would be ideal; here are some activities you can try.
(Cover photo from: Min An via Pexels)
Next, get to know the K-celeb wellness practices you can adopt.