Living in an advanced metropolitan city has its quirks – we have a myriad of facilities readily available like shopping malls, cinemas, education centres and proper working environments. We have transport that’s reliable (read: often reliable), and more freedom than we actually realise. But the downside? Sky-high living expenses, a fast-paced and demanding lifestyle that sometimes means spending more time in the office than in our homes.
As a joke, we say that the office is our first home but really, we’re spending so much time working both in and out of the office, or running around finishing errands that we don’t have enough time to really take a break. The consequences are evident – lack of sleep, improper diet and most inevitably, stress. And we can’t stress how important it is to balance our stress levels. If not managed well, it could actually harm your health.
How tense we are affects all aspects of our lives, so to stay productive and more importantly, in healthy shape, it’s crucial to avoid experiencing the burnout, and to take a break. If you already feel yourself losing steam, take a cue from us and invest in these things that will help you in one way or another – be it in the sense of better sleep and better rest, a clearer mind, or a step towards a more mindful lifestyle.
1. Yoga Seeds at Aramsa Spa
Set against the lush green landscapes of Bishan Park II, the Yoga Seeds Green Room at Aramsa Spa claims its title as the perfect getaway for those seeking the ultimate mental reset. Yoga Seeds aims to help you to find your strength and harmony within – all while keeping practice relevant to our daily lives and getting you involved in charity and cause-worthy initiatives.
There’s nothing better than having regular practice literally right next to Mother Nature – you’ll be able to escape the stress that holds you back and ground yourself, reclaim your balance, focus, clarity and calm state of mind. Your body and mind will soon feel rejuvenated, relaxed and ready for any challenges that come your way thanks to Vinyasa, Hatha and Ying yoga sequences.
Classes are scheduled in the morning at at night, so you can choose to start or end the day (or both!) at the point of ultimate relaxation. Opt for the Kickstart Trial Package ($35) if you’re a newcomer and you’re entitled to 2 classes, or the Monthly Pass ($220/1 month, $600/3 months) if you’re a yogi and wish for unlimited classes throughout the month. More packages which are honestly really worth your money are available on the website, so be sure to check them out.
Where: 1384 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569932
When: Mon to Thurs: 10am – 10pm; Fri to Sun: 10am – 10:30pm
Phone: 64566556 / 94624969
2. Wellbeing treatment at Fullerton Spa
Photo: The Fullerton Hotel
The first of its kind in Asia, the Aromatherapy Associates’ Wellbeing Expert Treatments at Fullerton Spa delivers mindful beauty – a luxurious spa experience that goes beyond the treatment room and allows guests to carry on the benefits of wellness even when they return to their daily routine. This idea stemmed from aromatherapy expert Anne Murray who believes that holistic care for the mind, body and soul improves overall wellbeing.
Out of it, 4 new 60-minute “WE” treatments catering to different needs. When you first arrive for your treatment, you’ll be consulted on both your physical and emotional needs. From there, the therapist will recommend which treatment you would benefit most from – either “WE Relax”, “WE De-Stress”, “WE Revive” or “WE Strengthen”.
Photo: The Fullerton Hotel
During the treatments, your body will be relieved with specialised massage techniques.Each treatment is paired with an Aromatherapy Associates product collection.
In a nutshell, “WE Relax” promotes better sleep and less anxiety. “WE De-Stress” helps to calm the mind and relieves an aching body. “WE Revive” hope to restore vitality to the exhausted body, while “WE Strengthen” claims to cultivate resilience. Each treatment is marked at $160
Where: The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square Singapore 049178
When: Mon to Sun: 10am – 10pm
Phone: 68778182 / 69778183
3. Sothy’s chrono-destressing sleeping mask
Photo: Sothy's Singapore
From the highly specialised brand that’s considered to be the signature of excellence in professional skincare for more than 60 years, Sothys has released the Chrono-destressing mask that helps prep you for sleep.
The fragrance promotes sleep not with lavender, but with the citrusy notes of lemon and orange as well as the musky, comforting scents of cedar wood. The mask is formulated with a concentration of stabilised vitamin C, that helps to stimulate cellular activity and reduce the signs of aging. Nasturtium plant extract hopes to revive cells through the use of oxygen, while chaste tree extract also stimulates cellular activity. The unique element of this mask is the lindera extract which keeps the circadian rhythm in check.
After wearing the mask for 10 minutes, you’ll feel more toned down and ready for bed. Wake up, and you'll probably find your skin more well rested.
4. Meditation classes at Kadampa Meditation Centre
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert, someone who just wants to relax with meditation – like Liz in Eat.Prey.Love – or someone who wants to train in a spiritual path. The Kadampa Meditation Centre (KMC) offers a myriad of classes to suit anyone, from every level, with any purpose.
The classes are designed to help you gain control of your mind and plant positive ways of thinking into your daily life. You could drop in during lunch for some midday inner peace or learn to cultivate inner peace and hit reset on your mental clarity.
Where: Kadampa Meditation Centre Singapore, 134 Neil Road, Singapore 088863
5. Art Exploration at My Art Space
In a 2010 review, the American Journal of Public Health found that visual art “improved well-being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones”. It also found that stress and anxiety levels, as well as distress and negative emotions went down. Meanwhile, positive emotions went up.
Art has always been known to be a form of expression and therapy. It allows you to live life one step at a time and gives you a blank canvas to re-discover yourself. According to the artists at My Art Space, they even tutor employees who have been specifically instructed by their employers to relax and reset.
Over the course of 8 or 12 weeks, you’ll be personally guided by professional artists on how to paint using your chosen medium (oil or acrylic), as well as how to observe and draw like a pro. At these classes, you’ll get to release all your pent-up stress in one of the best ways possible, while developing a deeper awareness of yourself and thus living better lives. If you’re not having lessons but you still feel the need to de-stress, you can feel free to drop by the studio for a solo session.
Plus, you can use your SkillsFuture credit to pay for majority of the fees.
Where: Istana Park, 31 Orchard Road, Singapore 238888
6. Sound + Sleep sound machine
We need sound machines to de-stress for two reasons: The first being that it helps create an environment that you’ll sleep in better. The sounds help to tune down your mind and rock you to sleep. The second being that it can keep you relaxed through the tense moments at work, or masks sounds that could be distracting you from work which could be making you stressed.
There’s no denying the effects that sound has on our body – it’s just a matter of finding what’s right for you. This gadget has 30 rich and immersive, non-repeating sound environments to encourage sleep, relaxation and focus, depending on the situation. It also has adaptive sound, meaning it listens to your environment and responds by adjusting the audio volume.
If you’re using it to help you get better sleep, you don’t need to worry about turning it off – the sleep timer gently reduces the volume after 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes. The front panel lighting also automatically dims. In the case that you want to use it at work to help you relax or focus, you can also plug in your own headphones or speakers… so that everyone in the office will be stress-free at the end of the day.
7. Mini zen garden
We’ve all seen a full-scale zen garden somewhere with sand, gorgeous flora and a mesmerising water feature. No doubt, it has a calming, unwinding effect on our minds but we can’t just have one in front of us as we please. We might not have the time or space to cultivate full-sized zen gardens, but we’d have both for these mini ones that have the same effect. Though tiny, these boxes are indeed mighty.
The idea is that each element of your mini zen garden represents the different natural, calming elements in the environment that help to ground us. You could comb through the sand with a little rake to emulate flowing water, or rearrange the stones. Be sure to have some greenery that’ll bring a naturally relaxing energy that you’re probably in dire need of.
Besides that, the presence of it can also set you in the mood to get your thinking cap on, get creative and solve problems. Having and engaging in your zen garden essentially produces a meditative effect that makes you feel calm, soothed and stress-free.
Tip: When engaging with the garden, have some relaxing music playing in the background to enhance the effects.
8. SlipSilk pillowcases
These pillowcases that are nothing short of luxurious.
Made from grade 6A long fine mulberry silk, the award-winning Slipsilk case is specially commissioned and made according to the strictest quality standards demanded by Slip. Non-toxic dyes are used and you’re getting the finest of silk pillowcases with a thickness of 22 momme. You can even personalise the cases with your initials or name. But why silk pillowcases in the first case?
It’s an age-old, but forgotten beauty secret. Slip was founded by a lady who developed extremely sensitive skin and thinning hair after being prescribed acne medication. Her dermatologist suggested that she sleep on a silk pillowcase to improve her skin. So when she had her hands on the best silk she could find, her skin condition improved dramatically in the blink of an eye.
Compared to many other fibers, silk fibers are significantly less absorbent – meaning that your skin remains moisturised plus the expensive face and hair products remain where they’re meant to be. The smooth fabric means that there’s less friction which benefits your face and hair – your delicate facial skin glides, not stretches and tugs as you sleep, and your hair is supposedly pulled and tangled less. Plus, renowned hair stylists say the silk helps to preserve your blowout.
Not to mention, you’ll feel absolutely at ease with the softest pillowcase in the world as you drift off to slumberland.
9. Kikki.K mindfulness journal
Photo: Kikki. K
The stationery brand is most known for their chic, playful and absolutely aesthetic designs on anything be it writing pads, teacups or pens. It is also famous for its goal-specific journals or planners that help get us from zero, to where we want or need to be.
Detailed with beautiful gold and white foil, the Mindfulness Journal helps to improve your productivity and focus, increases self-awareness and helps you to curb unhealthy habits. It comes with 12 monthly tabs, each with its own monthly reflection pages to track your progress. With the complimentary ribbon page marker, you can record your experiences, thoughts and many more after taking part in the meditation exercises provided in the book.
By the end, you’ll have gained knowledge on mindfulnesFs, its benefits and the techniques to practise it. A step-by-step and definitely fulfilling journey towards a better and healthier life.