10 Things That You Can Do to De-Stress

Whooo HooO, my favorite thing! Come on… don’t you look forward to de-stressing after a long week? I sure do, and these activities not only destress me but it rejuvenates me too.

Managing stress is something we all need to deal with in the current times. Mr Julian Mengual, the regional chief officer of a health insurance and services company Cigna, shares.

Stress is a big issue… (but) sometimes this is a topic that people don’t like to talk about, and we really need to address it to move things forward,” said Mr Mengual who also noted that stress is linked to diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

Singapore Straits Times Nov 21, 2019

There are a lot of stress related illnesses that prop up due to stress. Physical symptoms like headaches, migraines, muscle and joint pains, difficulty breathing and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are more common while mental symptoms are things like anxiety, panic disorders and depression just to name a few. Managing our stress can optimise our performance and our way of life. Let’s jump into it.

1. Sports

Taking care of your overall health with good sleep, regular exercise and nutritious food are the main key ingredients to maintaining stress. And sports does just that. By increasing your endorphin level, it provides as a stress reliever that help with your immune and cardiovascular system. Print this out if you’d like to see how many boxes you can tick off.

image: Taylor Smith
  • cycling ❑
  • brisk walking or race walking ❑
  • boxing ❑
  • rock climbing ❑
  • rowing ❑
  • free climbing ❑
  • parkour ❑
  • running ❑
  • diving ❑
  • basketball ❑
  • football ❑
  • touch rugby ❑
  • wrestling ❑
  • weight lifting ❑
  • martial arts ❑
  • equestrian jumping ❑
  • volleyball ❑
  • frisbee ❑
  • skating ❑
  • rollerblading ❑
  • archery ❑
  • surfing ❑
  • tennis ❑
  • badminton ❑

2. Jamming

For you music addicts out there, I know this would be up your alley. Listening to music in the comfort of your dark and cosy room just doesn’t do it. You want to vent out that rage and frustration onto drum and cymbals. Try percussions ! I used to collect so many percussions that I really looked forward to my monthly meetup with my percussion friends. We would jam through the night but be careful where you do it though, be considerate by either jamming at a studio, a home that has a soundproof room or in an open space that allows you to play. Always bear in mind, neighbors and the general public. Beat that drum and play your heart out or pick that guitar up and sing your fancy. Read here too for more info on jamming studios during Covid19.

image: Alberto Bigoni

3. Karaoke

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings! Remember that old saying? Did you know that singing is a form of exercise too? You actually burn calories, I kid you not. If you never knew how cathartic belching your heart out could be, try it. It’s good for when you just had a break up, or getting over a broken heart of an unrequited love. It even pumps you up and makes you relive your rolling good times, making you feel young again. Remember singing to Take That, Backstreet Boys, Brandy, Mariah Carey, Oasis, Deep Purple or Metallica? Haha. Prince, Pink Floyd, Bee Gees, Pet Shop Boys and Madonna. KC & Jojo ring a bell? How about Jon Secada? Whoa I went way way back there. Now you know my age. Whoops. OK ok…go get some Cardi B, Camila, Taylor Swift and Drake on the box. Okuurrr.

Here’s some good belting out songs :

image: Joao Marinho

Imagine a concert with an audience of one or even just you and your friends, it’s going to burst that stress bubble out into space. A release of that load off of your shoulders. Sing your heart out and let loose. I know that some KTVs and bar lounges are still closed to public due to Covid so why not create a space in your home. Buying a Karaoke machine might just help you with staying safe yet still having fun. Check out platforms like Shopee, Amazon, Lazada, Carousel or Alibaba.

Or else, call up your favorite karaoke place and ask if they’re part of the pilot program. There is hope that they’ll open up by this december and some in January 2021. Another alternative is those mini karaoke booths you see popping up here and there cos Singaporeans just love their Sing-K.

4. Go to the Cinema

Have a change of mood. Let’s give our iPads and smart Tvs a break shall we? How long has it been since we last watched a movie at the Cinemas? I think it’s time we took that break. But let me pre warn you that if you plan to go on your own, you can’t buy just a one seat ticket. Due to covid, some cinemas in Singapore will only allow pairs to be bought so either spend that extra ticket on your self or a better idea is to ask someone on a date. Ahem ahem…

The latest that’s showing now (Dec 2020) is “Witches ” starring Anne Hathaway and “Wonderwoman 1984″ starring Gal Gadot, epic costumes for WW84 by the way. We also have Liam Neeson on the ” Honest Thief” but I think the ladies will get more screen time attention this season round .

Oh and a local delight that if you ever have a chance, you have just got to catch. It’s witty, smart, humorous, dark and quirky. “Tiong Bahru Social Club” is making a wave for artistic films. I laughed and cried. Very stepford wives and the Truman show feels though. If you like weird, it’s for you. Oh ya, not for kids ok. Haha!

5. S.E.X

🎶 Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s talk about you and me… 🎶

Maybe you’re too young to know that song haha. Ok Ok let’s be honest, having sex does help doesn’t it? It’s like a taboo dirty word in our very conservative Asian culture but honestly, you gaizzz do get freaky with it and especially in the most crazy, fun and passionate way.

That’s when you reach a natural high and sky rocket into your own Universe. It’s an addictive natural mood booster but be forewarned as well, to be careful and practice safe sex always. With a partner who you can trust. If you have an ounce of doubt, don’t do it.

Sex ignites and releases a neurotransmitter serotonin, which is the very chemical that makes you feel happy. Endorphins also release into your system and are natural pain killers. Some say for body pains (stiffness) or headaches. Sex is basically good for your body and brain.

According to Emmalea Russo of Cosmopolitan magazine, about sex and love ~ she says that the Pisces is the best at Sex . I don’t believe in zodiac signs but I do believe in love. I’m just saying. Passionate love making at its best. Blood (from all the scratches on your back), sweat and tears, screams and releasing your fears. I don’t want to paint much of a picture here but a McDreamy will definitely lose the battle to refrain himself. Go read that article, go go.

If you gotta do it solo, sources tell me that there’s a store that can deliver a “toy” within 3hrs (in Singapore). I don’t know exactly which one so just try out all platforms and see what comes up. Shoppee maybe? I don’t know. Share with me if you find out which one haha. Just curious.

image: Dainis Graveris

6. Art

image: Steve Johnson

Emancipate yourself and let the inner Vincent Van Gogh out of you. Painting to some is the ability to voice out insanity onto paper (like many Greats) and some a simple therapy for the mind and the heavy heart. Lots of people use this method to de-stress, even if they don’t paint per se. It’s how the brush and your hands form an alliance to create. An amalgamation of body, tools and creative juices flowing effortlessly. Here’s a channel you should check out. It’s not the results of your artwork, it’s the process, remember.

And even if it’s not painting, there’s so many types of artwork you can explore into. Like these days, people are into scrapbooking again. So check it out. New labels, fun stickers and washi tapes! That’s 4 weekends already covered.

There’s also drawing, pottery ( very Ghost feels ) photography and mix media.

7. Hugging

image: Ilya Mondryk

A hug is sometimes just what you need. A simple act of human touch can mean so so much. It’s like a tiny little gift on a stressful midweek afternoon. This also includes spooning or cuddling by the way. It’s a way we feel belonged and safe. Warm and comfortable.

After days of being burnt out or feeling hopeless and helpless, a huge warm hug is as easy as finding a good friend who can lend a shoulder and extend a hug. Add on some words of affirmation or notes of love and you’ll make someone’s day or week. The power of something so simple has the potential to make huge impacts on others and ourselves. It reduces anxiety, pain and displays support for each other. So hug it out or if you know someone who has had a really bad day, offer to hug them if they’ll like one.

Do you need a HUG?

Ask a friend

Say things like ” I am here with you.” or ” You’re not alone dear.” ” You can do this.” or ” You’re a beautiful and loving human being. Always know that. ” or as simple as ” Smile for me.” A hug is a simple and quick stress reliever.

8. Pet an Animal

image: Patrick Fore

If you already have pets ~ good on you, the battle is already half won. Petting these furbabies is oh so so relaxing. You’ll just melt into them and start making baby noises. Yes, they love baby talk. I don’t know how I know that but the response is usually good. I myself, am a fur-parent and my cats really does it for me in times where I just need to take a short nap and cuddle or if I’m feeling a bit under the weather or sad . I mean how can one resist those beady eyes, begging for treats and kisses.

I started having cute aggression again cos of their tiny pink noses that just makes me wanna bite. Ok ok, you won’t understand this feeling until you own them and have them for 24hrs of every day. Sneaking up behind you, purring in your ear while you take a nap, cosying up in between your legs in bed. Oh… the cuteness level is 3000.

If you don’t own pets or have pets that aren’t huggable or kissable ( like a pet frog or tarantula ), you might want to visit an animal farm in Singapore. The best deal for this is the Animal Resort at 81 Seletar West Farmway 5, Singapore 798061 ( which is closing its doors to public on the 10th of January 2021 by the way ) so hurry. And the other one is Hay Dairies, where you can not only pet those cute little baby goats but support the farm by buying their product ~ goat’s milk.

9. Gardening, Ikebana or Bonsai Cultivation

image: Devin H

I’ve known many colleagues of mine who has started a hobby in gardening. While most garden because it keeps their home or environment fresh and serene, some garden cos it calms them down and de-stresses them. Being with nature and other living things does this magical thing to your senses. You might get some sound therapy with ” temporary residences” like insects, butterflies and birds. Visual therapy as how the greenery or colors of the plants appease your eyes. And of cos, plants contribute to the oxygen level in your environment.

Another more professional and honorable artform of gardening would be Ikebana. The Japanese artform of flower arrangement. Oh there are step by step methods, my friend. It’s not as easy as traditional flower arranging, as you might think. It’s way way more than that. It’s about balance and facade, intricacies and harmony. Each placement and piece has a meaning and reason. Go find out about it. Learn more.

Bonsai, the cousin of Ikebana, is a very disciplined way of cultivation. I remember looking for bonsai trees for my late dad’s grave plot and the biggest one we saw cost a whopping $4k plus plus. And it was HUGE. Bonsais are beautiful miniature trees and growing up, my Mum used to nurture one till I was about 17 yrs old. It stood the tests of time that one. Rain and shine and a lot of my mum talking to it, I think. Well, I vaguely remember that but what I do remember was that it was actually a part of our family for a really long time. I forgot what happened to it. Hmm…

I didn’t buy the $4k giant bonsai tree by the way, if you’re wondering. But do get your Miyagi on, it’s worth it.

10. Smash Therapy

Maybe it’s not so traditional but the Japanese have really explored on how to do this in a safe environment. I could not trace the exact year but somewhere between 2007-2010, when the financial crisis hit Asia, a new form of relieving stress came about and became literally a HIT. Plate smashing or “Smash Therapy” started becoming a trend amongst Osakan Japanese. Where customers could write their bosses names onto the plate and smash it into a wall or the floor. From there, Rage rooms started sprouting out too and Chicago owner, Joe Lupa was one American that started it in the states.

Though a good stress reliever, this does not resolve your feelings of anger or temper, just to put that out there.

image: Chuttersnap

I don’t know where you can do this in Singapore but the alternative is baseball or softball. Unfortunately, the indoor batting cage Homerun Baseball is now permanently closed so whack it out on an open field away from traffic or windows. Hey who knows, they might make a comeback .

All these methods of releasing your stress has been tried and tested and definitely recommended. At the end of the day, you’d know what suits you best to do. Something that makes you feel safe and relax to de-stress. If you feel like you do have compounding stresses and worries, it might be something deeply rooted like a trauma or an imprint of a negative memory tagged to an emotion.

Seek help. Ask a therapist, a counselor or a life coach to help you figure this out. You’re not alone. The Samaritans of Singapore ( SOS ) can be reached at their website or a quick call away at 1800-221-4444. There’s also other sources like betterhelp which also provides an app that can link you to coaches and therapists. Another app friendly platform is doctoranywhere.com that connects you to regular doctors like GP’s and also specialists like psychologists or therapists.

Whether it’s talking to your best friend or splurging on clothes and spa treatments, know that you’ve always got to be aware of any consequences that may come. Manage your emotions well. Ask yourself if there are any side effects or if you’d regret it. Weigh all these out and de-stress responsibly. You don’t want to accidentally adopt a new addiction, get in bed with the wrong person or overspend on your credit card, right?

You only have yourself from now till forever. So take care.

That’s it from me. If you’d like to read inspirational quotes, get motivated or share your thoughts and ideas, do head down to our instagram account @simplelifedaily and do check out our online store @thesimplelife.store ! Join our Telegram Channel too 🙂

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