For the first article under Kim’s Column, I wanted to write about a very simple self-help practice that can slide into busy schedules without feeling like a chore.
(10-30 min) Adding a short walk could energize you before starting your day, or help you wind down after a long day. Getting up from your desk and walking around right outside your workstation in the middle of the day also forces you to take proper breaks which may improve your overall productivity levels.
On that note, walks do not necessarily have to contribute to your ability to work more efficiently in order for them to be beneficial to you. During your walk, you have the opportunity to clear your mind and pace around green spaces, which can have a therapeutic effect on a busy mind. The underlying stress of the everyday can go unnoticed until one takes a breather during a short break. Sometimes, longer walks can also feel liberating, especially if you have the time to visit a walking trail like the Macritchie Treetop Walk Trailhead, or a nearby park like East Coast Park.
Depending on the time of day and where you are in Singapore, you might also catch glimpses of local celebrities. (i.e. If you work near the Istana, you might have seen the otter family flanked by guards!) During my evening strolls, I meet my neighbors walking their dogs. Not as famous a company, but pleasant nonetheless.
People with mood disorders often feel apathetic toward leaving their rooms or even beds when their symptoms worsen. However, in psychiatric wards, patients are given walks as incentives when their symptoms show signs of improvement. Among other things, going for walks during inpatient treatment is portrayed as a coveted activity. I always looked forward to 30 minute walks around the hospital grounds because it was a welcome change of environment, and anything beat four white walls.
Whether it’s ten minutes around your neighborhood or half an hour at a nearby park, a walk might recentre you when you feel worn out by the daily grind.
For more targeted practices, self-help resources, and peer support, check out SG Support Group on Discord.