Occupational therapist Ngooi Bi Xia on activities that you can fit into your busy schedule for a balanced mind, healthy body and strong heart.
Being a woman is hard work. Women fulfil multiple roles and responsibilities to the extent that they sometimes neglect to take care of themselves. Many women tend to put the needs of others before their own and think they do not have time to relax, so that they eventually feel overwhelmed. The truth is, if you take even five minutes for yourself, you’ll be in a much better position to take care of your loved ones.
Consider rituals, which are regular or irregular habits or routines that are enjoyable to you. They do not have to take too much of your time. A few five-minute breaks throughout the day can do wonders for your sense of well-being.
• Close your eyes and focus on your breathing during a short break; it helps calm your body. Gently bring yourself back to focus on your breathing when you find your thoughts straying.
• Do something you enjoy, such as puzzles, reading or cross-stitching on your journey to work or home.
• Create a safe and relaxing place for yourself, be it at work, play or sleep. Consider what your five senses prefer. For example, soothing music , the scent of lavender , comfortable lights and soothing pictures and colours , etc.
• Get out for a walk , breathe in the air and soak up the sun.
• Do some light stretches to relax your muscles. Push-ups and star jumps can give you a quick burst of energy.
• Watch a comedy clip on YouTube .
• Take a play break, for example taking a few minutes to play with your pet.
• Enjoy a quiet morning cup of tea or your favourite beverage. Sip slowly.
• Read a page from a book or an article from a magazine. It will help take your mind off the work and may even help you generate new ideas.
• Get yourself a stress ball; work it when you find yourself under stressed, for eg at meetings. .
• Stay connected with your friends by logging on to your preferred social media.
• Make a quick phone call to a friend or loved one.
• Walk to the cooler or the pantry and have a quick chat with a colleague along the way.
• Incidental exercises can also produce both psychological and physical benefits. Examples include parking further away from your office, getting off the bus two stops before your regular stop and taking the steps instead of the lift or escalator.