We could all do with less stress in our lives.
“Self-care” is more than just a buzzword – it’s your surest path to living well in Singapore. Here are The Finder’s best tips to have your healthiest, happiest year yet.
Research has shown that spending time in nature can help bring down stress and anxiety levels. Given Singapore’s Garden City moniker, there is no lack of tranquil green spaces across the island where you can quickly find some peace. Need ideas? The lush greenery of Fort Canning Hill overlooks the city centre, making it a great spot for a relaxing lunch date with Mother Nature.
Looking at colourful flowers can also be a natural remedy for stress. The Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay is the world’s largest glass greenhouse and features exotic flowers and trees from all over the globe. (River Valley Rd, 179037, www.nparks.gov.sg; 18 Marina Gardens Dr, 018953, www.gardensbythebay.com.sg)
Having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Try writing thank-you notes to people around you, even for the smallest of gestures.
Scientists have found that notes like these improve the mood of both the sender and receiver.
Ditto calling up close friends and loved ones to tell them how much you appreciate their presence in your life. Another way to share your gratitude: Use your spare time to help those in need.
When travelling alone, you can gain the mental space required to sort out your thoughts. Plus, taking this time by (and for) yourself – without your partner or kids – can help you feel fresh and recharged for challenges back home. Plan a just-for-you holiday to any of the various destinations around the region.
Or, do good on your getaway! The Singapore International Foundation organises group trips (no one says you have to bring your family), where you can sign up for a cause that matters to you around Asia. In the past 28 years, SIF has impacted nearly 15 million lives and, according to its site, “…believe that when people from different parts of the world work together, they gain insights that bridge cultural divides and the sharing of ideas, skills and experiences inspires actions and enables collaborations for good.”
Find out about its current Volunteer Cooperation projects here.
“Insufficient sleep is a common and fast-growing problem,” the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recently reported. And, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “persistent” lack of sleep has been linked to conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and even certain types of cancer. Plus, it can affect your ability to cope with stress.
Wish you could fall asleep more easily at night? In addition to practising good sleep hygiene (e.g., ditching the devices, keeping the bedroom temperature cool, avoiding caffeine too close to bedtime), there’s an ancient breathing method that may also help: Based on the yogic technique of pranayama, the “4-7-8 method” forces your mind and body to focus on your breath, which can act as a natural tranquiliser.
To do: First, exhale all the air in your lungs through your mouth. Then, with your mouth closed, inhale silently through your nostrils for four seconds. Next, hold your breath for seven seconds. Finally, make a whooshing exhalation through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this method as many times as needed to help you calm down and fall asleep. It can be used to relax in the day, too!
Go to the Pros
Try these services to find that serenity you seek.
- For Mental Wellness
Counsellor and life coach Ralitza Peeva works with individuals, couples and organisations to increase their selfawareness, identify their strengths and realise their potential. Based in SG for 16 years, Ralitza understands the unique challenges faced by expats and Singaporeans alike. (www.ralitzapeeva.com)
- For Holistic Health
Osteopathic Treatment Centre seeks to strengthen the body’s natural ability to heal itself – using chiropody, podiatry, homeopathy, nutrition and other holistic approaches. (19 Tanglin Rd, Tanglin Shopping Centre, #05-13/15, 247909, www.osteopathy.com.sg)
- For a Little ‘Me’ Time
Visage The Salon is best known for its deft hair-styling services. But, did you know it also offers face and body treatments? Book a two-hour facial (from $123) or 45-minute body scrub, wrap and more (from $85). (402 Orchard Rd, #02-12, 238876, https://bit.ly/2Gb90AV)
By Joshua Tan, Natalie Dau + Andrea McKenna Brankin / Additional Reporting: Sara Lyle Bow + Sandhya Mahadevan, The Finder Issue 296 / Photos: 123RF.com
More on The Finder:
Bad Day? Destress After Work With These 11 Self-Care Tips
5 Unhealthy Habits You Can Easily BREAK In 2019 So That You Will Feel Happier Today
6 Expats Share Their BEST Self-care Tips To Living Well
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