Coming from a South Asian background and watching the women around me constantly be the caregivers, and having that idea drilled into my existence for a very long time, the notion of self care took ages to embrace and even enjoy. But now that I do it, I find it an immensely fruitful experience, not only putting me in a state of wellbeing but also giving me the impetus to care for others better, now that I am in a place of satisfaction with myself. I put myself first when it comes to my health so I can concentrate better on my goals personally and professionally.
I do at least three things daily that are just about me. I enjoy my morning tea or coffee minus any distractions. In fact, the husband and I use this time to talk about what we have going on for the day and what we are looking forward to.
I then read for about 15-30 minutes. Not on a device but either a magazine or a book so I am not tempted to check into my email or social media for a quick glance.
And I spend 10-15 minutes looking at my paper diary planning my day and prioritizing the five things I want to address.
Additionally, I spend 15 minutes doing stretches which are integral to my health as I do have a back injury from a few years ago that I have to pay attention to in order to avoid any future issues.
So essentially, the first hour of every day, at least during the work week, is focused on my self care and I am truly thankful for that. On a monthly basis, I ensure I head out for at least one weekend activity every week, typically a Saturday hike or a Sunday bike ride by the beach. I always make time for a monthly massage and a monthly manicure/pedicure as well. And if the month goes really well in terms of personal and professional goals, we splurge with a nice weekend away or dinner out to enjoy what we have accomplished thus far!
What is your self care routine?
Out of sheer frustration with having to chase payments for work long completed and submitted, and simply aghast at the prevalent issue of non-payment in the publishing and media industry, I decided to create my own digital lifestyle magazine during the holidays last year (2017).
I have so far published two digital issues and am working on my third to be released later this month. My goal is to make this an international publication, well read globally among a culture conscious and world aware audience, to increase subscriptions through the year (currently free to sign up and receive the monthly mag direct to inbox) and eventually garner advertising and sponsorship to be able to pay writers and photographers that I commission stories to.
This is ideally done by a large media and publishing conglomerate or at least a smaller team but currently I do this completely on my own – I design the magazine, I write copy and shoot images, I publish it online and promote it as well.
The primary obstacle is people wanting to benefit from my efforts but not support – friends have asked if they can write for me for free just to receive an extra byline for themselves but not necessarily ask me how they can help or spread the word to benefit my cause before they ask for something for themselves. I am more open to working with people that show an interest in my work for what it is and help increase subscriptions to benefit us both in the long run.
Another obstacle is the disbelief people express when I say I am a publisher and editor of a digital magazine since an individual owning a publication is not the norm, so showing that this is my business and not a hobby has been a roadblock. This isn’t crazy or unachievable. It's simply a matter of putting out a consistent product of quality that people will take note of and I will work on it with all my heart to make it a fruitful and life satisfying experience.