The greatest love of all might just be #selflove. After all, as women, we often devote so much time to caring for family and friends that we forget the importance of loving ourselves too. Which is why we’ve reached out to inspiring, multi-tasking, all-round power women from all walks of life to find out what self-love is to them and how they make time for themselves. We’ve compiled their stories here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
Tara Lai, founder of Avec Amour, is committed to making international designer lingerie accessible to all women. She passionately believes that every woman deserves to own gorgeous, comfortable and premium quality lingerie - without having to spend a fortune on her intimates.
“Self-love means appreciating your qualities both good and bad, and not apologizing for who you are to anyone. It's also about reflecting on your life and making an effort to appreciate what you have and where you are at in your career, love and life. I take time out for myself through my yoga practice, pampering sessions, and retail therapy. There may be times when I need a little extra self-love and this is when I make the effort to reflect to put things into perspective, and will even give myself a quick pep talk when I really need it.”
Jeneen Goh is the founder of social media marketing agency 21 Stories, which specialises in creative content and social commerce. The digital maven has worked with international brands including Chopard, Clarins, Fancl and SK-II.
“Self-love to me is acceptance. It means accepting yourself despite what you don't love. I don't love my sensitive skin (and the problems that come with it), my naturally frizzy hair, my height (always wished I was taller!) and my naturally roundish face. I'm still a work in progress but I hope to one day fully come to terms and accept these quirks as a part of me that makes me uniquely me.
I focus on positive thoughts and listing the good things that I have going in my life. I'll usually feel better by the time I get to the end of the list. I also take time outs for me-time to do the things that I love. My guilty pleasure is watching Netflix in the shower! It makes me happy.”
Gail Soh, is the co-founder of food, travel and lifestyle portal Project Weekends, writes for her own blog and has a day job as a financial services consultant. The multi-hyphenate believes in embracing herself, including her perceived flaws.
“It means being able to recognize that imperfections make you perfect, because no one else in this world is exact to you. I used to be a really gawky kid so I’ve never thought of myself as beautiful as I always picked on my skin, my hair and proportions, and was never satisfied with myself. Emotionally, I tell myself to embrace my shortfalls and (try to) remember that I am not a wax figure so I can’t expect an impressive waistline or flawless skin all the time!”
Regina Chow, co-founder of Foxhole Cafe Singapore, is also a new mum to newborn baby R. She believes in constantly challenging herself with new pursuits to become more resilient as a person.
“Self-love is about knowing my strengths and weaknesses and taking steps to become a better version of myself all the time. My new challenge complete with sleepless nights is motherhood. Since then, self-love has taken on a different meaning. It's no longer just about myself. Rather, it's about taking care of myself so that I can be a better mother and role model to baby R.”
Marcela Viola is an international aerialist who has held performances and workshops around the world. She is also a yoga teacher, baker and designer.
“It means taking care of myself, doing things that make me feel good and even sometimes learning how to say no by putting myself first without feeling guilty. Self-love is also learning to appreciate your own accomplishments and feeling thankful and proud of them.
I like to practise self love with my own rituals and daily little treats. For example I enjoy my alone time on my yoga mat every morning and even on days when I’m not so eager to exercise I know that it will make me feel so good afterwards. I also love my Sunday evenings when I take some time to do a little facial mask at home while I watch my favourite Netflix show. On a day to day basis, I choose a healthier lifestyle every time I pick a hearty salad instead of pizza and a decadent dessert.”
Marie Soh, a hair and make-up artist is the founder of make-up consultancy 27A. When she couldn’t find lipsticks that would last in humid weather, she decided to launch her own lipstick brand Inge, which comprises 10 hues which are suitable for Asian skin.
“Self-love means taking care of myself so I can be at my best state to take care of my family and to run my business. I like to take time off for myself and I always consciously remind myself to slow down and to take breathers. Although my work travel schedule is challenging for my family, my husband supports me and this 'forced break' from taking care of my baby allows me to have uninterrupted sleep at night. Also I find work very therapeutic and relaxing. I also find that just chatting with my best friend allows me to relieve stress.”
Jamie Yao is the co-founder of and instructor at The Brass Barre Pole Studio, where she helps women get in touch with their sexuality regardless of their shape and size and to be a lot more comfortable in their own skin.
“Self-love is a lot of things! It means nourishing the body with healthy food (with the occasional binge of course!). Staying active to have a healthy body and mind. Making time for "me time" at least once a day no matter how busy you are. To do whatever makes you happy as long as it helps you grow and does no harm to others. And most importantly to have compassion towards yourself and embrace your strengths and weaknesses!
Recently, I signed up for Bachata dance classes to learn a new dance form twice a week. At first, I was a little worried that there would be too many things going on and I would just be exhausted by the end of a work week, but I soon realised that those one to two hours of stepping out of my comfort zone, learning something new and socialising with people outside my circle of friends actually gave me more positive energy!”
Jennifer Lafolla is a jeweler and mum to three young children. In her free time, she keeps herself fit and fab through a regular workout schedule which includes running marathons, practicing yoga, and going to the gym.
“Self-love for me means loving yourself unconditionally. Not seeking for permission or approval to be ourselves. We are able to project our love to others - our spouse, children, family, etc. So why can't we show the same for ourselves?
I practice self-love every day by taking care of my body and health - by exercising and eating right because that makes me feel alive and happy. By wearing clothes and lingerie that I feel comfortable in and not because of what's trending or what society accepts.”
Lee Jia Ying is a free-spirited globetrotter who expresses herself through pole-dancing.
“It is about accepting your imperfections, improving on your faults, and being able to recognize and love your strengths. That despite the challenges you face, you take the time to encourage positive thoughts and the feeling of well being to return to your soul. I practice self-love by thinking positive thoughts and enjoying quiet time, coupled with deep breathing and a good massage.”
So, what does self-love mean to YOU and how do you practice it? Whatever your method, go forth and indulge yourself this week because you deserve it!