Self-Care Tips and Tricks, According to These 7 Filipinas |
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Self-Care Tips and Tricks, According to These 7 Filipinas

Self-Care Tips and Tricks, According to These 7 Filipinas

Fitness & Wellness | August 13, 2021
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Self-care has been a buzzword for the last few years, but even more so in this pandemic. But what is it, really? 

I always say “every body is different” and I believe that this translates as well to everyone’s definition of self-care. The very word “self” signifies that it’s a very personal act—one that can truly be defined by your own needs and preferences.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care asthe ability of individuals to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” While this may come easy for some, I do believe that it’s still a journey for most to figure out what self-care practices work in the long term.

And this is why I turned to 7 different women this month. I asked for their definition of self-care and how they have changed their go-to repertoires during these unprecedented and trying times. Here’s what they have to say—and hopefully, we too can find inspiration and try out new ideas for our own self-care journeys.

BEA FABREGAS-RAMOS: Radio DJ, Events Host, and First-time mom-to-be (IG: @beafabregas)

Photo from Bea’s Instagram page

For me, self-care is about being present. I feel like it’s so easy to get distracted with everything happening in the world that we can neglect what we’re currently feeling. [Thus], I define self-care as being intentional and hyper-focused or aware of my personal needs.

It’s safe to say [that] we all sort of redefined self-care during the pandemic. Self-care used to look like going to the gym, the salon, getting my nails done, or going to the mall and picking out something random to splurge on. They all seem so random and trivial, but I realized how much they were part of my routine.

These days, I find that self-care is really focusing on where I am mentally. Before the pandemic, I would feel guilty if I felt like I was “slacking off” in whatever area of my life. [But now], I acknowledge when I’m physically or emotionally exhausted and [when] I need a break. Since I’m pregnant and I don’t go out, a break means something as simple as starting my day with a good workout, a nap (lol), or planning a yummy meal for Nikko and me.

CHRISTINE DYCHIAO: Spark Joy PH Founder, Tita Project Podcast Co-Host, Entrepreneur, and Mom of 3 (IG: @christinedychiao)

Photo from Christine’s Instagram page

I think of self-care as listening to what I need or attuning to what I should do at that point in time. It’s being mindful and present, [as well as] protecting my energy. Self-care shouldn’t just be taking time off our schedule to focus on ourselves, [but] I believe self-care can be incorporated in everything we do.

I usually start the day by meditating and watching or listening to energy updates from the ascension guides [that] I follow on Instagram. [Since] I don’t eat breakfast, I would either prepare celery juice or a fruit shake around 10 to 11 AM.

[While] I don’t really practice intermittent fasting, I realized when everyone started talking about it that it’s kind of what I do. But you know, when I do wake up hungry, I’d have champorado or suman with hot chocolate. I am not too strict about it. I just really listen to what my body tells me it needs. [Yes], I give in to cravings, but I also do not overindulge.

Part of our self-care practice at home includes boosting [our] immunity, eating nourishing food [that’s] rich in antioxidants, taking supplements, and exercising. I [even] do regular Pilates sessions with Onelife, of course!

Self-care also extends to choosing what shows I watch, music I listen to, accounts I follow, [and] the company I keep. If it doesn’t bring me joy, or I feel “nega” or heavy energy [from it], then I don’t bother. By acknowledging the feeling and letting it pass, I send it off with well-wishes.

[And finally], keeping the home tidy is also part of my self-care practice. I am conscious of what comes into the home and what stays. If it’s something that is not useful or [does not] add beauty to the home, then there is no point in bringing it in. I think keeping this spirit of self-care at all times also translates to the sort of energy we attract. When we keep our vibrations high, everything flows with grace and ease.

RIMA OTSWANI-NAJJAR: Professional Model, Content Creator, and Mom of 2 (IG: @rimaotswani)

Photo from Rima’s Instagram page

Self-care, to me, is keeping your mind, body, and soul healthy. [To keep it] full of life, positivity, and inspiration. It’s pampering and even spoiling yourself sometimes. [Or] simply going after what gives you joy or makes you happy. [Overall], it’s taking care of yourself and loving yourself like no other because you deserve it.

This pandemic has been so challenging, but one of the silver linings is being able to balance everything out with self-care. I got into my regular pilates sessions with Onelife Studio and I’ve started eating healthier—both of which I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time but only finally did during the pandemic.

[Through that], I’ve realized that health is everything, really. I’ve been allocating time for my daily skincare routine with occasional DIY facials, thanks to all these super helpful beauty tools. I [also] try to dress up once in a while and fix myself up—put on some make-up, curl my hair, or do my nails even if I’m just home. And it instantly uplifts my mood!

I like lighting a candle too and just reading a book, listening to music, or relaxing. Oh and I’ve also been getting more sleep, which I’m really happy about!

LEONA LAVINA-PANUTAT: Interior Stylist and Mom of 2 (IG: @leonapanutat)

Photo from Leona’s Instagram page

Self-care, for me, means allotting time for yourself to do something purely for your own enjoyment. It is your sacred time and something that you should never skip—no matter how busy you are. As women, we tend to put others first but as they say, it’s hard to give on an empty tank. Whenever we prioritize ourselves, we end up with more energy and drive to give to others.

I make it a point to wake up extra early every day to enjoy a cup of coffee alone. This is the time where I set my intentions for the day and slowly ease into the morning. This one hour of quiet does wonders for my mood and disposition. I hate the feeling of being rushed, so having this time is absolutely sacred and essential.

ELEANOR ROSE PINUGU: Mano Amiga Founder and She Talks Asia Co-Founder (IG: @lynnpinugu)

I define self-care as filling up your inner well so that you have something to draw from—[especially] whenever a situation calls for resilience and generosity of spirit. Practicing self-care is [also] rooted in valuing one’s worth and the commitment to nourish one’s well-being. It’s saying “Hello self, you matter and your needs are important.”

I’ve been waking up lately at 4 AM to read. Everything is very quiet at that time, so I get to fully immerse [myself] in the words I’m reading. I also end each day by watching the sunset and saying a prayer of gratitude. It’s so easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed with everything that’s been happening, and making time for prayer and nature never fails to bring me peace and calmness.

LENORA LUISA CABILI: Filip+Inna Founder (IG: @lencabili)

Photo from Lenora’s Instagram page

Self-care for me is threefold. There’s spiritual—[meaning] my personal relationship with God, [which] keeps me in place. It grants me peace that surpasses understanding. [Next is] physical. As my faith nurtures my spirit, I have learned to take care of my body through having a good night’s sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising.

And [finally], emotional, [where I] find what keeps me calm and focused. I have always turned to working with my hands as a way to deal with stress and anxiety. Creating something gives me instant gratification, which [also] gives me hope to deal with what is bothering me at that time.

During this pandemic, I have turned to these three key things as my daily self-care repertoire: [first], my daily devotional, which I do when I wake up, nurturing my plants, [and ] fixing my apartment.

MICH ARAULLO-RAZON: Fashion Designer and Mom of 1 (IG: @micharaullo)

Photo from Mich’s Instagram page

Self-care to me is doing something that feeds your soul, protects your well-being, and contributes to your happiness. It’s all about recognizing your personal relationship with yourself and prioritizing it.

I used to think [that] self-care was all about eating healthy, working out regularly, and pampering oneself. But ever since the pandemic hit, I’ve made it a habit to check in with myself and truly listen to what my mind and body need. It could be as random as giving in to a craving without making myself feel bad about it, saying yes to new experiences [that] I would usually say no to, or simply taking [the] time out to blow-dry my hair.

There’s no cookie-cutter answer to self-care, but these little practices really do go a long way.

Self-care is a very personal choice and journey, so don’t be afraid to try out new things. Experiment to see what works for you best and enjoy the process. Remember that what works for one person may not necessarily be the case for you, and that what has worked for you in the past may need to evolve to match your changing needs.

Overall, self-care is all about you and all the parts that make you whole.


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Tanya Maria Aguila is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of ONELIFE, a chain of boutique Pilates and Physical Therapy studios in Manila - the first of its kind. She is a multi-certified Pilates, Yoga, and movement professional. She was also one of the first NIKE Training Club coaches in the Philippines, and is currently a mentor-in-training for internationally renowned, Polestar Pilates. Tanya is a big champion of local businesses and brands and she strongly believes in two advocacies: self care, and women empowerment. As a coach, she believes in sustainable exercises and compassionate coaching, and that fitness is not measured in inches or pounds, but in the ability to continue to do the things you love, free from pain, for life.
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