Like most of the time I’ve found myself awake during the quiet hours of after dark, I’m currently alone with my senses yet again, listening to the not-so-faint sounds of the city below from hundreds of feet above. The hustle and bustle down those alleyways and dimly lit streets never stops, but so does my mind at 2 a.m. I’d just finished my cup of chamomile tea, expecting that it would help put me right to sleep, instead it made me reflective of how my February’s been going so far. It’s only the third day of the month but there are a few things in my mind that I’d love to talk about and share with you today.
Three things I want to commit to in February so that I may cultivate a better idea of what self-care really means to me: one is resuming my Bible reading, second is bullet journaling, and third is developing a better night time routine.
Last year, I made a goal of reading the Bible in its entirety to help me have a wider understanding of my faith, to make clearer sense of the things I do not know in this life, and of course to develop a stronger connection with God through the Scriptures. Sometime in the middle of the year, I fell out of it and wasn’t able to follow through my goal.
However, I knew that it only had to be a temporary set back and that sometime soon I’m going to have to pick up where I left off—and February has got to be the month I do just that. We are currently going through difficult times, and once in a while, I feel myself getting anxious about everything that’s going on, too (Am I being cautious enough? Are things ever going to slow back down to normal again? For how much longer?). But somehow, when I have the Bible to accompany me in the everyday, along with my devotional, I get an overwhelming sense of security and comfort—I’d say this feeling is more than enough to assure me that things are going to be alright.
I’ve always found a link between faith and self-love, which then bounces back to self-care. Fragments of that link are, in my case, in those small moments: that fleeting, reflective moment as you close your Bible after having just finished reading a chapter or a verse, those few seconds of comfort after you’ve said a prayer, or simply, the very act of watching the sun rise in the morning knowing that behind all this, this, is God. In these little moments, I find myself closer to Him, and whenever I do, I tend to be more loving—more forgiving, of myself. I realize now that faith has always been my catalyst for self-care and improvement.
Bullet journaling is something that I’ve been wanting to do since 2018. I remember attempting it once last year, only to immediately resort back to my regular planner. However, I’ve been seeing a lot of bullet journaling videos on Youtube, as well as on Pinterest, and they all just seem so creative and the process must be relaxing in a way. As a kid, my mother and I would bond over scrapbooking, I like to think bullet journaling is somewhat similar to that and I’m excited to see the kind of spread I’ll be doing this month.
And finally, my favorite February find so far:
Last week, I was rummaging through the H&M sale rack and found this orange/vanilla body scrub and since then, it has become an essential part of my evening shower routine. Aside from the fact that it smells insanely good (if anything, it smells like food, which I think is a given considering the natural ingredients), it helps ease me to sleep, contributing to a better night routine. But a relaxing evening shower is just one thing, and in order for me to actually develop a good night routine, I need to be consistent with building a habit. That means regularly setting aside time to take mindful showers, meditating before bed, shutting my devices off before 10 p.m., and going to sleep early. One step at a time.
on purpose and passion
A little while ago, I saw Pixar’s latest animated film Soul and immediately fell in love with it. The movie is about a jazz pianist who temporarily dies just as he was about to perform on his first gig, the big break he’s been waiting for his entire life. He then gets stuck in the afterlife and fights for his life that’s barely even hanging by a thread throughout the entire plot, all the while contemplating about the choices he’s made so far. For the most part of it, the protagonist, Joe, is often too caught up in his dream of becoming a professional jazz player, forgetting that his life is indeed beautiful just as it is. My biggest takeaway from this film is to appreciate the small moments in the everyday, and to never overlook the beauty in the little things for the sake of finding your “great purpose”. This mindset is definitely something that I need to incorporate in my life even more. And proudly speaking, yes, Pixar made me cry once again.
on fresh perspectives
I honestly need some sort of system in my life right now. But then what is a good system without an organized working space? It’s not that my space (and by that I mean my room) is disorganized, it’s actually pretty neat and organized in itself, it’s just that I kind of need to entirely re-organize everything for the sake of a fresh start. I should’ve done this in January but I spent most of my time working on my final requirements so all my cleaning duties were minimized. But now that I’m still on break (at least for three more weeks), I guess it’s finally time for another re-organization.
This afternoon, I wrote down my goals for the month and turned out pleased with the list I ended up with. I did this because I’ve been feeling so demotivated lately, like my brain was drying out simply unable to produce fresh creative ideas and if there’s anything in the world I hate most, it’s that feeling. If not for the pandemic I’d say I probably just need a change of scenery, but I’m too scared (and I should be) to hang out at coffee shops right now. The closest thing I can get to a ‘change of scenery’ is, again, a re-organized room, so I definitely have to prioritize this.
on creative projects
On the flip side, here’s some of the creative projects (quite the irony, since I just talked about feeling uninspired, but hey I’m trying my best!) I’m currently working on: a novel (nothing that I want to publish, just want to finally try my hand at writing novels), hand-painted cards for @mijaph earrings, and candle-making. I only started learning how to make scented candles a few days ago along with my mom, and we’re both really enjoying the process so far. Although it can be meticulous in a way, it’s also a very relaxing experience. There’s nothing better than when you see the candle finally materializing!
There’s nothing like the promise of a brand new month, because with it come the chance for reflection and the prospect of self-growth. And before I wrap this up, I’d like to wish you a happy Valentine’s, too! I hope this month, you remember to love and prioritize yourself, and that you take really good care of your loved ones (I mean friends and family). We often forget about other people that matter to us just as much because mainstream media always always puts forth the idea that Valentine’s Day is mostly about couples, and I think it’s much more than that. Above anything else, the concept of love during Valentine’s Day should also be associated not just with a significant other, but with yourself, friends, and family as well.
Here’s a lovely day to you, February—and to you who’s reading this right now, too. I hope your day is going well and thank you for stopping by 🤍