“In these unprecedented times” is a phrase that has been repeated an unprecedented number of times in the past year and a half. It is probably the most apt way to describe the disarray the entire planet has been thrown into. Unemployment levels have spiked, depression rates have skyrocketed and the world has fallen into a slump. With this, it has become increasingly important to take care of oneself. It is essential and even crucial to look after our mental well-being. In this article, we will be detailing how we can do so exactly. We decided to ask the most reliable advisers: our teachers, the very beings who have to deal with us! We managed to get some of them to share how they unwind and relieve stress, and there are a multitude of answers, all of which we can easily try for ourselves!
Exercise is probably the most obvious strategy, and rightly so: 12 teachers mentioned doing some form of exercise, be it yoga, walking, jogging, or running. Exercise is a great way to spend any free time, and along with the obvious physical benefits, it truly relaxes the mind. You can try a variety of scenery: some teachers prefer treadmills at home and doing yoga workouts, while others would rather go outdoors. Mr Daniel Chua advocates for the latter, and goes for long runs in MacRitchie Reservoir as does Mr Tan Weng Seng at East Coast Park, while Mr UK Shyam does sprints. Mr Alvin Chong prefers night biking on the roads while Mr Stephen Lim swims regularly to unwind.
Exercise isn’t for everyone, and that is perfectly justifiable: some teachers just enjoy the sanctuary of their own homes more, and would prefer a less intensive activity to relieve stress. To some, the mere thought of running will increase stress levels, which is of course just a matter of opinion. Mr Wong Jinfa certainly seems to agree with this second group of teachers, and says he enjoys gaming in his free time. However, he adds a firm note that he only does so after finishing all his work (did any of you forget to do his homework?) In addition, some teachers enjoy watching shows on streaming sites, not unlike many of you. Mrs Sylvia Soh loves watching crime programmes and Earth documentaries. Mdm Mani also enjoys watching Sherlock Holmes, and tries to laugh off the stress, which is an admirable and effective way of doing so.
On the other hand, screens are not always good for your health, and too much time on them can be detrimental. This is where picking up a hobby comes in handy, be it sewing (Mrs Lorraine Neo’s favourite), dripping coffee (something Mrs Kristie Tay loves), building with LEGO blocks (Mr Tay Li Cheng’s current distraction), drawing (Mr Frank Fu’s ideal stress reliever) or baking (an enjoyable pastime for many teachers, especially Mr Ong Chen Tat and Ms Nicole Kang).
These strategies should provide all of us with something simple yet engaging to do, while taking our minds off whatever is causing us stress. As anyone can indulge in them, relaxation will never be unachievable.