The Glow-Up Project

Look, I am tired. For the past two years, I didn't know what it was to be not tired. Just like everyone else, I was too busy just trying to survive and searching for things that will help me keep my sanity at bay. Those two things needed every ounce of my strength that I didn't have anything left for the things I used to love and spend time on. 

This year I figured, I'm tired of being tired. My inner self, the one that has the ball of sunshine, tells me to let her take charge. She says that maybe, we don't need goals. Goals are just an unhappy long-term to-do list that makes you hate yourself when not achieved. Habits, on the other hand, ignite motivation. And perhaps habits are what we need. Some healthy ones. Or maybe that's the goal - establishing healthy habits.

Hence, the glow-up project. 


We've seen it on TikTok and YouTube - hundreds of girls filming their aesthetic and motivating morning routines. We've also seen videos defying the concept of being "that girl", saying it's too fairy-tale-like and no one actually lives like that. I say cut the crap and just do what makes you feel better. Because yes, those morning routines might actually be the main ingredient in getting your life together. 

It did for me. 

Waking up early. I started waking up at 5am again in December, and it is not easy. There are mornings when I just really want to stay in bed until 8am or maybe 8:55 because I start working at 9, but discipline says I need to get off the bed or I'd feel sluggish and tired the entire day. What does the trick? Nothing. You just set your alarm to 5am and get off the bed.

Physical activity. I can't do intense workouts or anything that involves too much physical activity because of myasthenia gravis. So I resorted to brisk walking. I go out every morning with my old man, face mask and sneakers on and walk at least 5km daily.

Skincare and haircare. Establishing a skincare routine that works for you isn't as easy as it looks. My skin has always been confused - there are days when it wants to be oily and there are days when it's just too tight it feels like no moisturizer would make it budge. Years of Kdrama addiction gave me some ideas, though. My current skincare routine consists of a cleanser, toner, serum, occasional sheet masks, and sunscreen. 

Rebonded hair has always been my go-to for years - it makes me look sophisticated and put together even if I don't brush my hair often. But the pandemic happened and I just haven't gotten around to doing something about it. Argan oil-induced hair products seem to do the trick. And yes, do not forget the 100 brush strokes every evening. It hurts my arm but I got lesser hair fall and my hair is shinier. 

Hydrate. Hydration is one of the biggest challenges known to me. I do not like water. Water tastes dull. But I couldn't just drink coffee the entire day, so my solution - infused water. Lemons are expensive in my country so I resorted to cucumbers. Anything that'll make my water taste interesting will do. I fill up 4 of these 600ml bottles of water and thankfully it does the trick. 

Vitamins and eating healthy. I used to have an aversion to vitamins. Multivitamins seem to counteract with MG so I'd feel weak after a few days, and thought what's the point really? But these days, I try popping up D3 vitamins and some sodium ascorbate with zinc. Does it feel different? I don't really know. But since 2020, I only got flu once and never tested positive for covid. Not saying it works against covid tho.

The Watsons vitamins go way beyond the budget so I'm switching to the capsule ones.


Learning something new is the only thing I know on how to glow up my mind, so this one I had to reflect on (wow!). Then I realized that there's actually more into just learning something new because it's basically the entirety of it. 

Journaling to declutter my thoughts. My mind is tangled all the time that one wouldn't want to go in there on the risk of being lost and not being found again. Journaling has remarkably helped me on this, in organizing my thoughts even just a little bit. I've been bullet journaling since 2020 and it is not only fun, it also keeps me away from stress and otherworldly challenges. 

Memories are forever.

Self-help books are not so bad. I stay away from self-help books because they are tiring to read. Most of them want me to discipline myself so that I can do well in my job, earn a lot of money, and be financially free. But what if I want to be an island girl who owns a cafe that sells coffee, cakes, vegan pasta, and books? What if I just want to be a digital nomad? What if I just want to be happy? 

Fortunately, Asian self-help books gave me the answer. They tell me it's okay not to want more in life, that I can be happy just by having simple things and no one should judge me for it. So this year I plan to read more of those books.

These books are on my reading list.

Learning something new. Yep, I am into unlocking skills these days because it's fun. I just hope I get the chance to open my Hangul workbooks again before Q1 ends. 


How does one nourish the soul? This question should be a no-brainer but I don't understand why I also had to reflect on this. Anyway, I am low-key going back to my Sunday shenanigans during the pre-pandemic era - a date with myself and attending mass while following health protocols. 

The Five Good Things. There's a section in my bullet journal that says The Five Good Things. These are the good things and achievements that happened during the week, big and small. An important person replied to my email, Jung Yong Hwa went live on IG, I finished work early - these things make me feel good and think life doesn't really suck all the time. 

Daily affirmations. I used to think that daily affirmations are lame, but look who needs them now. Good thing Kim has them on her wall every day. Follow her IG @wandersofkim!

Spend more time with people. Life is short, spend time with people. May it be virtual, talk to them.

All of us are a work in progress, and maybe this is my subconscious reason why I abandoned my goals. Because when I have a goal and I achieved it, what's next? That's when I understood that progress is what I should aim for. It is never-ending and therefore I have always something to do to improve myself. And I figured if this becomes a habit then I won't get tired anymore. 

Yes. Establish a habit to make progress. 

Here's to hoping for a fruitful 2022.