"Sleep is for the weak!" The pursuit of success is often associated with negligible hours of sleep, weight gain, and constant hustling, especially over copious amounts of drinks.
On the other end of the spectrum of overwhelming stress and being burnout, lies the luxury of wellbeing - healthy rituals, time for workouts, sleep.
72 percent of employers in Singapore said they considered stress and mental health an issue affecting productivity. Isn't being in optimal health critical to functioning efficiently and productively? And wouldn't neglecting your wellbeing be counterproductive to achieving success?
Healthy social interactions have been found to mitigate some of the stress we face, and yet according to Prudential’s 2016 relationship index, “32 percent of couples in Singapore say their partner sometimes prefers their mobile phones to spending time with them...48 percent say they spend more time messaging friends than actually talking face-to-face.”
When was the last time you had a good, deep conversation in real life? Making time to unplug is now a higher priority than ever before!
“The goal really is to end the delusion that in order to succeed you have to burn out.” - Arianna Huffington
In line with the aim of encouraging like-minded individuals to gather over a wholesome meal and stay present in the moment to think about their well-being, we had the privilege of hearing from individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Meaghan See, In-House Counsel at Japanese Bank, Mizuho; The Busy Woman Project Ambassador; Barre & Indoor Cycling Instructor
- Karina Curlewis, Marketing Manager at The Loco Group
- Cara Gao, a member of the Letters of the Law team; Graduate from UCL Law
- Moderated by: Jaslyn Koh, Founder of Broc & Bells and The Busy Woman Project; Former Investment Banker
Other individuals present came from diverse backgrounds, including Advertising, F&B, Law, Logistics, Finance, Tech & Wellness industries.
Takeaways - Knowledge for Keeps
1. The things you do for your well-being can complement your work.
Some of the participants found it a challenge to balance their regular workouts with the demands of their job. Admittedly, not everyone is fortunate enough to have an understanding boss who will not bat an eyelid if you head off in the evening for a workout before returning to the office to finish up your work.
Yet, the things that you do to foster well-being do not necessarily have to conflict with the demands of your work. One participant who works in a role that requires her to be on call around the clock to respond to emergency situations shared that her workouts taught her to stay calm and focus on the next step - a mindset that she could inhabit when it came to meeting the demands of her work.
2. ‘Sacrifices’ are inevitable – so prioritise!
Dinner with friends or go for a workout? Stay home all weekend to recharge your batteries or pursue a side project?
It is imperative to identify what you want to achieve or work on in your life and zoom in on what is most important to you at the moment. Whether it is your well-being or having a social life, find the time to fit in your priorities.
3. Your well-being journey is constantly evolving.
Karina shared that she had always engaged in a variety of activities, from getting involved in performing arts productions to hiking and swimming. Over time, however, she realised that her fitness journey was changing and the activities that she used to engage in no longer challenged and centred her like they used to. That was when she turned to other activities such as urban fusion dance, which allows her to connect to different types of music and listen to her body.
4. Give meaning to your stress.
Remember feeling the blood pump through your veins as you sprint, or the gentle stillness when you breathe deeply in pranayama? It is that energy of feeling alive which makes exercise such a great stress-reliever. But the real question is: how do you take that energy of being alive off the treadmill and yoga mat, and into everyday life?
Cara enjoys hiking and yoga, but exercise to her is ultimately a gateway to the bigger “reminders to self”. The energy she feels when exercising gives her clarity on any challenges she is facing, and reminds her of why she would be willing to pull through all that stress – for the bigger things and people who make it worthwhile.
5. Well-being is both about the self and the community.
Being committed to your well-being can sometimes compromise on the time that you spend with your friends. At the same time, this can also be an opportunity for you to strengthen your existing friendships and build new ones. Apart from meeting up for meals or drinks, why not consider inviting your friends to join you for a workout or a new activity?
Pursuing a new activity, whether it is a fitness class or a meet-up with people sharing a common interest (e.g. over an acai bowl), is a great way to find like-minded individuals.
Being around like-minded individuals can be energising, as shared by Meaghan who spent a year in San Francisco for graduate school and enjoyed being around people who are incredibly passionate about what they do.
Conversations Heard Through The Grapevine
“Improvisation (Improv) class helps me to stay in the moment. Having to think on my feet to respond to other actors during improv class, improves my ability to stay in the present moment.”
“Relieving stress at the gym, and then, being able to re-experience that feeling of being alive when you aren’t exercising.”
“When things get challenging, I think back on experiences that I’ve found fulfillment from - to remind me of the bigger picture and goals.”
“Identifying what you want to achieve or work on in your life...bound to have to make sacrifices and you have to decide what is most important to you at that moment.”
“Lifting weights helps me to learn how to stay focus - something I apply to my job, especially when I have to face 24hr emergencies.”
Take Action - Ready, Set, GO!
The journey we are on is unique to each of us, but we can all use reminders from time to time, or find inspiration from other people’s journeys. Their experiences and how they’ve flourished after facing setbacks/challenges, can serve as a guide for us.
Whatever your definition of success is - remember not to neglect your wellbeing. Be it physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or social, it will be a struggle to achieve perfect harmony 24/7, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. After all, being in the best state of health makes it that much easier to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself!
How have you supported others on their journeys? How have others supported you?
SweatBuddy Conversations is a shared time where we take a much needed moment away from our screens, to have real, insightful conversations that serve our wellbeing. If that strikes a chord with you, join us at our next SweatBuddy Conversations!