Self Care through Calligraphy

Joy Hou, Principal Psychologist with EmpathyWorks Psychological Wellness

Q1) What is self-care to you? 

Self-care refers to any activity that I engage in to take care of my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. 

Q2) In what ways do you take care of yourself? 

As an introvert, I am aware that my energy level gets drained easily after a day of interaction with others at work.  Hence, it is particularly important for me to unwind and take some time alone to rejuvenate, especially after a long or hectic day. Simply spending 15 minutes having a cup of tea at Toast Box or any cafe helps me to re-energize and re-focus. 

Although I'm not a particularly sporty person, I love cycling, swimming, Zumba or other dance classes.  Exercises releases endorphins (or "happy chemicals"), and I find myself feeling lighter, cheerful and more relaxed after these fun physical activities. 

I've also learnt that it helps me greatly not to connect to social media the moment I wake up. Instead, I will listen to uplifting music which sets a positive mood for the day.  I have also found it very helpful to keep a daily journal, in which I write down the various things which I'm grateful for.  Starting the day with a thankful spirit definitely helps, as many studies have shown the link between gratitude and happiness.  

In addition, I also enjoy reading, especially self-help books. Gleaning new insights from authors can be really encouraging. 

Over the years, I've also come to realize that meeting up with a few good friends regularly over a simple meal or coffee is something that should not be neglected.  Sharing concerns with one another or just laughing together over silly jokes, helps to remind me that I'm loved and not alone. 

Recently, I've started to take up a new hobby on calligraphy.  I find it therapeutic to engage in this activity, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to attend such classes, offered by Dorjeh. (Below is a photo of me and the art piece I completed under the  guidance of my teacher, Lilin).

Finally, as a Christian, I find it crucial to commit my worries and concerns in prayer to God, having the faith that He cares and listens to my prayers. 

Q3) How have you benefited from your self-care practises?

Taking time to engage in the self-care activities help me to be rejuvenated, not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I find this important to help me have the strength, a sense of peace and inner joy to face new challenges each day. 

Joy Self Care Calligraphy.jpg
Joy with Lilin from  Dorjeh

Joy with Lilin from Dorjeh