Melissa C. Koh

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Self Love

Dear, Diary

With New York Fashion Week just over, I thought I’d share this little insight I had during my time in the city. Being in this concrete jungle (while busy and bustling) somehow always gives me time and quiet moments to take stock on my life, my emotional and physical well-being and reflect and ponder on things that I otherwise usually take for granted. James and I had a very special day at Central Park as the place was still largely covered in snow while the sun was out. It was beautiful beyond words and just a walk through it gave me so much energy and life.

I had intended to shoot this outfit— a full on bright red look from Xinnatex, Society A, paired thigh high boots which I found at a steal at Forever 21 and a double layer of my uniqlo heat tech tights (which have proven to keep me warm enough on days above 5 degree C). I carried my favourite Parker Top bag from Coach, matching watch from Coach and completed the look with dainty romantic jewelry from Tiffany and Co since it was Valentine’s Day.


While finding some inspiration and locations to shoot, I chanced upon this on pinterest and I felt like it was the closest thing to what I needed. Let me share them with you 🙂

12 steps to self care

  1. If it feels wrong don’t do it— You’re not obliged to please anybody so do not do something just for the sake of being a people-pleaser. Your moral compass or conscience should be your strongest “centre” and gravity in your life. You’re answerable to God and yourself. Always choose to do what is right, even when it may seem like the harder choice.
  2. Say exactly what you mean — I personally find this the most challenging of all. Being brought up in a society and family where being indirect is actually almost equals to being tactful, I always challenge myself to say things as it is, without any sugar coating. This might not necessarily mean being harsh to someone else because real harshness comes from a malicious intent. Direct words can be coated with kindness, and kindness comes from good intention and from love in the heart.
  3. Don’t be a people pleaser — Being a people pleaser constantly can be really stressful. I’ve found over time that you need to live for yourself and not for others. Doing good for others should not be out of a need to feel loved and appreciated. That is why we should always work on ourselves — love ourselves enough that validation from others don’t matter as much. You have to live by your own rules and expectations, not that of others.
  4. Trust your instincts — This is always my fall back.  Sometimes, when I feel like I’m in a fix or a dilemma, I take a few deep breaths and ask myself, “What does my gut say?”. I try my best to feel an emotion that my gut tells me to, and I trust it and go with it. The next important step would be to firmly believe in it (even if it may not be the better option) and always tell yourself that there is always something to take away from it.
  5. Never speak bad about yourself — This happens more when I feel like I’m lacking in confidence. Although not often, there are “bad days” when I feel like I don’t look my best, or don’t give my best effort, or don’t put up my best front. Being disappointed in myself can be a terrible downward spiralling road to self-doubt and hate. It is best to be conscious of when you may possibly feel like you are “hatin’ on yourself” and put an immediate stop to it. It is OKAY to recognise your faults, your inadequacies and your areas for improvement but you should never beat yourself up for it, and never compare yourself against others.
  6. Never give up on your dreams — Never say NO to dreaming. Never give yourself a limit of what you can achieve. Your mind is your strongest tool and your biggest power. The minute you tell yourself you CANNOT do it, or you are INCAPABLE of achieving it, that is it. Keep trying because there will be something good that will come out of it, no matter what.
  7. Don’t be afraid to say no — This is especially for people pleasers. Say NO with conviction and empathic assertion. There is nothing bad about saying NO. This is like a muscle you need to learn, practice and build.
  8. Don’t be afraid to say yes — This is especially for people who’re lacking in confidence and always in self-doubt. Sometimes, you need to give yourself that extra pep talk and push yourself that extra step. Say YES, try and don’t be afraid of what comes because you are strong enough to handle it. Keep telling yourself that and keep believing in it.
  9. Be kind to yourself — This is always easier said than done. We are our own’s worst critic. Being kind to yourself can come in many different ways. It can be about self-appreciation (treating yourself for something you’re happy or proud about), it could be about self-love (pampering yourself after a long day and having me-time).
  10. Let go of what you can’t control — Letting go is always the first step to healing and then, self-love. It is completely normal and human to feel emotions and to express emotions but once you’ve made up your mind that it is time to let things go, you have to commit to it. Keep your mind focused on the present. Forgive others and forgive yourself. And do things that bring you great joy.
  11. Stay away from drama and negativity — Use your gut to detect “negativity”. If you can sense it happening around you, keep a distance and let it bounce of you. Be extremely kind, patient and loving to those who are negative because they need it the most. Don’t absorb any of it and stand firm your ground!
  12. Love

Ending with one of my favourite quotes of all to wrap this post, “I am mine before I am ever anyone else’s.”.
I hope you’ll find some strength and inspiration in these words and help fuel the upcoming weeks and months ahead! 

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