It’s February and we are about to be bombarded with messages of love and kindness—for others—at every turn. But self-love is the foundation for our ability to love others, and self-care is the first building block of self-love. So 24Life asked Cassey Ho, founder of POP Pilates and celebrity fitness trainer, to help us remind you to pour some of your loving kindness right back on yourself!
Ho agrees that and far too often, we put our me-time on hold for all the pressing responsibilities in our lives. Sometimes it’s a juggle to fit it in, but it’s worth it: When we show up for ourselves, we are restored, rejuvenated and we can show up ready to serve our world. It also feels great when you craft a day that is perfect for you. To get you started, Ho invites you to embrace a body-love challenge and join her, her husband and business partner Sam, and her pup Sir George with a perfect day of self-care.
Little moments go a long way to help me re-energize and feel good
Self-care is all about appreciating yourself. There are many ways that show myself how grateful I am for my mind, my body and my soul.
- I love buying myself flowers—it feels like I’m giving a gift to myself, whether it’s at the farmer’s market or the grocery store.
- Massages—especially deep-tissue massages—help me meditate and find calmness in my life. It helps me with my flexibility and mobility for my workouts and stuff. If you don’t have time to go out to get a massage, maybe ask your partner to do it for you.
- Light a candle, draw a bubble bath and relax in the tub. It feels great.
- Journaling is a great way to let out all your thoughts and emotions on paper, so that you can go to bed with a clean slate.
- Spend time with friends, family and your pets gives you positive emotion that’s going to make you feel really happy and really good.
- We all need to get some more sleep, right? Go ahead and get your naps in and go to bed a little bit earlier.
How I feed my body and soul
For me, a big part of self-care is spending time in the kitchen, trying new creations and cooking for myself. I love cooking because you’re creating something, just like creating new business or new artwork, and you have a customer for it at the end. Usually I’m cooking for [myself my husband] Sam. And if he’s really happy [too], it brings so much sunshine into my life.
Take time to cherish those around me
I talk a lot with my husband, Sam, who’s also my business partner, about my goals. We’ve been married since October, 2018. We’ve always been (and still are) really honest with each other. Sam has his areas of expertise, and I have my areas of expertise. We’ll try to help each other where we can. If someone’s doing something wrong, the other person has to be very honest and take a step back and not put ego in the way, and we get through it. In the end, it’s about how to make fitness fun for people, how we bring joy into people’s lives through fitness—and no argument matters.
I also surround myself with other creators and people in different spaces, not just fitness, because that way you get to see how people view their world, through their eyes. Sometimes it’s little social gatherings or we’re playing games—or last night, we made plant hangers. Surrounding myself with other creative people keeps me inspired.
For me personally, my goal is to spend more time with the people who make me feel loved. As I’ve gotten older, time seems to go by faster and faster. If I can find a way to do less but have more impact, while spending time with the people I love, that would be my forever goal. It’s something that I’ll probably be working on for the rest of my life and I probably won’t accomplish it entirely, ever, but it’s something to always work on.
It’s a priority to move my body
I love fitness and movement of any sort, because I do feel like I’m glowing afterward. Your body just did a really cool thing, letting you move and making it stronger, and that glow comes from confidence. That’s what I think fitness classes are about: helping you build stronger muscles, but also sculpting a stronger inside. That glow is for real and it’s 100 percent contagious, and that’s why group fitness classes are necessary: If someone glows, someone else wants to glow, and now we’re all glowing.
I keep things interesting by constantly taking all sorts of classes. I’ve done CrossFit, hot yoga, aerial yoga and water yoga, a SEALs class—which was intense and incredible—pole dancing, I literally try everything. That keeps things exciting for me, because I never know what’s going to happen. All I know is how I’m going to feel at the end of it.
Sam is now working out with me in the morning, so it’s more time that we get to spend with each other. I’m so happy about that. I get to see him evolve and grow. It’s hard to tell your significant other to work out or eat healthy, especially as a fitness professional: He just doesn’t want to hear it! Now, he has that inner fire within him to do it for himself. My job is to do that for other people, but to see my husband doing it really brings me so much joy.
Why I created the BodyLove Challenge
The BodyLove Challenge is February 10 through 16, and BodyLove Challenge classes are happening for that entire week at 24 Hour Fitness. We wanted to focus on loving what your body can do. Valentine’s Day is coming up and people are worried about being single or being in a couple. But we thought, “Why don’t we focus on the relationship you have with yourself?”
That’s what BodyLove is all about, focusing on what your body can do, not what it looks like. In class, we’re going to encourage everyone to wear red and pink to really bring out the Valentine’s Day vibe and get really cheeky with it. We’ll be playing love anthems and girl-power music in our POP Pilates classes. People will be burning their booties off and it’s going to be really fun.
While we’re putting on the free classes at 24 Hour Fitness, we’re also doing an online challenge, #bodylovechallenge, with one small thing that we want everyone to do each day. The challenges help with your mental health and the way you view your body. For example, one day’s challenge is to write a love note to yourself. Another is to describe five things you love about your body that aren’t physical.
All those little things are a playbook for a positive relationship with your body. Writing a sweet love note to your partner makes them feel good. So why not do what makes other people feel good, for yourself? We need to take care of ourselves first, before we can love other people.
Get to Know Cassey Ho
First thing you do when you wake up?
I check my phone to see what is up with the world.
Last thing you do before you go to sleep?
I read the news on my phone.
What is the next book you want to read?
Jay Shetty is releasing a new book, “Think Like a Monk.” I can’t wait to read it.
What is the next vacation that you want to take?
Sam and I still need to go on our honeymoon! We want to go to Japan and Bali.
What are your go-to-podcasts when commuting?
So many. Right now, Business Wars & The Secret History of the Future.
What is your favorite food right now?
Cauliflower, because it can become anything. I cauliflower rice it up every night. Cauliflower rice every single night. No joke.
What do you see as your strength?
I think my strength is in my flexibility. I’m not talking about physical flexibility—I’m always working on that. I’m talking about my ability to see a problem and then being able to change it up really quickly so that we can reach the solution really quickly. And I don’t get stuck on things. I don’t let my ego stand in the way. My flexibility has allowed me to pretty much get to where I am today.
What superpower would you like to have?
I’m incredibly emotional, and I find that sometimes it just gets in the way. There are times when I wish I could push a please-don’t-be-emotional button, get through what I need to get through, and then push it again [to feel emotions again].
What do you do when everything goes wrong?
I allow myself to feel the feelings and be angry or sad or whatever it is. I don’t believe in bottling it in or pretending like it’s okay. Then I talk to Sam and I really try to find what’s logical about what I’m feeling, and then I immediately go to solution-mode.
Message to the world?
Photo and video credit: Tom Casey, box24studio.com